Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selections on day two of York's Dante Meeting and he thinks Mick Easterby could have a fruitful day on the Knavesmire.
Value Bet: York Dante Meeting, day two
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
It’s a big day for the Easterbys with Wells Farhh Go running for Tim in the Betfred Dante Stakes on day two of York’s Dante Festival, but it’s his uncle Mick that could steal the show with a couple of really interesting contenders in the handicaps.
Firstly, CARLTON FRANKIE looks a big price at 20/1 (General) in the opening Betfred ‘Supports Jack Berry House’ Handicap at 2.20, a competitive 19-runner race over the flying five furlongs.
She’s a big price after her form tailed off last season, but she could well be a different proposition now freshened up after a wind operation.
It’s difficult to forget the impression she made early last season, when she won handicaps at Redcar and Nottingham off marks of 74 and 82 respectively, shaping every inch like a filly that could go on to bigger and better things.
She was rated 90 after those efforts, but she failed to get anywhere near matching the form in four subsequent goes and she was put away for the year in October after weakening into a nine-length 13th of 20 at York.
There was encouragement in that run, though, as she showed her customary early speed to lead the far side group until being swamped with over a furlong to go. Perhaps the wind operation can help her see out her race better.
She made all when winning her maiden on the Knavesmire at two and showed plenty of pace when winning on Good to Firm ground at Nottingham last May, so she could well make the running and lead them down the centre from stall 12.
Now rated 84 after dropping 6lb for her last four runs, she’s rated just 2lb higher than that Nottingham win and given she’s won well fresh and at this time of year now could well be the time to catch her.
Later on the card Mick Easterby runs another interesting horse with QAFFAAL going for the Betfred TV Hambleton Handicap (4.05) and at 20/1 (General) he’s another I’m taking a chance on.
A rating of 85 is the lowest he’s run off for 18 months and while that’s in part because he doesn’t race much on turf these days, largely because he hasn’t been running very well on it, I’m reluctant to put a line through him.
That’s because he hasn’t encountered Good to Firm ground for a couple of years and it’s a surface he acted perfectly well on when he was rising through the ranks.
Being a son of Street Cry it’s reasonable to expect him to be better on faster ground and if he does replicate his all-weather form to this surface there’s no way he’s a 20/1 shot.
Last time, at Chelmsford, he was unlucky off a mark of 88, finishing second after having to manoeuvre around horses as he was aiming to replicate his victory in the race from the year before.
That was further proof that he’s in good form after a consistent start to the year and he won’t be lacking for fitness with this being his fifth run of 2018.
In the same race MYTHICAL MADNESS is another on the radar at 16/1 (Bet Victor).
One of three David O’Meara hopefuls in the contest, he’s also been running well on the all-weather and he too finished second at Chelmsford last time where he probably thought he’d won having lost to Seniority by a nose, the pair wide apart on the track.
It was an effort that suggested he’s ready to go in again and he is a horse that works his way into winning form by running well. Indeed, five of his six victories were achieved after finishing second on his previous start.
He is rated slightly higher on turf than the all-weather, but he still looks fairly handicapped off 94. Last June he won at Haydock off a 2lb higher mark and that proved that a flat, left-handed and galloping track is right up his street.
There’s enough pace in the contest to envisage him having the race run to suit and Dubawi progeny have a good record on Good to Firm ground at York, winning six races from 32 goes at 18.75 per cent.
As for the Dante, it looks very tricky. I’d be happy to take Roaring Lion on over this trip but he’s the obvious form standout after that excellent run in the 2000 Guineas.
Wells Farhh Go could be the one, but I am a bit worried about him on the ground while it wouldn’t be a surprise if Mildenberger did a Permian by winning this before being supplemented for the Derby.
I’m going to leave it alone, although I was tempted by Aidan O’Brien’s James Cook at 10/1 just because I can see him reversing Epsom form with Crossed Baton.
The full-brother to Found didn’t look to be enjoying racing down the centre of the track at the home of the Derby, but, like so many from his stable, he should strip fitter for the run and improve markedly on this more conventional track.
Posted at 1700 BST on 15/05/18.
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: +349.14pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).