Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selection on day two of the Moet & Chandon July Festival at Newmarket on Friday.
Recommended Bets: Value Bet, July Festival, Day Two
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Alpha Centauri is the big draw at Newmarket on Friday as the runaway Coronation Stakes winner takes on six fillies and mares in the Group One Falmouth Stakes.
We know she’s got a class edge on her generation and the older horses in this race don’t look in her league either, so odds of 4/6 are perfectly understandable.
It looks a no-bet race and unfortunately small fields are a theme of the afternoon, with even the Silver Bunbury ending up with just seven contenders.
Five of those could well dispute favouritism, which shows you just how tight the market is and, while it’s an interesting race tactically, finding a bet isn’t easy.
It’s the bet365 Handicap over 1m2f at 3.00 that appeals as the best betting race on the card with three or four towards the top of the market worth taking on.
Wissahickon, Zaaki, Chief Ironside and Beringer are all trading at single-figure odds but all have gone up in the weights for recent performances and might be susceptible to something better handicapped.
Mark Johnston’s runners have to be respected given he’s won four of the last five renewals, with Communique of particular interest with Silvestre de Sousa back in the saddle, but the one that I think is overpriced is Hugo Palmer’s DUKHAN at 25/1 (Coral, 20s General).
This horse simply didn’t seem to stay on his first go at 1m4f at Royal Ascot last time but he’s worth a go back at 1m2f on his second start since being gelded with the cheekpieces back on.
At least he’s come down 3lb for his last two runs and a mark of 91 makes him of interest on his best form, which came on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course on his first two starts this season.
They were really good efforts off 87 and 93, firstly behind Old Persian who won at Royal Ascot and is now rated 110, and secondly in a race where nothing went right for him off a muddling pace.
On the back of those efforts he was sent off at 8/1 for the competitive London Gold Cup at Newbury and he ran well there considering he missed the break.
Rushed up the inside by Frankie Dettori to make up the ground, he was lit up and ran keen, doing well to be beaten just six lengths in sixth at the line.
That form is key as three rivals reoppose here; Communique, Poet’s Prince and Chief Ironside, but Dukhan gets significant weight from the trio (11lb, 6lb and 11lb respectively) after not being beaten too far.
Back at this trip, if he settles, and a likely good gallop suggests he’ll have no excuses on that score, he can go well under Harry Bentley who has a good record when riding for Palmer (11/59 at 19 per cent).
Posted at 1700 BST on 12/07/18.
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. Running total: +354.34pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).