Our racing expert Ben Linfoot had a 16/1 winner at York on Friday and he has three big-priced selections for Newbury and Newmarket on Saturday.
Recommended Bets: Saturday, May 18
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It’s a wide open Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday with Le Brivido and Laurens heading the betting at around 4/1.
Le Brivido is lightly-raced and made an eye-catching debut for Aidan O’Brien, but he’s short enough considering he’s never won over a mile and he was disappointing when last seen in England.
Laurens is a top-class filly, but she has to prove she can do it against the boys and first time up might not be the time to catch her.
There are plenty of ingredients for an upset here as Beat The Bank has yet to win at this level, Lord Glitters is an infrequent winner and then we are getting into horses with plenty more to prove.
Ken Condon’s ROMANISED would be one of those, but there was lots to like about his reappearance last time and at 22/1 (Paddy Power 1/5 1,2,3,4) he’s worth a bet.
Around this time last year he won the Irish 2,000 Guineas when capitalising on a strong pace set by US Navy Flag and things didn’t really pan out for him in three tough assignments subsequently.
Still, he didn’t fare too badly at Deauville when fifth behind Alpha Centauri and on Saturday he should get his optimum conditions; a strongly run mile on decent ground.
His reappearance run is key, as he shaped really nicely over seven furlongs in the Gladness Stakes at Naas, getting no run in behind horses but keeping on well to be less than a two-length fifth.
That was the same race in which Le Brivido caught the eye, but Romanised’s run was just as significant and he was only beaten half-a-length by the O’Brien horse giving him 5lb.
With all eyes on Le Brivido, Romanised looks a big price at five times the odds of the favourite, especially with a strong pace looking likely thanks to Ostilio, Laurens, Beat The Bank and others.
Earlier on the Newbury card it’s the Al Zubarah London Gold Cup Handicap (3.00) featuring a whole host of promising sorts.
Roger Charlton has unleashed top-class performers in this race in the past and his Headman could be another, while Roger Varian won this with Defoe a couple of years ago and his Mackaar is interesting on handicap debut.
There is very little between Solid Stone and War Tiger on their Newmarket run, so the latter could be a spot of value at three times the price of the former, while Forest Of Dean is a danger to all following his Doncaster success despite an 8lb rise.
However, the bet in the race has to be HTILOMINLO for the in-form Sylvester Kirk at 25/1 (Betfair Sportsbook, Paddy Power, Boylesports 1/5 1,2,3,4).
This improving handicapper is getting weight from everything and he was unlucky not to win on his first two goes in handicaps at Salisbury and Goodwood just recently.
Mugged late on at Salisbury going down by just a short head, he ran six days later at Goodwood before he was reassessed and he didn’t enjoy the smoothest of passages on his way to a half-length second in Sussex.
He was a bit unlucky to run into a well-handicapped Roger Varian-trained improver there, but he sprinted four lengths clear of the third off a slow gallop that wouldn’t have suited.
Indeed, he’s likely to be going over 1m4f at some point, but it’s telling Kirk is keeping him at 10 furlongs for now, perhaps with an eye to the Epsom handicap he has such a good record in on Derby day.
However, up just 4lb for those recent seconds, Htilominlo could well strike before then and Kirk has booked lightweight jockey Kieran O’Neill for the job, the rider who won aboard Gawdawpalin for the same trainer and owner on Derby day three years ago.
Drawn nicely in four towards the inside, there looks to be plenty of pace on here with The Trader, Sky Defender, Majestic Dawn and Dubai Instinct all possibles to go forward.
This test should suit him then and, while he won’t be the best horse in the race, he could well be the best handicapped and at 25/1 the market looks to be underestimating his chance.
Over at Newmarket Michael Bell’s JAMES WATT looks a good bet at 16/1 (Coral, Ladbrokes, 14/1 General) in the Betway Handicap over six furlongs at 3.15.
He bumped into a good horse in Moyassar (runs in Newbury’s opener) on the Rowley Mile last time but he wasn’t beaten far in third after dropping back to six from seven from a rating of 85 which he remains on.
That shows he has the required speed for this trip and that was only his second go in handicap company over six furlongs, the other being a neck third off a mark of 86 at Ascot.
He’s unexposed under these conditions, has shown he can handle the course and arrives in good form, with first-time blinkers applied in a bid to eke out a bit more improvement.
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: +335.69pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 BST on 17/05/19.