Our racing expert Ben Linfoot previews day one of the Craven Meeting at Newmarket with an intriguing stable-switcher fancied in the sprint handicap at 20/1.
Recommended Bets: Craven Meeting, Day One
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It’s day one of the Craven meeting at Newmarket on Tuesday and there’s plenty to look forward to with Classic trials, could-be-anything maidens and some early-season handicaps to keep us entertained.
The Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes sees 11 fillies go on trial for the 1000 Guineas and last October’s Oh So Sharp Stakes looks a key form race with the first, second, third and sixth all reopposing.
Mot Juste is favourite to uphold that form, but if the third, Ed Walker’s Sunday Star, settles better for another winter under her belt she could easily come out on top this time.
Aidan O’Brien has never won the bet365 Feilden Stakes from four goes, with Kew Gardens getting beat in it last year, but he could land the race for the first time on Tuesday with Western Australia.
He’ll have to uphold Vertem Futurity Trophy form with Kick On and can do so, with a recent spin on the all-weather at Dundalk also giving him a fitness edge.
Andrew Balding has started the season well and his Shine So Bright might just love stepping up in trip in the bet365 European Free Handicap, his thirds in the Richmond, Gimcrack and Mill Reef reading well in this company.
He’s bred for further and could be another one for the King Power-Silvestre De Sousa-Balding axis, but it looks a tight little race and having a wager doesn’t really appeal.
The best race for a bet looks to be the opening race on ITV4, the Weatherbys TBA Handicap over six furlongs at 1.50.
Various factors have to be considered here, with some horses having had a run and others coming in fresh, while some, like the Stuart Williams-trained pair Alemaratalyoum and Burguillos, are dropping back in trip.
Buridan and Green Power should run well if coming on for their seasonal reappearances in the same race at Doncaster, but they are disputing favouritism and the one that looks to be underestimated by the market is ZAIN HANA at 20/1 (General 1/5 1,2,3,4).
This Shamardal filly cost 320,000gns at the Craven breeze-ups two years ago and it didn’t look the worst of buys when she won on debut at Yarmouth, beating Foxtrot Lady over six furlongs on fast ground.
Tried over further after that, she only got back on the right track as a three-year-old when dropped back to sprinting and she remains unexposed in the sphere.
Her only subsequent runs over six furlongs on turf were a nose second on the July Course off 80 in handicap company, an easy win off 82 at Nottingham and then a three-and-a-half length seventh in Listed company at Pontefract in which she traded at 2.12 in-running on Betfair.
She travelled smoothly that day and ran well considering the ratings of the fillies that finished around her, and it gives hope that she remains of interest off 91 in handicap company.
After that she was a good third off Tuesday’s mark behind Polybius at Kempton, while she’s easily forgiven her run at the same track after that as she was hampered a couple of times.
Unexposed enough to be of interest judging by her profile alone, the stable switch from Jeremy Noseda to John Butler could be a major positive looking at her new handler’s past success for owner Asaad Al Banwan.
Butler has had some serious joy with first-time-out stable-switchers for this owner, with two wins and a second from four qualifiers – all at big prices.
Zain Arion won on his first start for Butler at 16/1 at Chelmsford, Sweet Zain repeated the trick at 20/1 on Newmarket’s July Course, and Zain Star was a 14/1 runner-up on stable debut at Kempton.
The other one, Zain Emperor, was beaten just over two lengths in fifth at Lingfield so, while it’s a small sample, 16/1 and 20/1 winners make you sit up and take notice.
She won on debut so the hope is she’ll be fine fresh, the ground is in her favour and a stands’ side draw in 13 next to the likely-prominent Green Power looks a positive, too, so she could outrun her odds in a big way.
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 15/04/19.
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