Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet on day one of the William Hill St Leger Festival at Doncaster and he's chancing one in the Scarborough Stakes at a massive price.
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It’s a low-key start to the William Hill St Leger Festival at Doncaster on Wednesday but I do think there’s a bet at a huge price in the feature race, the Listed D C Training And Development Scarborough Stakes at 3.00.
We’re approaching the time of year where you can get some real upsets in conditions races due to changeable weather and the freshness factor becomes more important as well with several horses coming to the end of arduous campaigns.
Indeed, in this race last year Razzmatazz almost caused a big shock when beating all bar Encore D’Or at 33/1 and she hit the front with a furlong to go only to be reeled in during the last 100 yards on what was just the fourth run of her life.
This year’s race looks a good one to have a swing at, as the standard is below that of previous renewals with the top-rated horse only on a mark of 106. There’s certainly nothing of the ilk of Sole Power running here who was rated 115 when he won the race in 2012.
On top of this Global Applause strikes me as the kind of favourite we have to take on, as he was a very in-and-out individual for Ed Dunlop and I wouldn’t bet on him replicating the form of his recent Sandown win on his second start for Robert Cowell.
El Astronaute ran below form on his only previous try in Listed company and might miss the hustle and bustle of a big-field handicap, while Final Venture has been beaten in his last five goes at this level including this race last year when sent off at 6/4.
Nothing else in the race is rated above 100 and I’m not sure that WINGS OF THE ROCK (100/1 Sky Bet, William Hill, Coral, Bet Victor 1/5 1,2,3) has anywhere near as much to find as her official rating of 82 and, more importantly, her odds suggest.
She’s been highly tried by both Scott Dixon and Karl Burke, so she must show plenty of ability at home, after running in the Queen Mary, Molecomb and Flying Childers as a juvenile before running in Listed company at Sandown last time.
That was 88 days ago, so she’s got the freshest legs coming into this after just four runs this campaign, and she ran a belter at the Esher track, showing plenty of speed to take the field along before rallying well once headed to ensure third at 50/1.
The daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar beat horses rated 100, 101 and 105 that day and the key to her looked to be letting her bowl along up front with the hood removed.
She’s been blighted by not settling throughout her career, hence why she has one win from 11 with a hood applied for six of those starts.
However, she looked much more straightforward when sent to the front last time and I’m not sure Sandown really suited her with its stiff finish given the early pace she showed that day, even if she did finish her race well.
Doncaster could well be much more to her liking and with Burke’s horses in good form it’s worth chancing that both the handicapper and bookmakers have got this one wrong.
WATCH: Dave Ord and Ben Linfoot discuss the St Leger Festival
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: +342.09pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 BST on 11/09/18.