Value Bet: Cash in with Cashel
Ben Linfoot has four Value Bet selections for Saturday's feature action at Newmarket and York.
William Buick: Rides The Cashel Man
Value Bet Selections
It's hard to believe Sir Mark Prescott has yet to win the Betfred Cesarewitch given his mastering of the art of bringing staying handicappers to the boil.
He's had a few hard luck stories down the years, but in St Michel he has a handicap blot that even he would've struggled to conjure up in his wildest dreams.
The son of Sea The Stars is officially 15lb well-in after finishing a close-up third in the Doncaster Cup and, while he'd be near the top of the handicap if racing off his true weight, he only just sneaked in towards the bottom when the final declarations were made.
Clearly, he's got an outstanding chance. He looks very much in the Darley Sun mould, a three-year-old that was 12lb well-in after finishing second in the Doncaster Cup seven years ago – and he won the Cesarewitch by five lengths.
Even though St Michel has a wider-than-ideal draw in 32, the general odds of 6/1 seem fair. A hold-up horse anyway, he will drop in under Luke Morris and try to pass the majority of the field in the long straight.
However, I do wonder whether he might be a bit of a tricky ride and you don't need much to put you off at 6/1 in a 34-runner field.
Starchitect holds solid claims for David Pipe, who has an interesting second string to his bow in Ennistown, but the one I really like is THE CASHEL MAN for David Simcock at 14/1 (general price).
Simcock, who trained the aforementioned Darley Sun, has yet to get a win out of The Cashel Man this season but he's been slowly bringing him to the boil ahead of a test which should suit him down to the ground.
The son of High Chaparral is an out-and-out stayer, but he's rarely had a good gallop to run at over a trip and when he did get a severe test of stamina at Goodwood he had a rare off day, probably because of the track.
Other than that he's been in fine form, particularly in two runs at York and then last time in the Cesarewitch Trial at Newmarket, where he posted a career best when chasing home Penglai Pavilion.
That race that wasn't run to suit, the Godolphin horse kicking on up front off a moderate gallop, The Cashel Man doing well to finish a clear second under the circumstances.
The first-time blinkers did squeeze some improvement out of him, though, so it's a positive they're retained while I'm excited to see what he can do now he gets the chance to strut his stuff in a big-field handicap where they will hopefully go a decent gallop.
Another key point is his ability to go on faster ground. It was pretty quick at Newmarket on Friday and with no significant rain forecast it's going to be a similar story on Saturday, which is no problem for The Cashel Man who has a five-length fast-ground win on the July Course on his CV.
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With a nice low draw in eight and William Buick booked in the saddle, everything is in place for The Cashel Man to put in the performance of his career.
Just one selection isn't enough in a 34-runner puzzle like this and I'm going to spread my bets by backing him and last year's winner GRUMETI, who looks a huge price at 40/1 (Ladbrokes, 33/1 general).
Grumeti had a middle draw in 15 last year and didn't have the clearest of passages after he was outpaced in the home straight, but he finished his race off in the style of a strong stayer to just deny Oriental Fox on the line.
This time around he has an even better draw in seven and he's only 1lb higher than he was last year after four defeats this season.
However, looking at his odds you would think those runs were abysmal and they simply weren't.
His fifth off a 3lb higher mark at York in May was good – better than anything he produced before last year's Cesarewitch – while his defeats at Ascot and Newcastle were of a similar level to the performances he put in in the build-up to last year's race.
Last year he came into the Cesarewitch off a three-month break and Alan King hasn't tinkered with that winning formula, while he's another that is perfectly at home on this sort of ground.
King's had a really good season on the Flat and he'll have Grumeti as fit as a fiddle in preparation for another hurdling campaign, but he could land this big pot for a second time before all that.
He's certainly been underestimated at 40/1.
Over at York it's the Coral Sprint Trophy at 3.45 and I'm keen to back both Kevin Ryan runners, LEXINGTON ABBEY (18/1 Betfair Sportsbook, 16s generally) and TERUNTUM STAR (33/1 generally), who both sport first-time blinkers.
Ryan's £1 level-stake profit for horses running in first-time headgear for the last five years is +£92.33 – thanks to Timeform for that stat – so his runners are clearly worth noting when help is applied and these two are both really interesting for different reasons.
Firstly, Lexington Abbey. The Middleham Park five-year-old hasn't had much luck in recent runs but he has dropped to a nice mark now, as there's plenty of evidence to suggest he's well treated off 92.
Indeed, he was only beaten three lengths when fifth off 96 in the Sky Bet Dash at York in July, while previous to that he was beaten a head and a neck at Ascot off 95.
Drawn on the favoured far side here with Captain Colby and Mythmaker to run at, he's handicapped to go close if the blinkers bring him back to his best and he'll also be fine on the fast ground.
Teruntum Star is a harder sell, granted, especially if you took my advice and backed him for the Ayr Gold Cup where he finished stone last.
Perhaps it's no surprise to see him chalked up as the 33/1 rag here after that, but he's a bit of an all-or-nothing performer and he has some really good wins to his name scattered amongst some less-than-impressive efforts.
His run in Scotland was his first in over four months, so perhaps he needed the run, while his attitude could well be improved by the first-time blinkers.
His half-sister, Mayyadah, won in first-time blinkers in France, so that gives hope they'll work the oracle with him while he did at least drop a couple of pounds to 98 on the back of his woeful performance at Ayr.
That means he's just 3lb higher than when he won a good race at Newmarket in April, so he's certainly not out of this from a handicapping perspective if the headgear helps him decide he's on a going day.
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: +382.04pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1715 BST on 07/10/16.
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