Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selections on day one of the Moet & Chandon July Festival at Newmarket on Thursday.
Recommended Bets: Value Bet, July Festival, Day One
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JAWWAAL (10/1 General) looks the best bet on the opening day of Newmarket’s Moet & Chandon July Festival in the bet365 Handicap (3.00) on Thursday.
The last five winners of this race all came out of the Charity Sprint at York in June, a race won this year by Encrypted with Jawwaal only ninth on the Knavesmire.
However, he was blocked in his run inside the final furlong and was allowed to coast home by Dane O’Neill, meaning he comes in here off an identical handicap mark of 89.
Beaten just three lengths by Encrypted and Savalas, he can reverse that form with those two having gone up 6lb and 5lb respectively.
He caught the eye in the Alex Scott Maiden at the Craven Meeting back in April, finishing a good fourth in that race, and he won his next two, both over seven furlongs, at Lingfield and Kempton.
It looks like he has the pace for six, though, especially in a big field with a likely strong gallop, and his trainer John Gosden has an excellent strike-rate in July Course handicaps (40/198 at 20.2%).
He’s drawn middle to far side in 13 and that’s where the pace looks to be with Buridan, Savalas, Helvetian and Embour drawn around him.
With that in mind the far side could well be the place to be and I can’t help but think things might drop into place for Nigel Tinkler’s ROUNDHAY PARK and, at 22/1 (Coral, Ladbrokes), he’s worth a saver.
He’s yet to prove he stays six furlongs, but the way he finished over five last time at Ripon suggests he should be fine, especially over a speedy six like this one.
I also like that he’s won a couple of times on Ripon’s undulations, suggesting the up and down nature of Newmarket won’t inconvenience him, while he only went up 2lb for that cosy success last time out.
Lewis Edmunds gets on well with him and takes a further 3lb off, fast ground is perfect for him and, all in all, he’s an in-form, improving horse with plenty in his favour that’s been underestimated.
The rest of the card looks a watch and learn exercise with the Bahrain Trophy kicking things off at 1.50.
I’m intrigued to see how Wells Farhh Go gets on up in trip to 1m5f, as he looks all about stamina, but he could improve his St Leger credentials even in gallant defeat and a watching brief is advised.
The Arqana July Stakes looks between Advertise and Van Beethoven on form, but Legends Of War is the fly in the ointment on the back of his easy success at Yarmouth on debut, where the £900,000 Scat Daddy cruised clear in grand style.
That just leaves the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Arqana Racing Club Stakes from the ITV races and I was half-tempted by Best Solution at 10/1, as he goes well fresh and on his best form he’s overpriced.
However, I’m yet to be convinced he wants the ground as quick as this and Mirage Dancer and Barsanti, on the back of Royal Ascot defeats, look all set to fight things out again just as they did in a Listed race at Ascot back in May.
Posted at 1700 BST on 11/07/18.
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: +357.34pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).