Ben Linfoot's Value Bet column has been in fine form in recent weeks and he has four selections for Saturday's action at Ripon, Newbury and Newmarket.
Recommended Bets: Value Bet, Saturday August 19
1pt e.w. Nameitwhatyoulike 3.15 Ripon at 18/1 - last year's winner loves Ripon and has become really well handicapped after running in better company
1pt win Farleigh Mac in 2.45 Newmarket at 16/1 - Andrew Balding won this race year with a horse from the foot of the weights and Farleigh Mac is a strong traveller that can improve now he tackles a better race
1pt win Noble Peace in 3.00 Newbury at 11/1 - holding his form well and good second in soft ground at Goodwood latest; handicapper left him alone for that
1pt win Fighting Temeraire in 3.00 Newbury at 16/1 - goes well fresh so absence isn't a concern and Dean Ivory could continue his good run with this horse who was progressive last season
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There are a handful of course specialists in the William Hill Great St Wilfrid Handicap at Ripon on Saturday but none are as well treated as last year’s winner NAMEITWHATYOULIKE and he’s worth backing to retain his title at 18/1 (General 1,2,3,4 1/4 odds).
Not every horse handles the sharp sprint track at Ripon with its undulations and it is a course that throws up repeat winners on a regular basis. Pepper Lane won this race a couple of times recently and Pipers Note, Flying Pursuit and Nameitwhatyoulike have all won at Yorkshire’s garden racecourse on more than one occasion.
However, the latter makes the most appeal as the handicapper has given him a real chance by dropping him 8lb after just four runs this campaign. Obviously he’s not performed to his best, but only one of those efforts was in a handicap and he quickly had no chance in that after being drawn on the wrong side.
He looks to me to have had valid excuses for his defeats this season as he’s simply not up to Group 2 or 3 standard, but a handicap at Ripon off a mark of 97 is a different story.
Last year he won this race off a 1lb higher mark and prior to that his previous three runs at Ripon were a third off 99, a second off 92 and a second off 91.
Talented 5lb claimer George Buckell alleviates his burden further and he has options from his central draw if they split into more than one group. Whichever path he chooses Nameitwhatyoulike is likely to be prominent throughout and off such a competitive mark it’s worth chancing he retains his ability.
If he does he’s going to be really hard to keep out of the frame and at 18/1 he’s an each-way bet.
Over at Newbury the Betfred Hungerford Stakes takes centre stage and I’m reluctant to take on Librisa Breeze now the ground has turned soft following Friday’s shower.
He’s well proven in the conditions and this represents a golden opportunity for Dean Ivory’s horse after a luckless couple of runs lately in hotter races than this.
Ivory has been in the limelight the last few Saturdays (and he had a nice gambled-on 10/1 winner with Eirene at Newbury on Friday as well) following his Stewards’ Cup success with Lancelot Du Lac and last weekend’s Shergar Cup win with Stake Acclaim and I’m also tempted by the 16/1 (Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook) about his FIGHTING TEMERAIRE in the Betfred TV Ladies Day Handicap (3.00).
This is his seasonal reappearance so he’s clearly had some sort of problem but the good thing is he goes really well fresh after finishing second twice on his two seasonal reappearances to date.
When we did last see him he was an unlucky fifth off Saturday’s mark of 93 at York where he travelled really well over a mile before being badly hampered in the final furlong when in contention.
Given how well he travelled that day the drop back in trip to seven furlongs could well be ideal and there is likely to be plenty more to come from this four-year-old.
He looks another handicapper from the Ivory yard that has been underestimated and though there is a slight question mark over the ground I’m happy to chance him in the conditions at the prices.
Squats finished just behind Librisa Breeze at Ascot last October on soft ground and has been given a chance by the assessor at last who has dropped him 7lb in one hit to a competitive-looking rating of 95.
He drops into a Class 3 for the first time in ages but he remains a very hard horse to win with and I’d rather have NOBLE PEACE on my side at 11/1 (General) for a second bet in the race.
Henry Candy’s son of Kyllachy has been really consistent all season, winning off a mark of 81 at Goodwood in May and then holding his form right through to running second at the same track off 87 last time.
That came on soft ground and he handled it really well, and, while it was difficult to see exactly what happened in the fog, we do know he pulled almost three lengths clear of the third.
That makes the handicapper’s decision to leave him on 87 slightly surprising and it would be no surprise if he were able to take advantage given he’s in such good form.
Finally, FARLEIGH MAC catches the eye at 16/1 (General) in the Randox Health Handicap at Newmarket (2.45).
He’s worth forgiving his last run as that came on rain-softened ground and prior to that he’d been holding his form well following a victory at Windsor in June.
A strong traveller that usually races prominently, he shapes like a horse that could significantly improve his form now tackling a better race.
Andrew Balding and Jimmy Quinn teamed up to win this race last year with Summer Chorus at the bottom of the weights and at 16s I can’t resist Farleigh Mac following in her hoofprints.
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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: +392.39pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 BST on 18/08/17.