Ben Linfoot seeks out the value in the 888Sport Handicap Chase at Kempton and the Vertem Eider Handicap Chase at Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.
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It was the Paul Nicholls Show last weekend and it could well be again this, with the Ditcheat handler sending out 17 long-time vaccinated runners around the country.
Secret Investor has a good chance in the Pendil Novices’ Chase, Vicente looks the right favourite in the Eider Chase at Newcastle and in the day’s feature, now the 888Sport Handicap Chase at Kempton (formerly the Racing Post Chase), he has three chances in Adrien Du Pont, Modus and Romain De Senam.
Adrien Du Pont looks to have a tough task off 7lb higher in a better race than the one he won last time, but Modus looks a huge player if he stays considering his excellent form around Kempton in the past.
It is a big if, though, and at the odds I’d rather take the 10/1 (William Hill) about course specialist DOUBLE SHUFFLE who has been given a real chance by the handicapper.
His record at Kempton is superb, as he’s won a handicap chase here off 143, was second in this race two years ago off 149, he was a one-length second to Might Bite in the 2017 King George and he wasn’t disgraced in this season’s renewal when fifth behind Clan Des Obeaux.
The handicapper has dropped him 12lb in his last four runs, however, so he’s hugely interesting off a mark of 154 in his first go in handicap company for eight starts - the last of which was a second at Chepstow off a rating of 151.
Not only does he love Kempton, but he loves good ground as well and conditions look perfect for him on Saturday, so there’s a good chance he could outclass and outstay this field.
His trainer, Tom George, won this race a couple of times with Nacarat, another horse who was a Kempton specialist, and prices around 10/1 look very fair for another classy operator from the yard.
Some lurking novices look the main dangers with Glen Rocco understandably heading the betting after his win over the course and distance last time.
He’s up 13lb now in a much better race, though, and he’ll have to jump better in this field. He could do, but at 3/1 I’d rather look elsewhere and I’m not convinced Talkischeap should be as short as he is in the betting despite his good novice form.
I do want another string to my bow in the race, just in case Double Shuffle proves vulnerable to a lightly-weighted novice, and the one that looks overpriced is Neil Mulholland’s WALT at 20/1 (bet365, Ladbrokes).
Walt looked a moderate horse up until two starts ago, where the application of a visor and tongue strap perked him up no end.
A 15-length win at Taunton was the immediate reward for the use of that particular headgear combination and he almost followed up, wearing the same equipment, last time at Newbury off a rating of 129.
A couple of pounds out of the weights that day, he looked the likely winner late in the contest and traded at 1.33 in-running on the Betfair exchange, before De Rasher Counter reeled him in late on.
That looks good form, though, as De Rasher Counter chased home Now McGinty (similar performances at the weights) at Chepstow next time and that horse was second to Mister Malarky in the Grade Two Reynoldstown last weekend.
A rating of 134 doesn’t look the limit of his abilities judging by his last two runs, while Mulholland has previous in this race as well courtesy of Pilgrims Bay’s win (at the expense of Double Shuffle) two years ago.
Over at Newcastle it’s the Vertem Eider Handicap Chase and I can’t help but be seduced by the claims of Charlie Longsdon’s novice JUST YOUR TYPE at 8/1 (bet365, 888Sport).
He looked like he was going to win easily at Exeter in novice company last time, from horses rated in the mid-to-late 130s, before a stumble two out (when in control) ended his chance.
Everything in behind was struggling while he was going well, so he looks a strong stayer, and it’s interesting Longsdon pitches him into a handicap of this nature for his debut over the trip.
He has run in handicap company before, in a novice race at Newbury in December, and that race has worked out well with the third home, the aforementioned Mister Malarky, winning the Reynoldstown.
It has to be taken on trust that his fall hasn’t taken the edge off him, but I’m happy to do that considering he could be chucked in.
The booking of Sean Quinlan is a positive as well. The jockey is eight from 34 at 24 per cent (+81.11 to £1 level stakes) for Longsdon in his career, and this is just the second time he’s booked him this season.
You’d think Quinlan will let Just Your Type bowl along in a prominent position, and if he’s as well-handicapped as I think he might be he could take some catching.
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: +340.49pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 GMT on 22/02/19.
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