Ben Linfoot continued his great start to the jumps season with 10/1 winner Bold Plan last weekend, don't miss his Value Bet preview for day one of the Ladbrokes Trophy meeting.
Recommended Bets: Friday, November 29
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It’s a cracking card at Newbury on Friday on day one of the Ladbrokes Trophy meeting and racegoers will be treated to the seasonal reappearance of Paisley Park and the second chasing start from the exciting Champ.
The pair are key horses not only on Friday but throughout the season, too, and they have the ability to light up the campaign right through to the spring festivals.
Plenty of punters will be putting them in a Friday double and, of course, it could well cop, but I’m keen to take on the pair at the prices as they look skinny enough to me.
Paisley Park looks a superstar and he’s in the hands of an excellent trainer in Emma Lavelle, but I just feel he could be at his most vulnerable first time out in the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle (3.00) with a long season ahead of him.
Lavelle has spoken about owner Andrew Gemmell’s desire to take this horse to Punchestown in the spring and she’s training him with a long campaign in mind, while she described him as a ‘big unit’ last week who needed his away day at the Newbury gallop.
He might well have the class to get away with being a bit stuffy, or he might not be stuffy at all, but at 4/6 his odds are prohibitive enough considering that lingering doubt and the one to take him on with is THE WORLDS END at 6/1 (William Hill, BetVictor).
Tom George’s horse doesn’t have any Paisley Park inflicted scars on him as he went novice chasing last season and though things didn’t quite work out for him in the spring he proved an awesome force on occasion, notably when hammering Now McGinty and Ibis Du Rheu at Chepstow and Cheltenham respectively.
The cut and thrust of Cheltenham and Aintree troubled him in the spring, but he looked in great nick when back over hurdles after a good break at Wetherby, proving he handles soft ground in the process.
He absolutely hacked up in the West Yorkshire Hurdle that day and seemed to have loads left in the tank at the line. Unowhatimeanharry was beaten five lengths and gets a 6lb pull at the weights, but I’d be surprised if he can reverse the form.
The Worlds End has plenty to find with Paisley Park on his best form, but if the favourite runs a few pounds below his best then Tom George’s form has a chance, as he’s had a run, is in great nick and he might get the run of things up front as well under Adrian Heskin.
As for Thistlecrack, he could be a danger off these terms, but Colin Tizzard has used this race as a King George prep for him before and that looks like it could be the case again.
Taking on Paisley Park is a price thing when he might be at his most vulnerable and similar comments apply to the thinking behind having a go at Champ in the Ladbrokes 'Where The Nation Plays' Novices' Chase at 2.25.
He was impressive on his chasing bow at the same track earlier in the month, but that was over almost three furlongs further and I’m slightly surprised connections didn’t go for the longer option on Saturday.
It’s not that he lacks pace, I just think his jumping might be put under a bit more pressure at this trip and he’s taking on some really good horses that look specialists at the distance.
The one that looks underestimated by the market the most is Alan King’s DEYRANN DE CARJAC at 16/1 (General), a horse that looks a different beast over fences.
He’s two from two in novice chases and has looked really good on both occasions, both times over this sort of trip, firstly at Cartmel in May and then at Huntingdon on his reappearance on November 3.
That Huntingdon race has a habit of producing a good horse and Willoughby Court won it in 2017, before winning the same Newbury contest on his next start where he beat a JP McManus odds-on hotpot in Yanworth, trained by King.
King could be the one upsetting the JP hotpot this time and that Huntingdon race is already looking up to scratch thanks to the runner-up, Pym, who romped home at Ascot at the weekend.
Deyrann de Carjac gave the-now 149-rated Pym 5lb and beat him easily, so 16/1 about him getting the better of Champ and co looks on the big side.
If taking on Paisley Park and Champ doesn’t appeal then there are a couple of handicaps to get stuck into as well and Evan Williams’ GO LONG (12/1 General) looks the one to be on in the Get Your Ladbrokes £1 Free Bet Today Handicap Chase at 1.50.
Williams’ horses have all been coming on for a run as his last four winners in the last week (King’s Odyssey, Bold Plan, Billy Bronco and Golden Whisky) prove.
Go Long reappeared at Wetherby last month and he ran well for a long way, just seeming to blow up a bit late on after travelling into things nicely behind subsequent BetVictor Gold Cup winner Happy Diva and others.
He’s really lightly raced for a nine-year-old and has clearly had his problems, but he’s at the right end of the weights subsequently and carries the minimum 10 stone in this with the Williams stable in great nick.
The fact he’s 1lb out of the weights matters little and he could well be the one to give favourite Kalashnikov most to think about in receipt of almost two stone.
He’s been nibbled at on Thursday afternoon, but the general 12s remains fair.
Finally, I was all set to side with One For The Team in the closing Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle at 3.35 but his price has gone very late on as he was well backed into 9/2.
I'd rather change my mind and go with CAPTAIN TOMMY at 14/1 (General) for Harry Whittington, a trainer that has an excellent record in staying handicap hurdles.
He's won 11 from 41 handicap hurdles in excess of 2m7f at a 27 per cent strike-rate, and this lightly-raced horse has plenty more to offer in the sphere.
In the spring he looked a good novice and he was well backed at Cheltenham on his return, where he didn't run too badly seeing as he chartered a very wide route on the heavy ground throughout.
Posted at 1700 GMT on 28/11/19
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: +390.39pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
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