Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selections in three handicaps at Chester and Sandown on Saturday and he's backing Haddaf to get his third win of the season in Esher.
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Jim Crowley stole the show at York last Saturday with a double including the Sky Bet Ebor itself and he may well grab some of the limelight again at Sandown this weekend despite having just the one ride at the Esher track.
That is aboard ALMOREB in the Best Odds Guaranteed At 188Bet Handicap (2.25) and at 11/1 (bet365, 10/1 General) he rates a good bet now he steps up in trip to 1m2f with a recent run under his belt.
The son of Raven’s Pass is bred for 10 furlongs – his dam won over the trip – and he’s only tried it once before; in heavy ground at Salisbury at the end of last season where he was second to a horse that stays a mile-and-a-half well.
He’s worth another go at the distance and it could well bring about sufficient improvement to see him win off a mark of 88 given he's won off 87 and finished second off 90 and 92 in the past.
Last year he won at Sandown over a mile off a mark of 82 and was then third back at the track later in the season when running off a 10lb higher rating.
He clearly likes it here and there was plenty to like about his recent spin around Newbury where he was outpaced over a mile running off a big weight before he stayed on again close home to almost grab second.
That came after a two-month break and he’s entitled to come on for that run here, while the rain they had on Wednesday was welcome for him, too. He wouldn’t want it to dry out too much, but ‘Good’ ground would be fine.
Crowley should be able to adopt a nice prominent position from stall six and he might just be in a better place to strike than the likes of History Writer and Communique, the duo at the top of the market, both of which are drawn wide.
Earlier on at Sandown Rapid Applause is the one to beat in the 188Bet Extra Place Races Handicap (1.55) over five furlongs following wins at Beverley and Hamilton since joining Mick Easterby.
However, he’s pretty short considering he could be a hostage to fortune from stall three given his hold-up style and I’d rather back James Tate’s HADDAF at 12/1 (General).
This son of Dawn Approach loves Sandown having won at the track twice before this season; a handicap off 94 in April followed by a Listed contest where he beat four horses rated 100-plus in June.
He hasn’t won in four starts since, but he is back down to 97 now having been rated 101 and he didn’t shape too badly at all in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood last time where he finished a six-and-three-quarter length 18th.
He's much better over a strongly-run stiff five and he has his ideal conditions on Saturday with James Doyle back in the saddle.
This represents a drop in grade for him and he could well outclass his rivals at a track he likes. The general 12/1 is very fair.
Finally, it could be worth chancing BARAWEEZ at 12/1 (Coral, 888Sport) from a wide draw at Chester in the Foxy Bingo Fur-Ever Friends Handicap (2.05).
Being drawn 12 of 12 at Chester over the extended seven furlongs couldn’t be described as ideal for any horse, but it should be less of an inconvenience to Baraweez given he’s won twice at the track this season after being held up.
Those were admittedly from low draws, but he’s likely to be dropped in from his wide berth, just like he was for his two wins, and he simply loves a turning track as is evidenced by his best runs coming here and at Galway.
His Chester wins came off marks off 89 and 93, so he’s not badly treated off 95 and Conor McGovern takes a further 5lb off making him attractively weighted.
He’ll need the gaps to open at the right time, but with plenty of pace in there thanks to Muntadab, Documenting, Lake Volta and Poet’s Society, there’s a good chance this will be run to suit those held up out the back.
Such a scenario could well negate the impact of his wide berth and, at 12/1, he’s worth a punt.
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: +341.18pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 BST on 31/08/18.