Our racing expert Ben Linfoot has three Value Bet selections for day four of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York including two in the £1m Sky Bet Ebor.
Recommended Bets: Ebor Festival, Day Four
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The Sky Bet Ebor Handicap with its £1million purse has attracted 22 quality stayers at York on Saturday and it’s a race oozing with quality, as you would expect.
At the top of the betting we have the remarkable King’s Advice, a son of Frankel going for his ninth consecutive win on turf, his class and attitude sure to see him go well for a long way in this race.
He’s disputing favouritism with top-weight Withhold, another horse on a real roll. He’s won the Cesarewitch, Northumberland and Marsh Cup at Newbury in three of his last four starts, the only recent blip on his record when he faced adversity in Australia.
Another that could go off favourite is Raheen House, one of only two horses to beat Enable and he gave her 5lb that day. He’s caught the eye in two runs at York for William Haggas and should be primed for a test he’s been targeted at from a long way out.
Those three deserve respect and picking holes in them isn’t easy. You keep thinking King’s Advice’s season will catch up with him at some point, perhaps Withhold will be caught out back in trip and maybe Raheen House would be vulnerable in a real battle.
But the main reason for not backing them here is that they’ve been well found in the market already, and in such a deep contest it could be worth taking them on with a couple.
Last year, the cream rose to the top with a John Gosden one-two that were first and third in the weights dominating the finish.
One of those, the runner-up, Weekender, is back for more off a 1lb lower mark and he has a chance, even if he does have work to do to reverse last time out York form with Red Verdon and Raheen House.
But in a tight and compressed handicapped it could well be that the unexposed horses towards the top of the weights hold the upper hand here and with that in mind WELLS FARHH GO looks a big price at 16/1 (General).
With just eight runs under his belt Wells Farhh Go is the least exposed horse in the field but he quickly attained a rating of 112 thanks to some classy efforts each season he’s been in training.
As a two-year-old he won the Acomb Stakes at this very meeting where he had Dee Ex Bee in behind, while as a three-year-old he won the Bahrain Trophy in the style of a very good horse.
Well fancied for the St Leger after that, his season ended in the Great Voltigeur, again at this meeting, so he perhaps wasn’t at his very best at York considering the long break he had afterwards.
Even so, it was a terrific run in a red-hot race. Fourth behind Old Persian, Cross Counter and Kew Gardens, only beaten just under five lengths, the first horse won the Sheema Classic subsequently, the runner-up went on to land the Melbourne Cup and the third horse won the St Leger.
Back from injury this year at Newmarket at the end of June, he was expected to need the run but won the Listed Fred Archer Stakes by four lengths from Walton Street and Barsanti in the style of a real stayer.
That was on good to firm ground, easing fears that he needs a bit of cut to be at his best, and he’s well worth forgiving his blip in the Goodwood Cup last time.
Rushed up to lead from a wide draw by David Allan, the downhill section in the early part of the race seemed to light him up and he just bolted, running far too freely to do himself any sort of justice.
It was also his first go at two miles and, back in trip, on a more conventional track, it’s worth chancing he settles much better in a race that looks tailor-made for him.
The other one I like is last year’s fourth MUSTAJEER at 16/1 (General).
Held up and ridden to get the trip last year on his first go at the distance, he proved he was good enough and proved he stays, running on for fourth despite a less-than-clear passage in the closing stages.
He comes into this year’s renewal off an identical mark of 108 and has been running well all year in Ireland, running behind Magical over 10 furlongs on a couple of occasions before improving when stepping back up in trip.
A neck second at Navan in the Vintage Crop, his final prep for the Ebor came when he was fifth in the Curragh Cup in June and it was a very nice race with York in mind.
He stayed on well that day, he should be finely-tuned for this assignment now and he’s had a week extra off this year then when he came into last year’s Ebor.
The Curragh Cup form has worked out nicely, too, with the second and fourth, Latrobe and Southern France, both having won since.
From a low draw in two Colin Keane should be able to pick a good early position and if he finishes like he did last year he’ll have a chance.
Earlier on the card the Sky Bet Melrose Handicap has attracted a smaller-than-usual field of 13, so KIEFER is a bit shorter than I’d hoped he would be at 7/1 (General) but he’s still worth backing at those odds.
Eve Johnson Houghton has a good record in York handicaps and has targeted this horse at this race from some way out, given he’s an improving three-year-old who is bred to stay.
A half-brother to Bauer who won at York and was beaten a nose in a Melbourne Cup, Kiefer ran on really well for third at Ascot last time on softer than ideal ground.
On that evidence he could really improve on better ground over two furlongs further and off a mark of 88 he has the look of a very well-handicapped horse.
Posted at 1700 BST on 23/08/19.
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: +358.19pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
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