Ben Linfoot highlights the pick of the value at Newmarket on QIPCO 1000 Guineas day, with Roger Varian taken to land the big one.
Value Bet: QIPCO 1000 Guineas
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Aidan O’Brien bids for another Classic double after Saxon Warrior landed the QIPCO 2000 Guineas on Saturday with Happily leading the charge of the Ballydoyle fillies in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas.
Ryan Moore jets in from the United States fresh from his ride on Mendelssohn in the Kentucky Derby and his mount has the best form in the race thanks to two Group One victories as a juvenile in the Moyglare Stud and Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
Those wins were both achieved on soft ground, though, and with conditions drying rapidly at Newmarket after a couple of warm days she may have something to prove.
Certainly, at around 5/2, she looks worth taking on and while I Can Fly is a viable alternative from the same yard, I’m afraid that ship has sailed and it’s very difficult to make a case for her at around 6/1 given what she’s done on the track.
Charlie Appleby has a very strong hand. He has a good line on the Ballydoyle fillies and Laurens through Wild Illusion, but I prefer the claims of Soliloquy who looked a much improved performer in the Nell Gwyn.
I’d rate her the most likely winner, but at three times the price it could be worth chancing Roger Varian’s ALTYN ORDA (16/1 General) to reverse the trial form over this extra furlong.
Altyn Orda beat I Can Fly convincingly in the Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket last October and proved she’d wintered very well when travelling through the Nell Gwyn in the manner of a good filly last time.
While Soliloquy kicked on from the front Altyn Orda couldn’t quite match that turn of pace but the Godolphin filly wasn’t going away from her at the line and over a mile I’m beginning to think the tables could be turned.
We know Soliloquy stays well herself, but Altyn Orda hasn’t had the chance to prove herself over a mile yet but she really should thrive over the trip judging by her pedigree.
Her dam was a full-sister to a winning miler in America and she was a half-sister to Sleepytime, a filly that won this race for Henry Cecil 21 years ago.
Improvement can be expected at the trip, then, and given she's already had the beating of I Can Fly and has the potential to reverse the Nell Gwyn form with Soliloquy, she’s worth backing at 16s with Frankie Dettori in the saddle.
It could be a cracking day for Varian as he has several chances on the undercard including two in the longholes.com Handicap over six furlongs at 2.55.
Ekhtiyaar is the shorter of his pair in the betting but I prefer the claims of VICTORY ANGEL at 12/1 (General).
His best form came on fast ground last year, so he’ll appreciate the drying conditions, and he won first-time out on this track, too, so there’s no concern that here comes here fresh, especially with the Varian team in good nick now.
At Yarmouth last August he won a handicap off a mark of 90 with ease and he's worth forgiving his only subsequent run off his new mark at Ascot, as that was on softer conditions and nothing got into things from off the pace.
There should be a good gallop on here with the likes of Gifted Master, Swift Approval and Eastern Impact taking them along, so, Silvestre de Sousa, who is two from four on the horse, should be able to creep his way into things before making his challenge.
Finally, I’m going to chance Charlie Appleby’s outsider of three, ALQAMAR, in the opening Qatar Racing Handicap (1.50) at 25/1 (General).
His attitude looked questionable towards the end of his three-year-old campaign, which explains his big price on Sunday, but I’m hoping the break will have done him good and that he’s grown up mentally from three to four.
Last season he won first time out by five lengths at the Dante meeting and he didn’t run badly at Ascot in September, both of those runs coming in cheekpieces which were discarded for blinkers on his last two runs.
He’s got plenty of ability, he's shown that a couple of times, and I'm convinced a mark of 90 won't be the limit of his capabilities when he puts it all in.
With a good draw in three on Sunday, he could get plenty of cover and ease his way into things. With the cheekpieces back on he's worth chancing at big odds for a stable that continue to do little wrong.
Posted at 1700 BST on 05/05/18.
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: +365.14pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).