Our racing expert Ben Linfoot seeks out the value on day one of the July Festival at Newmarket and he has one each-way selection on Thursday.
Recommended Bets: Thursday, July 11
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Masar is the star attraction on day one of the July Festival at Newmarket as the 2018 Derby winner bids to get back on track in the Group Two Princess of Wales’s Stakes (3.35).
He fluffed his lines somewhat at Royal Ascot after almost unseating James Doyle coming out of the stalls and had to settle for fifth in the end in what was an underwhelming return in the Hardwicke Stakes.
However, Charlie Appleby seems very confident that he’s come on plenty for that run and if he has he’s going to be tough to beat escaping a Group One penalty for last year’s Epsom win.
Tactics could be important and Communique could get a soft lead, but I think Dashing Willoughby will keep him honest back down in trip, setting things up for a Masar-Mirage Dancer duel.
Those two head the market and the odds look about right to me, while I’m not in a hurry to take on Eagles By Day in the Bahrain Trophy or Visinari in the July Stakes.
For an opening day bet, then, we’re left with the bet365 Handicap for three-year-old sprinters over the six furlongs at 3.00 and Aplomb heads the market in this for William Haggas.
He’s got an obvious chance on the back of an eye-catching win at Nottingham last time, where he extricated himself from trouble to win quite cosily.
The problem is, that was on soft ground and we’re looking at good to firm conditions on Thursday with only a light shower expected.
He has something to prove on faster going and the second favourite, Magical Wish, has no issues on that score having finished a close-up second on similar ground at Sandown on Saturday.
Richard Hannon’s horse is 6lb well-in on the back of that effort, but the quick five-day turnaround is an unknown obstacle for him even if he should be absolutely fine dropping back in trip.
Those two look the most progressive horses in the field, but there are grounds for taking on the pair and away from the duo it looks a pretty tight handicap.
Track position and the run of the race could be vital, while the draw could have a say, too. The pace looks to be middle to stands’ side and they could well split into two groups making for a complicated puzzle.
However, JACK’S POINT (25/1 General 1/5 1,2,3,4,5) is an interesting runner from stall three on the stands’ side and on ground he likes he could relish dropping back to six furlongs.
William Muir’s horse beat Magical Wish as a juvenile (albeit when in receipt of 6lb) and ran a couple of good races on the July Course behind Garrus and Jash, before his best effort at two which was a close-up third in a Listed race at Deauville.
He stuck to sprinting as a two-year-old but has been running over seven furlongs in three runs since being gelded at three, shaping each time as though he’d appreciate coming back in trip.
Now he gets the chance to show what he can do in what will likely be a strongly-run race over six and there is plenty of encouragement to take from his last three performances.
At Goodwood in May he was in front with a furlong to go over seven after showing bright speed throughout and he eventually finished second to the progressive Beat Le Bon who won again at Haydock on Saturday.
After that he wasn’t beaten far by Awe, again over seven, here on the July Course where the trip just seemed to stretch him, while he again lost a couple of places late on at Chester last time having made up his ground quickly after a tardy start.
Back over six he can improve on those efforts and if he does he’s firmly in the mix here, especially from an each-way perspective.
The icing on the cake is the booking of the red-hot Danny Tudhope, two from three for Muir and in the form of his life on the back of a superb Royal Ascot, with a title charge beginning to look a real possibility now.
Jack’s Point would be one of his unlikelier winners, but not as unlikely as prices around 25/1 suggest and at those odds he’s worth backing each-way.
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: +379.19pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
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Posted at 1700 BST on 10/07/19.