Bernie can Bolt up at 12/1
Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on Shergar Cup day at Ascot and he's backing 12/1 and 14/1 chances.
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1pt win Stevie Thunder in 12.55 Ascot at 14/1 (Ladbrokes).
1pt win Bernie The Bolt in 13.30 Ascot at 12/1 (Paddy Power, William Hill, Ladbrokes).
Love it or loathe it, the Shergar Cup at Ascot presents some competitive racing and with it some good horses at value prices which is what we are looking for on a Saturday.
And you don't have to look far for a betting opportunity this weekend as I think STEVIE THUNDER is way overpriced at 14/1 for the opening Les Ambassadeurs Casino Shergar Cup Mile Handicap.
Ian Williams' seven-year-old thrived this time last year and the signs are he's coming to himself again now dropped to a competitive mark.
He got bogged down in the very heavy ground at Newmarket two starts ago but ran very well on a better surface at Newcastle last time, beaten only by a rival who was way ahead of the assessor.
There's nothing in this field that well handicapped and that includes our selection, but the handicapper has dropped him 5lbs during his winless streak and he could now be primed to strike.
The most compelling piece of evidence comes from the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot. He was beaten just two-and-three-quarter lengths in seventh by the winner Prince Of Johanne off a 3lb-higher mark.
He faded late on that day but this is easier and no less than six of the rivals he beat that day take him on again here.
All of them are ahead of him in the betting which just goes to show how much he's been underestimated. Take the 14s.
In the St Hallett Shergar Cup Stayers Handicap I want to be with 2010 winner BERNIE THE BOLT who is available to back at 12/1.
On the face of it he's struggled this season but two miles on good ground seem to be his optimum conditions and he hasn't had them since this year.
The good thing is he's 3lbs lower than when winning this race by nearly four lengths and I don't think he ran too badly behind Simenon at the Royal meeting.
His stamina was overstretched but I liked the way he travelled and moved up to challenge before fading late on.
Plenty in behind him were off the bridle when he travelled up smoothly and that bodes well for the drop in trip here.
Andrew Balding is a trainer who targets the Shergar Cup and his charge looks a decent bit of business at double-figure prices.
17:35 update: Favourite Western Prize is a non-runner in the 13.30 so there will be a Rule 4 on any 12/1 taken about Bernie The Bolt. However, looking at the revised prices the 9/1 on offer at William Hill and Boylesports is fair.