Our racing expert Ben Linfoot has a big-priced each-way selection for the Victoria Cup at Ascot on Saturday while he also fancies one at Lingfield.
Recommended Bets: Saturday, May 11
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With over 25 millimetres of rain since Tuesday the ground has turned soft at Ascot and that looks one of the key factors ahead of Saturday’s feature handicap – the £105,000 Tote Victoria Cup.
Roger Charlton’s Blue Mist shouldn’t mind the ground, but this is his first go at the trip and while he brings plenty of potential to the table his inexperience might just find him out in a race of this nature.
He’s not easy to strike a line through, as his form is good and he could rank a fair bit higher in the handicap in the coming weeks and months, but with the Roger Charlton yard not quite firing yet I’m happy to take a watching brief with him.
Kynren gets his ground and he brings a solid block of form to this, so it’s no wonder he’s found himself 10/1 favourite along with Cape Byron.
Both demand respect, but both are hard to win with and when it comes to percentage calls it’s quite easy to look past the duo at these sort of prices.
Ripp Orf wasn’t far behind Kynren in the Lincoln but ran below his best at Newbury last time. Soft ground, seven furlongs and Ascot hold no fear for him, though, so he’s another to bear in mind.
At around 11/1, however, I only thought he was fairly priced considering that laboured Newbury run and, all things considered, I’m quite happy to take on the bunch of horses heading the market.
Cases can be made for plenty, but at 40/1 (bet365 1/4 1,2,3,4,5) and 33/1 (General, Sky Bet, Betfair Sportsbook and Paddy Power are 1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6) David O’Meara’s HAJJAM looks overpriced.
This son of Paco Boy loves soft ground, as he’s never run a bad race on such conditions and he won an Ayr handicap on heavy last September when coming through horses well to get the better of Alemaratalyoum.
He won that off 89, so he looks fairly handicapped off 93 this weekend and he has a nice batch of Ascot form to his name over this straight track and trip.
Second in an 18-runner handicap to Shady McCoy on his first go here in 2017, he was beaten just under two lengths in the International last summer before finishing five lengths off Ripp Orf in the Cunard Handicap (when racing amongst the unfavoured far side) in September.
His run in the International was particularly good, as he was held up in the rear and ended up being right out on the wing of the field towards the stands’ side where he finished very nicely for seventh.
Drawn in eight on Saturday, he has pace to his inside and it is with hope that he’ll be better positioned than he has been on his last two visits to the track.
He certainly looks to be working towards a career-best in terms of his form, his runs at Newmarket and Newcastle this season good runs that he can build upon.
At Newmarket he ran on well on his seasonal reappearance in a hot race that is beginning to work out well, while he beat the horses he raced with at Newcastle last time where his in-running low of 1.24 on Betfair tells you that he looked set to be much better than fourth at a late stage.
Those races should have put him spot on for this fitness-wise and his return to a big field at Ascot on ideal conditions can inspire a good performance. With the O’Meara yard in good form, he’s worth an each-way bet.
Finally, it’s soft ground over at Lingfield as well for the Oaks and Derby trials, but the best bet on that card looks to be Dean Ivory’s EIRENE in the RaceBets Million Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes at 10/1 (Betfair Sportsbook, Paddy Power).
The absolute key factor here is the ground, as the market leaders Pretty Baby and Perfection are unproven on it while I’m not sure it’s what the likes of Dancing Star and Betty F want, either.
Eirene, however, relishes soft ground, as she proved on various occasions as a juvenile and again in the Wentworth Stakes at Doncaster in November where she was a good third to Donjuan Triumphant.
She’s in good form, too, as she improved plenty for her seasonal reappearance when third over six at Chelmsford last time, her staying-on effort there suggesting she’ll enjoy being stepped back up in trip to seven furlongs.
Her Doncaster form shows she likes straight tracks and there looks to be a good bit of pace for her to chase in this from likely prominent racers Dancing Star, Pretty Baby and outsider of the field Shepherd Market.
She doesn’t have much to find with the best of these anyway, but with conditions improving her chance further she looks to be the bet at a generous 10/1.
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: +330.69pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 BST on 10/05/19.