Land a Medinas touch at Ffos Las

  • By: Ben Linfoot
  • Last Updated: February 1 2013, 19:54 GMT

The decision to change the Welsh Champion Hurdle to a handicap from a conditions race looks to have paid dividends judging by the turnout for Saturday's contest.

Timmy Murphy: Can excel on Cloudy Too
Timmy Murphy: Can excel on Cloudy Too

I know I'd rather see a competitive race between 14 good handicappers than a rout for Oscar Whisky at 1/5 though it's another Nicky Henderson-trained son of Oscar who heads the betting.

Oscara Dara is the market leader in question and he's understandably going to be a popular choice after hacking up in the Lanzarote at Kempton last time.

The problem is, he's gone up fully a stone in the weights for that to a mark of 154 and you would think he's going to have to put up a performance in the low 160s to take this off top weight.

Considering that scenario I'd want bigger odds than 4/1 before getting involved and the same can be said of Tanerko Emery's chances at the same price though I have to admit it's harder to dismiss his claims.

He's gone up 11lb after hosing up at Lingfield but it's hard to think a mark of 135 is the ceiling of his ability considering the ease of that success.

However, I'm not convinced a slog in the heavy ground at Ffos Las over 2m4f is exactly what he wants at this stage in his career and with that in mind I'm drawn to the claims of Alan King's MEDINAS at 10/1.

With Double Ross and Boyfromnowhere in the field there's going to be a good pace on here and the ability to stay further than 2m4f might just be an advantage. That brings Medinas right into the thick of things.

Second in good handicaps off lower marks at Cheltenham and Kempton over 2m5f, he improved on those efforts when fourth to subsequent Grade 2 winner At Fishers Cross over three miles when trying to give JP McManus' improver 9lbs.

Beaten just over 10 lengths by At Fishers Cross, that is looking like it may well have been a very good effort and gives him a real chance here off the same mark with conditions to suit.

He's not likely to be inconvenienced by the ground or a proper stamina test and at 10/1 he's the one to be on.

Sandown stage an all chase card starring Captain Conan but nothing appeals there at the prices due to a host of small fields and instead I like the look of a Sue Smith-trained horse at Wetherby trading at 10/1.

The local handler has a great record at the track and she has two chances in the Class 2 Play Totescoop6 At Totepool Com Handicap Chase at 15.55 in the shape of Gansey and CLOUDY TOO.

The former has an obvious chance but is prohibitively priced up, unlike Cloudy Too who is an attractive proposition at 10/1.

This horse showed a likeable attitude to win over 2m4f, Saturday's trip, at Carlisle in a beginners' chase just three starts ago when he beat stablemate Vintage Star, a horse who has finished a neck second and first in two starts since.

Cloudy Too hasn't done so well in two subsequent efforts, but he was set a tough task against Paul Nicholls' talented Rocky Creek at Doncaster and then fell fairly early on in the North Yorkshire Grand National last time at Catterick.

He was held up that day and was going well at the time - it was early in the race but they were jumping the ninth and he had looked on good terms with himself before his mishap.

Jumping hadn't looked a problem before his Catterick fall and I'll put it down as one of those things, especially with him chalked up at 10s here.

Timmy Murphy takes over in the saddle for the first time and he looks an ideal booking for this hold-up merchant, who, like the last selection, will benefit from a good pace over this trip.

Whats Up Woody and L'Eldorado should ensure that's the case so take a chance on Cloudy Too at 10/1 with bet365.

Ben Linfoot's Value Bet Aim: The Value Bet is designed to generate long-term profit by searching for overpriced horses in the feature weekend races and at the big Festivals in the UK. Running total: +126.31pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).

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