Value Bet: Donncha wish
Value Bet tipster Ben Linfoot has four selections for Saturday's feature action at Ascot and Newmarket.
Donncha (left): Can go well again at Ascot
Value Bet Selections
Plenty of British horses will be making the trip across the English Channel and to Chantilly this weekend, but a trio of equine talent is heading in the opposite direction in a bid to keep up France's good recent record in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.
Five of the last seven Sun Chariots have been won by French-trained horses, with three of those going to Rod Collet's Sahpresa, and Volta, Ervedya and Siyoushake will bid to improve that statistic in Saturday's Group One.
Of the three, last year's Coronation Stakes winner Ervedya could be best equipped to keep the run going, as she put in a season's best when third behind Ribchester in the Prix Jacques Le Marois last time.
She's a proper top-level miler, while Siyoushake has yet to prove herself at this level while Volta might be seen to best effect when stepping back up in trip to ten furlongs.
I'm certainly concerned about her hold-up tactics over a mile given there is a distinct lack of pace in the race, something that could inconvenience both Ervedya and favourite Alice Springs too, and with that in mind David Elsworth's ARABIAN QUEEN looks the one to be on at 16/1 (general price).
On her very best form Arabian Queen is a big price anyway, her defeat of Golden Horn up there with anything else on show in this field, but it's her style of racing which makes her such a tantalising betting proposition this weekend.
The front-running filly is a really tough nut to crack, especially when she's allowed a soft lead – something which looks a real possibility given she's the only one that looks likely to go forward from the moment the stalls open.
Silvestre de Sousa is likely to bag the far rail and set her about her business from an early stage, tactics which lend themselves well to this track at this time of year, and given her ability to stay further than a mile she could be hard to reel in.
She stuck to her task well at Yarmouth last time considering that was her first run in over three months and that should've sharpened her up sufficiently for this.
Granted, she has to prove she still has the speed for a mile, but she's never been short of pace and she bowled along nicely over nine furlongs here at the Guineas meeting when second to Usherette in the Dahlia Stakes.
There's some good-quality action over at Ascot too including the Group Three John Guest Bengough Stakes featuring the return of Shalaa.
He could be rusty after a year off the track and this is his prep race for Champions Day, while his two-year-old form doesn't look as good now as it did at the time.
However, he could be below his best and still win this so I'm more inclined to take on the two Sir Michael Stoute-trained horses running under penalties in the Group Three Gigaset Cumberland Lodge Stakes at 2.30.
Arab Spring and Kings Fete dominate the betting here, but I'm not as convinced about the recent form of either as much as the market is and it could be worth taking a chance on Andrew Balding's DURETTO at 14/1 (general price).
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He's got a bit to find on official ratings but his improvement could be huge now he steps out of handicap company at Ascot where he's got a terrific record.
The son of Manduro has won twice at the track and finished second twice from four goes and his two runner-up finishes at the course this season have come under big weights in good handicaps.
His last two efforts at Ascot and at Chester have been the best of his career and it's of no surprise he's hitting his stride late in his four-year-old season as he's from a late-maturing family. Nabatean, his half-brother, didn't show his best until he was four and Duretto looks from the same mould.
It should be taken as a hint that Andrew Balding is prepared to risk a handicap mark that could still be workable for a crack at this prize and I'm expecting the best run of his life.
Whether that's enough we'll have to see, but I want some of the 14s available before finding out.
Finally, William Haggas' SQUATS looks a fair price at the general 10/1 to finally land a big pot at Ascot.
The Dandy Man gelding has plenty of speed – he was fast enough to beat Profitable twice over five furlongs as a two-year-old – and he's been a bit unlucky not to add to those victories subsequently.
He was given too much to do last time behind Dutch Law at this track in the Albert Bartlett Handicap and he's fancied to reverse that form on 4lb better terms, while he's also 3lb better off with favourite Librisa Breeze for a one-and-a-half length defeat in the International Handicap at Ascot in July.
Even though he's been edging up the weights for getting beat he looks sure to play a big role here, especially with his stable still in such great form.
Haggas had a ridiculously productive September, sending out 36 winners at a win strike-rate of 35 per cent, with 5lb claimer Georgia Cox riding a handful of them.
She was on board Squats when second in the International and she's got a good chance of going one better here on an in-form horse that has run the best two races of his career the last twice he has rocked up at this track.
Robert Eddery's five-year-old is a highly-consistent horse but he too has put in two of his best-ever efforts on his last two starts and the handicapper has been pretty lenient leaving him on a mark of 100 following his third in the Betfred Mile at Glorious Goodwood.
That effort can be marked up as he had to come wide around a wall of horses when making his challenge and he must have a fine chance here off the same mark.
He hasn't run since that Goodwood performance but he goes really well fresh, as he showed when second in the Spring Mile at Doncaster in April, and his Ascot record is good as well.
He drops back in trip to seven furlongs for the first time in over a year, but three of his five career wins have come over this distance and the way he travels in his races over a mile suggests it won't be a problem.
It could even spark the improvement that sees him back in the winners' enclosure for the first time this season and I fancy Adam Kirby might ride him a touch more aggressively than is usual.
Sky Bet are offering EXTRA VALUE to followers of the Sporting Life Value Bet column with guaranteed prices at 0900 on Saturday morning.
What does this mean? Sky Bet will agree to match the prices advised on all selections in the Value Bet column upon its publication for at least 15 minutes from 0900(BST) on Saturday. In the event of non-runners having had a material effect on the market since publication, Sky Bet will guarantee to offer the top-price in the market place.
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: +389.04pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1705 BST on 30/09/16.
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