Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selections on day two of Doncaster's St Leger Festival and he's got two bets including a strong fancy in the fillies' nursery.
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The St Leger Festival steps up a gear on day two with the Group Two DFS Park Hill Stakes taking centre stage and the king of Doncaster, Andrea Atzeni, could well continue his love affair with Town Moor aboard Pilaster.
She was last seen breaking the hearts of Maid Up fans at Glorious Goodwood and that form was franked when Andrew Balding’s filly managed to go one better in the March Stakes at the same track three weeks later.
With Maid Up going for the St Leger on Saturday Pilaster could well boost her claims here and though Balding saddles the most talented opposition again in the shape of Horseplay, this looks a good opportunity for the Roger Varian-trained filly in receipt of 10lb from her main market rival.
The William Hill May Hill Stakes is tough with two or three fillies holding leading claims and while I wouldn’t mind seeing a fancy price about Sand Share for next year’s Oaks, it looks a race to watch and learn from.
I do think there is a good bet, though, in the opening British Stallion Studs EBF ‘Carrie Red’ Fillies’ Nursery at 1.50 with STRICT TEMPO available at 12/1 (General).
The penny dropped with Balding’s filly last time at Nottingham where she won a novice race well despite hanging a bit in the closing stages and it was a performance that suggested there is still plenty of improvement to come.
She’s from a family that really improve with racing as she’s a half-sister to Dancing Star and Foxtrot Lady, the 2016 Stewards’ Cup winner and 2018 Stewards’ Cup favourite respectively.
Dancing Star won on her handicap debut off a mark of 75 and Foxtrot Lady won her second handicap start off 80 after being beaten into second off 83 on her first go.
More importantly, however, her full brother Dance Of Fire won on his handicap debut off a mark of 76 at Doncaster at this very meeting in 2014 in a nursery on his fourth run as a juvenile.
It’s surely significant, then, that Balding aims Strict Tempo at this race and, given he knows the family so well and has had success with her siblings off similar marks in similar races, she makes plenty of appeal.
Perhaps she’ll be more of a miler next year judging by her sire, Norse Dancer, and her full brother, but she showed plenty of zip last time and this six-and-a-half-furlong trip could be ideal for her at this stage of her development.
Finally, the Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes at 3.35 could well line the pockets of Richard Hannon who runs six including likely favourite Aim Power.
She has an obvious chance on these terms judging by her last two runs at Goodwood, but she hasn’t been missed by the market and it could be worth taking her on with Ed Walker’s TRIGGERED at 16/1 (General).
Walker’s stable are in great form at present and Triggered contributed two wins from two runs in August thanks to victories at Ffos Las and Catterick.
He looks a rapid improver and I thought he was good value for a great deal more than the official winning distance of a nose when prevailing at Catterick last time as he went for home a long way out before just holding on from the fast-finishing Caballero.
That rival has franked the form subsequently by winning by almost three lengths at Musselburgh and the fourth home, Aloysius Lilius, has won since as well at the same Scottish track.
It looks good form and Triggered can improve a bundle if held onto a bit longer, so it’s a massive positive that perennial waiting jockey Jamie Spencer takes over in the saddle.
He does have plenty to find on official ratings with the likes of The Irish Rover, but I think he’ll prove to be a good bit better than an 86-rated horse by the end of the year and I’m sure Doncaster will suit.
Back in July he ran a nice race on just his second start when a promising fifth in a Doncaster maiden and his sire Dandy Man has a good record with his progeny on Town Moor, winning seven races at 14 per cent including with the likes of Chatez and Orvar.
That figure improves to almost 20 per cent when you only take into account races with cut in the ground and, though he hasn’t encountered it yet in his fledgling career, Good to Soft conditions could also trigger further 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. Running total: +340.09pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 BST on 12/09/18.