Our racing expert Ben Linfoot has one big-priced selection for day three of Doncaster's St Leger Festival on Friday afternoon.
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Stradivarius is the star attraction at Doncaster on Friday as the superstar stayer bids to win his 10th consecutive race in the Group Two Magners Rose Doncaster Cup Stakes.
He carries a Group One penalty and he hasn’t run at Doncaster since he was beaten into third in an exceptionally hot renewal of the St Leger two years ago, but neither of those factors looks a problem to him on Town Moor.
Dee Ex Bee is the only rival good enough to give him a race, yet Stradivarius has beaten him on three consecutive runs this summer and it’s difficult to see how Mark Johnston’s horse can reverse the form.
Stradivarius is 4/9 and rightly so and unfortunately the Doncaster Cup isn’t the only unattractive betting heat on the card.
The Mallard Handicap has attracted only six runners and no three-year-olds, which isn’t too surprising when you consider the race was worth £10,000 more 10 years ago when Nanton won it.
Saroog is a short-price favourite on Friday and he looks by far the most progressive horse in the Mallard field. His prohibitive odds are probably justified.
He’s trained by Simon Crisford, who could have a good day with A'Ali going for the Flying Childers against Alligator Alley.
That's an intriguing match up and Joseph O’Brien's horse might just edge it judging by the way he overcame adversity at York, while A'Ali is unproven on faster ground.
Meanwhile, Golden Dragon's Windsor form was franked on Thursday by King's Lynn, so it's likely he doesn't have as much to find as official figures suggest, but the drop back in trip to five furlongs is a concern.
Again, it’s a no-bet race, which just leaves the opening Group Three Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes (2.10) for fillies and mares, from the live ITV races that have been priced up.
This looks set to be a tightly-contested race with 10 of them rated between 97 and 105 and tactics and track position could prove to be vital in the final analysis.
With that in mind it could be worth chancing James Fanshawe’s PREENING who looks fairly priced at 14/1 (General).
She's relatively unexposed for one of the older horses having had just 10 career runs and she's only had the three starts this season so she comes into this pretty fresh.
All three of those starts were over a mile and she didn't look to enjoy the soft ground at Royal Ascot in the middle leg of those appearances, but she’s shaped with promise on either side of that run.
Both at Kempton in April and at Ascot last time out she travelled really well, so I think she's well worth a go dropping in trip to seven furlongs on Friday as she's certainly hinted that she has the speed to cope back at the distance.
Last time out she finished just off a 109-rated filly and she beat a couple rated 107, so this looks an easier assignment and I felt she had excuses at Ascot, running in behind the weakening Jadeerah and on a part of the track that looked to be at a slight disadvantage.
Going a stride quicker over seven could well suit and I’d expect her to race a little more prominently just off the pace likely to be set by the likes of Farzeen and California Love.
William Buick has been booked for the job and he rides Doncaster superbly well, so plenty looks to be in Preening’s favour as she bids to win for the first time since she landed a Sandown handicap last summer.
Posted at 1700 BST on 12/09/19.
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 and Ireland. Running total: +360.19pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
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