Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bets at Newbury and Newmarket on Saturday including a 50/1 chance in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap.
Recommended Bets: Value Bet Saturday September, 23
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It’s a great shame the Ayr Gold Cup has been lost this Saturday but there are still a good few handicaps to have a go at including the £75,000 Dubai Duty Free Handicap (3.25) at Newbury.
Hugo Palmer won it last year with Baydar and, while that horse is back for more on his first start for Ian Williams, it’s his old handler that could land the prize again with ANYTHINGTODAY (14/1 General).
This horse is a big price because he disappointed last time out at Ascot, but he's worth forgiving that run. He raced keenly at the back of the main pack and was never ideally placed on his first go at 1m4f, with Josephine Gordon looking after him in the final furlong once his chance had gone.
It wasn’t an absolute disaster by any means and it’s worth assessing his chance on his previous five runs over 10 furlongs as he put together a very nice sequence over the distance in July and August, progressing from a mark of 82 to 99 in that timeframe and the form looks good.
He beat Great Hall at Newmarket and that horse has won all three of his starts since, while his third back on the July Course on August 12 has worked out well. The winner, Thundering Blue, is Cambridgeshire favourite after winning at Sandown subsequently, and the fourth, Eddystone Rock, came out and won at York.
Both Anythingtoday and Eddystone Rock were hampered by the wayward Thundering Blue at Newmarket, but Palmer’s horse finished over a length in front of John Best’s charge and yet is 2lb better off at the weights.
He’s a bigger price as well and this test looks sure to suit. He didn’t handle the camber at Goodwood too well, but still motored home for second, and, judging by his runs at Newmarket, the galloping nature of Newbury will suit him perfectly.
There’s plenty to like about this strong traveller back at 10 furlongs on better ground and the jockey booking of Pat Smullen is an interesting one. Over to ride Palmer’s Architecture as well, Smullen has a good record for the Newmarket trainer, winning six times for him at 21 per cent in Britain and Ireland.
It’s a really competitive race which means good horses at huge prices but I take issue with FIRST FLIGHT being the outsider of the field at 50/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5 Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook) and I have to cover him with a small each-way bet.
Bought for £10,000 from Godolphin, he’s done his new connections proud in four starts for Heather Main, running two excellent races at Newmarket and York while not being so clever on the two other occasions.
He’s in and out, but on a going day he’s capable and a few clues point to him running one of his better races this weekend.
For starters, he was second in this very race three years ago off a 1lb lower mark, while Main reaches for the first-time blinkers which might just focus his mind on the job. Headgear worked for a couple of his half-siblings, Paradwys and Prime Circle, who both won in first-time cheekpieces.
The ability looks to be still there and he’s worth forgiving his last run at the Curragh where very little got into things from off the pace. It’s worth noting, though, that he went off 6/1 second favourite for that €140,000 handicap.
With Gerald Mosse on board for the first time since his excellent Newmarket second and a good gallop looking assured, he can outrun his massive odds.
Over at Newmarket the Betfred Cesarewitch Trial is another complex puzzle, although Time To Study could make it easy for punters if he maintains his current rich vein of form for Mark Johnston.
However, he’s had two really tough races in recent weeks and is up another 4lb, so it might be worth chancing his stablemate, ORIENTAL FOX, at 20/1 (Betfred, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral).
He simply loves the Cesarewitch course and distance and looks as good as ever this season at the age of nine.
At Royal Ascot he won the Queen Alexandra Stakes when giving Thomas Hobson 3lb, a horse that was second in last week’s Doncaster Cup, while he wasn't beaten far at York’s Ebor Festival off top weight in a good handicap which bodes well ahead of his return to the Rowley Mile.
He hacked up in this race four years ago off a 4lb lower mark when in similar form, while he’s been sixth and second in the main event off higher ratings.
Granted, he might be vulnerable to a rapid improver, but, Time To Study and Coeur De Lion aside, this race isn’t overflowing with those types and in any case, an Oriental Fox at the top of his game over this trip at this track is a tough nut to crack anyway.
At 20/1, he’s worth backing to excel at Newmarket once again.
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: +359.39pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 BST on 22/09/17