Our racing expert Ben Linfoot seeks out the value at Ascot on Saturday on a card featuring the Challenge Cup Handicap, Rous Stakes and Cumberland Lodge.
Recommended Bets: Saturday, October 5
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Silvestre De Sousa returned to action at Ascot on Friday when riding for his retained owners King Power and he could have a big Saturday winner in the same colours in the bet365 Challenge Cup (3.10 Ascot) this weekend.
There are some usual suspects heading the market here with course specialists Raising Sand and Ripp Orf disputing favouritism, and while they are two of many that could win this race it’s King Power’s and Ralph Beckett’s BATTERED (11/1 Paddy Power, Betfair) that looks underestimated, despite being well backed throughout Friday.
Formerly with William Haggas, Battered returned from a long absence for his new trainer at Newcastle in January and ran well in a close-up fourth off a mark of 99, before he seemed to bounce at Chelmsford the following month.
Another break followed, this time 205 days, but his two efforts in September more than hinted at a potentially fruitful autumn campaign as he ran well at both Doncaster and then at Newmarket last week on faster than ideal ground.
His run on the Rowley Mile last time out was particularly encouraging, as he held every chance in the closing stages and he ran right to the line for a one-length fourth behind Dubai Legacy where he finished amongst a bunch of in-form horses.
But the key to him could well be softer ground which he’ll get for the first time for his new yard on Saturday.
He's two from two on soft ground, winning easily at York in handicap company off a mark of 83 in the May of 2017, before he followed that up at Goodwood off 91 three months later, beating Sir Titan a head, the pair clear, and that rival won his next two starts at Goodwood.
Off 96 at Ascot, on his preferred ground, he looks feasibly handicapped and De Sousa, who was first and second on him from just two rides when he was with Haggas, can successfully link up with his old pal in what is admittedly a hot race.
Earlier on Dakota Gold bids to continue his superb run of form in the UK Hi-Fi Show Live Rous Stakes (2.00) but his winning run came to an end last time and he might be a tad more vulnerable than the market suggests under a penalty in this race.
With Tis Marvellous liking Ascot but preferring a better surface and Danzeno another that likes faster ground, the suggestion is STAKE ACCAIM at 10/1 (Ladbrokes, Coral) for Dean Ivory as he goes very well on soft.
He’s won three times in soft ground and has been second on Haydock heavy, so he’ll have no trouble in the mud and he’s been holding his form well since returning off a 517-day break in April.
That comeback run was a 25/1 win at Newbury on the soft ground, while his efforts at Nottingham and Deauville in August were respectable on conditions a bit faster than he’d like, while the same excuse is valid for his latest slightly below-par run at Longchamp.
The last time he visited Ascot he won the 2017 Shergar Cup Dash with six 100-plus rated rivals amongst the vanquished horses, so he looks all set for a big run under Franny Norton with the 9/1 available more than fair in the conditions.
Finally, SEXTANT (13/2 William Hill) can enhance his already excellent Ascot record in the Property Raceday Targets £3M Cumberland Lodge Stakes (2.35).
Sir Michael Stoute’s giant son of Sea The Stars loves swinging around Swinley Bottom and is two from two at the track this season thanks to wins in handicap company off 89 and 98.
He's probably a bigger price than he should be on the back of a poor effort in soft ground at Newbury in August where he was beaten 13 lengths by Technician, but I suspect that run was as much to do with the trip as the conditions and it just looked a bit too much too soon for him.
I can't believe a horse of his size won’t like ploughing through the mud and he got back on the winning trail at Chester last time, a track you wouldn’t have thought would be ideal, in a good little Listed race where he beat Manuela De Vega.
That took Louis Steward's record on him to three from three and the jockey could well extend that sequence here at what is a happy hunting ground for the Queen’s charge.
Posted at 1700 BST on 04/10/19
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: +350.39pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Sky Bet Guarantee
Sky Bet are offering EXTRA VALUE to followers of the Sporting Life Value Bet column with exclusive guaranteed advertised prices* for at least an hour from the time of publication 5pm-6pm max £25). Just make sure you're logged in and click on the links to automatically populate your betslip (*does not include Sky Bet Money Back As Cash races)...
Related horse racing links
We are committed in our support of responsible gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.