The first Value Bet selection What About Carlo has already scored at Newbury - can Ben Linfoot strike again today?
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After last week’s feast we have a bit of a famine this weekend, traditionally one of the quieter Saturdays of the Flat racing summer despite another meeting on Newmarket’s July Course and a card full of variety at Newbury.
The Weatherbys Super Sprint takes centre stage at the latter track and with loads of prizemoney up for grabs it’s a race always targeted by Richard Hannon and Richard Fahey who are both well represented again.
Fahey is going for his third win in the last five years and he saddles five this time around, with Maggies Angel a deserved favourite considering her official rating of 95 and her improving profile.
The problem with her is the trip, as she improved on her first start at six furlongs last time and she was outpaced in that in the early stages, so she’s worth taking on at 4/1 with the drop back to five in mind.
If you’re happy to take Maggies Angel out of the equation it’s wide open, but don’t be surprised if Fahey still lands the loot even if his market leader isn’t the one home in front.
Two years ago he trained the one-two with the 28/1 chance Lathom beating his 25/1 shot Mr Lupton and the one that could perform a relative shock this time around is his BENGALI BOYS at 16/1 (General).
He’s one of the most consistent horses in the field having run to a good level on all three starts but I think we could see him take his form up a notch here now he encounters a big field and a bit of cut in the ground.
The conditions are Good to Soft (Good in places) at the time of writing but more rain is forecast and that could really suit this son of Clodovil, who has displayed a rounded high-knee action in his races thus far.
He was a bit keen early on last time too, but you would hope he’ll be able to settle better and get some cover in a field as big as this - especially from his central draw.
Given 54 days off since we last saw him, he’s had time to develop further and the form he’s already shown isn’t far off the best of these.
He’s worth backing at 16/1 and so is Kevin Ryan’s flying filly FALABELLE at a slightly shorter 14s (generally available including at Sky Bet and William Hill).
The fillies, who get a 5lb sex allowance, are always well represented in this race and they have a terrific record, winning 15 of the 25 renewals including three of the last five.
They make up a good portion of the field on Saturday with 15 of the 24 runners being fillies and it’s Falabelle that makes most appeal following a highly promising debut at Carlisle.
She wasn’t particularly well fancied that day having been sent off 16/1 for her debut, but it was recently after Ryan was allowed runners again and the yard has started to fire since then in the last week or so.
The daughter of Choisir is related to a few sprinters and five furlongs looks very much her game judging by her sole racecourse appearance where she showed plenty of natural pace to lead, only to drift right late on having looked the winner inside the final furlong.
Denied by a short head, she was demoted to third having caused some late interference but she still made a big impression and had she stayed straight she’d probably be heading into this with a solitary ‘1’ next to her name.
Weeton, the horse that suffered the interference, let down the form next time but it looks good otherwise, with the winner, John Kirkup, running a cracker in defeat at York, while the fourth, Aquadabra, has finished second and first at Bath subsequently.
She’ll have to improve to win this, but it doesn’t look the greatest of renewals and Ryan has a cracking record in the race, with several placed runners, even if he hasn’t quite managed to train the winner yet.
Earlier on betting opportunities look thin on the ground but I do think it’s worth chancing WHAT ABOUT CARLO at 9/1 (General) in the bet365 Stakes (2.25, registered as the Listed Steventon Stakes).
Eve Johnson Houghton’s charge has a bit to find with the market leaders on official ratings but just about everything in the race has a question to answer on recent form and What About Carlo is arguably running the best races of his career.
His second to King Bolete at Windsor last time can certainly be marked up as he conceded first run to the winner but stayed on strongly late on for a neck second. Off a mark of 100, it was the best effort of his career on the figures.
It came on the back of a really good effort at Epsom as well, and if he likes the home of the Derby he loves Newbury having won over Saturday’s course and distance twice before.
Any further rain is a positive for him and he quite simply looks more likely than anything else in the field to run his race given the track and conditions.
He’s been backed from double-figure prices on Friday afternoon, but the generally available 9/1 remains fair.
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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: +366.99pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 BST on 21/07/17.