Ben Linfoot seeks out the value in the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran Park on Thursday and he's taking two against the field including a 33/1 chance.
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Invitation Only heads the betting for the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran Park on Thursday and it’s easy to see why.
He looks the pick of Willie Mullins’ eight-strong challenge with Ruby Walsh riding, while his two third-place finishes in Grade One company as a novice chaser offers hope there’s leverage in his handicap mark of 152.
He should come on for his seasonal reappearance as well, while the fact he is unproven at the trip doesn’t look too much of a negative.
Unseated at the second last in that extraordinary renewal of the Growise Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown over three miles in April, he was still going well at the time and was probably in the process of producing a career best.
It’s not easy to pick holes in him, but he hasn’t been missed by the market and the general 5/1 looks skinny enough, while his presence at the top of the betting is one reason why we’re getting very fair odds of 14/1 (BetVictor, Coral) about stablemate and ownermate UP FOR REVIEW.
He’s even more unexposed than Invitation Only over fences after just five chase starts and his best winning performance in the sphere came at Gowran in March when he bolted up by 15 lengths.
That was over 2m4f but he has plenty of room for improvement now he steps up in trip to 3m1f over fences for the first time.
Twice a winner over three miles over hurdles, he loves a stamina test, soft ground and going right-handed and arguably the best performance of his career came when he won a Grade Two novice hurdle at Punchestown over three miles in heavy ground.
A break of 256 days looks a positive, too, as he’s won off breaks of 322, 315 and 202 days before, while he was second on his seasonal reappearance last year after 668 days off the track.
That enforced absence meant he began his novice chasing career a year later than ideal, but he can make up for lost time this season beginning on Thursday off what looks a competitive handicap mark of 146.
Mullins and Gordon Elliott account for 14 of the 18 runners, but partly as a consequence of that SUMOS NOVIOS is available at a generous-looking 33/1 (bet365 ¼ 1,2,3,4) and he’s worth backing each-way as well.
Liam Burke’s horse was sent off 8/1 for this race last year but he weakened rapidly after being bang there three out and just looked to tire in the conditions on his third run of the season.
Connections have admitted in the past he’s a fragile horse and the key could be catching him when he’s primed and ready, which he should be for this after an encouraging reappearance over an inadequate two miles in the Hilly Way Chase last time.
Understandably outpaced in that, he finished his race nicely for fifth and went some way to proving he still has the engine for a task like this.
On the pick of his form he has a much better chance than odds of 33/1 imply, his comfortable defeat of the 156-rated Mala Beach at Cork last April a good example of his abilities as it showed off his talent, stamina and why he might be reasonably well handicapped off 149.
He loves soft ground and the stable won this race three years ago with My Murphy, a horse that was ridden by Robbie Power (has a good strike-rate for the Burke yard – eight winners from 43 at 19 per cent, +£22.50 to a £1 level-stake) as well.
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: +352.49pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 GMT on 23/01/19.
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