Our racing expert Ben Linfoot has a 33/1 selection in the Emirates Cesarewitch while he has another bet at Newmarket and a selection in the Sprint Trophy at York.
Recommended Bets: Saturday, October 12
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Exciting juvenile Pinatubo, rated higher than Frankel as a two-year-old at 128, provides the class at Newmarket in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes on Saturday, but the Emirates Cesarewitch Stakes provides the punting puzzle and, as always, it’s a highly competitive affair.
Willie Mullins won the race last year with Low Sun and he saddles the favourite this year in Buildmeupbuttercup, while his second and third strings, Great White Shark and Stratum, give him a strong hand.
Frankie Dettori has been booked for the favourite and it’s very hard to crab her chance, really, other than to say she looks fairly short considering she hardly looks thrown in off 94, even if she is officially 4lb well-in at the weights.
Sir Mark Prescott rivals Mullins with a few aces in his own pack. Land Of Oz sneaks into the race at the bottom of the handicap and he’s 1lb well-in under a penalty after winning six of his last seven, while stablemate Timoshenko is on a seven-timer.
Along with Andrew Balding’s Ranch Hand, 1lb well-in himself after his Haydock win, these horses dominate the market and you can’t argue with that. They’re progressive stayers in the right hands and any of them could land this pot.
However, with plenty of places to play with – Sky Bet are going eight places, Paddy Power seven and several are paying out on six – there's room for an each-way wager at a bigger price.
Ian Williams’ pair were high on the shortlist, as Time To Study has drifted back out to a backable price at 25/1 after his Haydock win, while stablemate Darksideoftarnside was mugged in a first-time visor at Ascot eight days ago and looks likely to go well again with conditions in his favour.
However, the one that I thought was most underestimated by the market is Sue Gardner’s COUER BLIMEY (33/1 General 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6 – 50s and 40s are available at bet365 and Ladbrokes but with less generous place terms).
Not many eight-year-olds win the Cesarewitch, although Aaim To Prosper did seven years ago, but this horse hasn’t been burdened by over racing in his career and still looks to have plenty to offer in both codes.
A hardened handicap hurdler over jumps, Couer Blimey stays well and is unexposed on the Flat having had just five starts on the level, only two of which have been in handicap company.
Back in April, though, he showed how dangerous he could be in the sphere, winning over 2m2f on soft ground at Newbury off a mark of 86, staying on well to beat Couer De Lion and Who Dares Wins, two horses that have advertised that form well with good victories subsequently.
A 3lb rise for that victory was fair considering subsequent events, but Couer Blimey was set a tough assignment on his next start in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot where he was up against it on ratings on ground that was probably a bit too fast as well.
Being hampered a few times didn’t help and he was eased home after the second infringement, but it’s well worth forgiving him that run now he returns to handicap company with a bit of cut in the ground.
Officially good to soft, there are a few more showers forecast and Couer Blimey loves testing ground, so any easing of conditions will be very much in his favour.
His Newbury win shows he’s dangerous off this sort of mark and the key to him is that he loves a stamina test when things get tough. At 33/1 with numerous places to play with, he appeals from an each-way perspective.
Earlier on the card SUBJECTIVIST has been overlooked by the market in the Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes (2.20) and is another worth backing each-way at 25/1 (Ladbrokes, 22/1 General 1/5 1,2,3).
Godolphin and Coolmore have some lightly-raced types at the top of the market here, but Mark Johnston’s Subjectivist is actually the highest-rated horse in the race on the back of his second in Listed company at Salisbury two starts ago.
He's run six times, experience that will not be lost on him at a wet and windy Rowley Mile, and his last two starts have been the best of his career, evidence that he's still improving.
Last time he looked like he was going to drop out and be last at Haydock in soft ground, but once Franny Norton switched him and gave him some daylight he ran on well again for fourth, shaping as though he’ll improve for a step up in distance.
He gets that here now he goes over 10 furlongs, something this half-brother to Sir Ron Priestley really should relish, so quite why he’s been priced up as the outsider of the field is a bit of a mystery.
Finally, up at York it’s the Coral Sprint Trophy Handicap and a chance for HEY JONESY to break his duck for the season at 14/1 (bet365, 12/1 General).
Kevin Ryan was a neck away from winning this race the last three years and he has won the last two renewals, while his team are in good form and he won the Prix de l’Abbaye last weekend with another of his sprinters, Glass Slippers.
It looks significant, then, that he relies on Hey Jonesy here, a horse that hasn’t quite fulfilled the promise of his juvenile season as a career strike-rate of one win from 17 shows.
He’s looking well handicapped off 101 now, though, and his chances over six furlongs on soft ground have been limited. Last autumn he ran really well twice over six on soft, in Group Three and Listed company, so he could well take advantage of his decreasing mark under these conditions.
On top of this he’s never run a bad race at York in three goes, including when he was fifth in the Duke Of York at this season’s Dante meeting. Even on that form he’s interesting off 101 here, but the ground could see him improve on that effort which would give him a superb chance.
Last time he was well beaten in the Ayr Gold Cup in a first-time visor, but he weakened late on after losing a shoe and is worth another chance now he gets what look like his preferred conditions at a track he likes.
Posted at 1700 BST on 11/10/19
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: +346.39pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
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