Our racing expert Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on day two of the July Festival at Newmarket and he has three selections at big prices.
Recommended Bets: Friday, July 12
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It could be a good day for Roger Varian on day two of Newmarket’s July Festival with Qabala gunning for Falmouth Stakes glory, while Daahyeh will be aiming to justify short-priced favouritism in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes and he has some strong chances in the handicaps, too.
Daahyeh is the shortest price of the lot on the back of her Royal Ascot win in the Albany last time, but she only conquered the challenge of CELTIC BEAUTY (7/1 General) close to the line and I do think Ken Condon’s runner-up is slightly overpriced to reverse that form.
She travelled the best of the pair for much of the race and traded at 1.25 in-running on Betfair at one point, before Daahyeh proved too strong at the finish.
Looking at that race it seems the more of a speed test Friday’s race is then the more things sway in the favour of Celtic Beauty and that’s exactly what she’ll face at Newmarket, a much quicker track and on a likely much quicker terrain as well.
We’re looking at good to firm ground and that should really suit this daughter of No Nay Never, who might well have beaten Daahyeh last time had the ground been fast instead of good to soft.
It could be significant connections are prepared to take on their Albany conqueror once again and the very different conditions look a big reason behind that, while further progression looks likely given she’s come on for each run.
Daahyeh deserves her market position, but whether she should be 13/8 with the Condon raider a much bigger 13/2 chance is the thing I take issue with, so the Irish filly is worth backing with conditions in her favour.
Later on the bet365 Trophy looks a good race in its own right, but it’s potentially a key trial for the £1m Sky Bet Ebor as well, with a number of horses bidding to enhance their claims for the Knavesmire highlight next month.
John Gosden’s Ben Vrackie will be popular after his good run in the Duke Of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot, while former Melrose winner Secret Advisor has been well backed following his return off a long absence in the same race.
They’ve got obvious chances but have been well found in the market, unlike DESERT WIND (16/1 General 1/5 1,2,3,4,5) who comes into this under the radar despite a career-best effort last time.
That came on the Kempton polytrack over the furthest distance he’s ever raced, 1m4f, giving hope there’s even more to come now he tackles another two furlongs.
He is, admittedly, four from seven on the all-weather and zero from four on turf, but he has run some fine races on grass, especially when the ground has been riding good to firm.
He’ll likely get those conditions again on Friday, just as he did when he was fourth in last year’s Britannia at Royal Ascot and when he was a three-length fourth to Communique at this meeting.
That was over 10 furlongs and he was desperately short of room before staying on once he found daylight. It was off just 5lb lower and gives hope that he’ll act at this track, especially now he’s tried over further.
The form of his Kempton third earlier this season has worked out really well, while the turn of foot he showed to quicken from the rear last time out marks him out as a smart horse at the top of his game.
He’s likely to be held up here from stall one under Stevie Donohue, who has a good record for Ed Vaughan (10 wins from 43 rides at 23 per cent), and if he finishes off as well as he did last time he’s a danger to all.
Finally, THE TRADER (11/1 General) can continue Mark Johnston’s love affair with the opening bet365 Handicap.
Johnston has won the race in five of the last six years and has a trio of contenders this time around as he bids to extend his exceptional record.
Dark Vision and Oasis Prince are interesting runners, but it’s The Trader that leaps off the page considering his improvement since he’s stepped up in trip to 10 furlongs.
His first go at the trip was at Chelmsford in May and he ran a cracker, trying to concede 10lb to Fox Premier who subsequently won again, easily, off a 6lb higher mark at Sandown.
After that The Trader was fifth in the always-hot London Gold Cup at Newbury, before his second to Le Don De Vie at Epsom where he wandered about in the closing stages after a tough battle with the eventual easy winner.
Both of those last two pieces of form are working out well and the gelding operation The Trader has had since Epsom could be the making of him.
He’s not been allowed to dominate yet, either, but he could well do so under Joe Fanning on Friday as there doesn’t look to be an awful lot of potential pace pressure, other than the sometimes-keen Allmankind.
Things could pan out nicely for The Trader, then, and he’s worth backing at any double-figure odds.
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: +377.19pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
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Posted at 1700 BST on 11/07/19.