Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on day three of the Cheltenham Festival with four selections in the Stayers' Hurdle, Pertemps and Brown Advisory.
Recommended Bets: Cheltenham Festival Day Three
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Paisley Park has been one of the stories of the season and he’ll be a hugely popular winner of the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle if he manages to get the job done.
He blew away his opponents in the Cleeve Hurdle on Cheltenham trials day in January and you would think the big dangers come from Ireland.
Faugheen leads the Irish charge ahead of Supasundae and Bacardys, but the one fly in the ointment in the race is last year’s Albert Bartlett winner KILBRICKEN STORM.
He’s back over timber after his novice chase campaign was aborted and he’s twice won at Cheltenham over three miles, so he’s not without a chance of upsetting the odds at 14/1 (General).
The way he stayed on in last year’s Albert Bartlett marked him out as a horse blessed with bags of stamina, something that could well come to the fore on Thursday, while the horses he beat; including Ok Corral, Santini and Tower Bridge, give the form a strong look.
Paisley Park himself was miles behind in the Albert Bartlett, but he’s a completely different horse now. Whether the market should be so certain that he’ll beat Kilbricken Storm having not faced him this campaign is another matter, however.
That Albert Bartlett run wasn’t Kilbricken Storm’s only good performance as a novice. In fact, his subsequent run at Punchestown was arguably just as good when there were only necks between himself, Next Destination and Delta Work.
He’s a good horse, a bit of an unknown quantity in this company and he looks worth chancing at 14s.
The Ryanair Chase is less appealing for a bet. Footpad could be the one if the step up in trip helps him rediscover his mojo, but I’m not sure I’d back him at 4/1, while his most likely conquerors have been well found in the market.
Earlier on the JLT Novices’ Chase looks equally difficult, with form picks Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation set to battle out favouritism and, potentially, the race itself up the hill, but for more bets I’ll stick to the handicaps starting with the Pertemps Final.
Sire Du Berlais dominates the market for this after an eye-catching qualification at Leopardstown, but he’s not a proven winner, being zero from seven for Elliott, and with that in mind he looks short enough at around 11/2.
His presence means you’re getting big odds about everything else and I particularly like the look of the 25/1 (bet365, Boylesports ¼ 1,2,3,4,5) about Dr Richard Newland’s ABOLITIONIST under Sam Twiston-Davies.
This horse is being aimed at the Grand National, but so was Newland’s Pineau De Re in 2014 and he almost won the Pertemps that year – finishing third by a nose and a neck – before going onto Aintree glory.
Pineau De Re was also 11-years-old, but while he was rated 3lb lower over hurdles Abolitionist is rated 11lb less over timber and it could well be a mark he takes advantage of.
He absolutely bolted up off 122 in his qualifier in November, winning by 10 lengths as he liked, and a 12lb higher rating now of 134 shouldn’t stop him from going really well.
It was only 12 days ago that he was last seen, his first run since his Aintree romp coming over fences, ensuring he qualified for the National, in a good veterans chase at Newbury.
He looked a bit rusty that day but ran well enough off 145 over the bigger obstacles, finishing an 18-length fifth, tiring late on after moving into second four out.
Tiredness looked a valid excuse and it should’ve put him right for this, a slightly easier task (from a handicapping point of view, at least, although, you know, it is the Pertemps).
He’s run well at Cheltenham before so the track should be no problem, and off a light weight in another ridiculously competitive handicap he’s an appealing each-way bet.
Talking of tough puzzles, the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase at 4.10 features 23 horses, but the bet I like the most is the 33/1 (Ladbrokes ¼ 1,2,3,4, 25s General) about Venetia Williams’ GARDEFORTE.
Williams loves this race having won it three times and this fellow has a much better chance than odds of 33/1 suggest.
He looked like he was going to win at Ludlow last time off a mark of 137, a mistake at the fourth last seeing a clinging on Hugh Nugent eventually unseated, but it was evidence that he looks well treated and he gets to race here off the same mark with the same claimer on board.
Versatile regarding ground conditions, he won’t mind if it dries out a bit more and he has some cracking Festival form to his name having finished second in the Grand Annual off a 5lb higher mark two years ago.
All of Williams’ previous winners of this race had form at Cheltenham, so she’s clearly following a tried and tested blueprint, and if he cuts out the mistakes he looks to have a big chance at a big price.
Finally, the Kim Muir at 5.30, where CAPTAIN CHAOS (22/1 Ladbrokes) could win a second renewal of the race for Gina Andrews.
Andrews won the 2017 contest on 40/1 chance Domesday Book for Stuart Edmunds and Dan Skelton has booked her for Captain Chaos, a horse that was by no means disgraced in chasing home Ultima third Lake View Lad a couple of times in December.
Second on both occasions, the form from both contests has worked out well, with the application of blinkers seemingly the catalyst for his improved form.
He jumped well at Wetherby and wasn’t in great form when blinker-less and well beaten at Cheltenham back in October.
It could be worth forgiving that course form and trusting the headgear to see him run to the level he has the last two times he’s been to the track – form that definitely gives him a chance in this.
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: +349.49pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 GMT on 13/03/19.
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