Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bets on day three of Chester, including the week's feature - the 188Bet Chester Cup.
Value Bet: Chester May Meeting, Day Three
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
The problem with the draw bias in the 188Bet Chester Cup is that everyone knows that a low berth is preferable and this is nearly always reflected in the market, although this year, I’m not so sure that is the case.
Perhaps it is factored into MY REWARD'S odds on Friday, as he’s not a certain stayer and he races off a career-high mark, but at 16/1 (Ladbrokes, 14s General) there remains enough juice in his price given the many positives.
He’s drawn in stall one, the box seat, and he’s a perennial front runner. David Allan, who rode him beautifully around here to get him home off a 4lb lower mark last September (over 1m6f, Who Dares Wins well beaten in behind), will be in prime position to get the lead and dictate.
Pace pressure looks minimal, with the Mark Johnston pair of Time To Study and Watersmeet two of the only other possible gallop enforcers but, even so, if My Reward is going to win over the extended 2m2f it’s going to be at Chester in a situation like this one.
He has won over two miles, including at Ripon, so it’s not as if he’s lacking stamina, and it was at that North Yorkshire track that he made his seasonal reappearance in a race that has become one of the best trials for the Chester Cup.
In the last four years that same two mile handicap at Ripon has produced a Chester Cup winner (Trip To Paris 2015), two seconds (Angel Gabrial 2014 and Yorkidding 2017) and a fifth (Gabrial's King 2016), so it’s always worth a look with this race in mind.
My Reward was third in that same Ripon trial this year, he’s the only representative at Chester, and he always comes on for a run. Indeed, he was second in the same Ripon race in 2016 before winning at Haydock, over two miles, on his next start.
The ground is perfect for him, the Tim Easterby stable is in good nick and, at 14s, he’s a very fair price considering he has so much in his favour.
Magic Circle looks a worthy favourite considering his run in fifth in this race from stall 18 last year. He beat My Reward a length at York last season and could well go close in his new Dr Marwan Koukash silks from stall six.
However, FUN MAC also ran a blinder from a wide draw (13) in last year’s Chester Cup and at 16/1 (Coral, 14s General) he's also worth a bet now he breaks from stall five under last year's winning rider Oisin Murphy.
If you watch last year’s Chester Cup you’ll see Murphy give Montaly an excellent ride from his inside draw, just sitting off the pace before timing his challenge to perfection in the straight.
Fun Mac got away well from his wide draw and found a nice position under Jim Crowley, but you wouldn’t think he’d have to work as hard to settle in a similar place just off the leaders this year and he's 1lb lower as well. Every little helps.
If Murphy can get Fun Mac into a similar position that he did Montaly last year, there’s every reason to believe he can land another Chester Cup, as his mount is fairly handicapped and he goes very well fresh.
The 181-day break looks a positive, then, as he’s won on his seasonal reappearance twice before and his third in this race last year was his 2017 debut.
Earlier on, the best bet on the card runs in the opening Crabbie's Earl Grosvenor Handicap with Ruth Carr's EXPLAIN available to back at a huge 20/1 (Betfair Sportsbook, Paddy Power).
The bottom weight is partly a big price because of two defeats this season, but neither was a bad effort and crucially he always needs a couple of runs under his belt.
In the three previous seasons to this one he's won on his third start on the back of two defeats and he looks fairly handicapped off 88 considering he won and was second off 86 in September last year.
That runner-up effort came at Haydock where he was a length-and-a-half second to Muntadab, one of the fancied horses for Friday’s contest. He gets a 6lb pull at the weights with that horse, yet is double the price.
He loves Chester, too. The two best wins of his career have come around the Roodee, both over seven furlongs on heavy and good to soft ground, so the extended seven on better conditions looks perfect as he is extremely versatile regarding the going.
Being drawn seven of 16 looks fine with a bit of pace to chase and, though this is a competitive handicap, he looks the pick of the prices at anything from 14/1 and upwards.
In the Boodles Diamond Handicap (3.00) I was going to side with Restorer as he’s well treated on his stable debut for Ian Williams.
However, the double-figure prices about him have gone and this is a competitive enough race for a horse that has a poor win ratio for one of his ability.
Posted at 1700 BST on 10/05/18.
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: +359.14pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).