Value Bet: One to Watch
David O'Meara's Watchable headlines Ben Linfoot's Value Bet selections for Saturday's action at Ascot and York.
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David O'Meara's Watchable headlines Ben Linfoot's Value Bet selections for Saturday's action at Ascot and York. Recommended bets: 1pt e.w. Watchable in 1515 at Ascot - well drawn and well weighted; should go close 1pt win Yeager in 1515 Ascot - unexposed; worth a shot at the price over this distance 2pts win Goldream in 1530 York - this race looks perfect for Robert Cowell's inmate 1pt win Foxtrot Romeo in 1545 York - looks well handicapped and drop in trip might just work wonders It has been a week to forget for Sir Michael Stoute, but if there's one Group One contest in the calendar that was tailor-made for his talents then it's the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. Stoute has won the prestigious summer highlight five times, on four occasions with older horses that have peaked over a mile and a half in Berkshire in late July thanks to one man's patient approach. This year he is represented by Telescope, a colt that was Derby favourite for much of the winter before the 2013 renewal. He didn't even make it to the track at Epsom, but hinted in the Great Voltigeur at York last summer that rattling fast ground and a mile and a half were conditions that would bring out the best in him. After defeats over 10 furlongs on soft ground earlier this season things weren't looking great for Telescope, but he then smashed up his Hardwicke Stakes rivals by seven lengths at Royal Ascot when he was unleashed over a mile and a half on fast ground again. So here we are. Telescope is 9/4 favourite for the King George despite getting his optimum conditions (although it is raining at Ascot as I write) and the reason for that is some stellar opposition headed by Breeders' Cup Turf winner Magician and the John Gosden-trained three-year-olds Taghrooda and Eagle Top. It won't surprise you to hear I won't be advising a bet in the race as the odds look about right, but Telescope is the right favourite and if pushed I'd take him to put Magician and the three-year-olds in their place. While the King George offers quality, there are a couple of fantastic Saturday handicaps offering quantity - and therefore winners at potentially fancy prices - including the Longines International Stakes which precedes the day's feature. Up to 29 runners will go to post for the seven-furlong cavalry charge and we've plenty of similar races to call on from this season and years gone by in order to help us find the winner. Four-year-olds have held sway with seven of the last 10 winners coming from that age group, while high numbers have dominated in recent renewals as five of the last six winners have come from stall 20 or higher. Those high numbers, on the stands' side, dominated at the Royal meeting too and looking at where the pace is it could be very difficult for those drawn low on the far side to get into this. Most of the early pace is in the middle, with Georgian Bay (13) and Majestic Moon (20) two of the more likely pacesetters in the first half of the contest. That's fine for David O'Meara's WATCHABLE who makes plenty of appeal at 14/1. He's drawn next to Majestic Moon in 19 so he should get a lovely tow into the race and I'm struggling to see why he isn't challenging Horsted Keynes and Belgian Bill for favouritism. After just five career starts he's the most unexposed horse in the field and has already proven he has the game for this course and distance off a similar mark when he was third in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Beaten three-quarters of a length into third by Horsted Keynes that day, he has a 2lb pull at the weights here, has Richard Hughes instead of Danny Tudhope on board and yet is twice the price of Roger Varian's charge. The form has been boosted by Bronze Angel, Heaven's Guest and Blaine already and though inexperience probably cost him from getting even closer to victory in the Buckingham Palace, he now has that experience to help him on Saturday. The handicapper raised him just 1lb, too, which is very fair, and I expect him to put in a big performance at Ascot. If he doesn't win I'd expect him to go close, so back him each-way.