Value Bet: Eyes on the Prize
Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bets from Doncaster and Wincanton on Saturday afternoon.
Prize Money (left) can land the November Handicap
Value Bet Selections
Godolphin started the British Flat season with a bang when Secret Brief landed the Lincoln at Doncaster and they could have a neat bookend to their campaign by landing the November Handicap back on Town Moor with PRIZE MONEY on Saturday.
His trainer Saeed bin Suroor's season was derailed in the summer when an infection forced him to virtually shut up shop, as highlighted when his yard sent out just three runners – all losers – in August.
However, he's finished the season strongly with healthy win percentages of 20 per cent and 25 per cent for September and October respectively, while he's already had three winners from six runners in November.
Prize Money was last seen running in the Gordon Stakes when the stable was under a cloud at the end of July, but his two-and-a-half length defeat to Ulysses was a good effort and he was value for more than his final finishing position of fifth.
Keen early doors, Prize Money lost a couple of places in the final 100 yards having looked like at least the third best horse in the race, and he'd previously looked a smart prospect when staying on well to take second behind subsequent Coral-Eclipse winner Hawkbill in the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot.
He shaped like a horse that would benefit greatly for a step up to 12 furlongs that day and the key to him getting the trip is to get him settled in the early stages.
Talented 5lb claimer George Wood has that mission on Saturday, but his task could be made easier now Prize Money has been gelded and bin Suroor reaches for a first-time hood as well.
William Haggas won this race with Conduct a couple of years ago and he has leading claims once again with Wrangler, who shaped promisingly on his second run after a lay-off at Doncaster last time.
However, he's been well found in the market this week and it could be worth trusting Hugo Palmer, who trained To Be Wild to beat Wrangler last time, to pull a rabbit out of the hat with QASSEM (16/1, general).
The 2000 Guineas-winning handler is at Santa Anita to oversee Home Of The Brave's run in the Turf Sprint, but he'll have a keen eye on Doncaster in the early hours when Qassam makes his stable debut under Josephine Gordon.
The Al Shaqab-owned horse never raced beyond a mile for Andre Fabre and there are few clues in his pedigree to suggest he wants this far, but he could be very well handicapped off 95 on bits and pieces of form and Palmer could've run some really smart three-year-olds in this race.
The aforementioned To Be Wild is rated 104 after winning by four lengths here last time, while stablemate Wall Of Fire is another three-year-old rated 107 after victories in the Melrose at York and the Mallard at Doncaster over 1m6f.
I didn't think the latter was an obvious one for that sort of distance, being a son of Canford Cliffs, but he relished the step up in trip and Palmer has a good line on plenty of the November Handicap field through those two horses.
Perhaps it's telling, then, that Qassem is his representative here. He's certainly got at least a bit of talent as he gave 4lb to Dressed In Fur when beaten a neck at the end of July and that filly was second to Donjuan Triumphant in a Group Two as a juvenile.
That might be a tenuous line of form, but at 16/1 off a mark of 95 I'm happy to take the risk, especially with Palmer having a good line on plenty of these, including the favourite.
Over at Wincanton it's the Badger Ales Trophy and the likes of Southfield Theatre, The Young Master and Carole's Destrier could all be vulnerable to a race-fit rival as they all make their seasonal returns.
Paul Nicholls' Present Man is the obvious one with a run under his belt, but I'm not sure he'll be able to confirm earlier course form with Colin Tizzard's GENTLEMAN JON.
The eight-year-old has always been a good looker but hasn't always been the best jumper, and his chasing career has often been held back by the odd mistake.
However, he jumped really well when winning at Wincanton last time, the first time he'd had a go at a trip in excess of three miles. The slower rhythm seemed to really help him that day as he jumped as well as he ever has and he pulled out plenty when asked to see off I'm In Charge (incidentally, Standing Ovation won that same race before returning to win the Badger Ales here a couple of years ago).
I'm In Charge had previously split Present Man and Gentleman Jon, but Tizzard's horse improved from an eight-length beating off the same rival to see him off by two lengths from just 1lb better terms.
On that improvement gauge he will give Present Man plenty to think about with a 4lb pull at the weights and Nicholls' favourite is far from certain to confirm the form.
The Tizzard yard remain in great nick, Gentleman Jon has won three times at the track and will love the ground, and at 14/1 (BetVictor, Paddy Power, Coral) he's a good price as he could well be the one to capitalise if the likes of The Young Master prove ring rusty.
*Sky Bet are offering EXTRA VALUE to followers of the Sporting Life Value Bet column with guaranteed prices at 0830 GMT 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 0830 (GMT) 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: +371.04pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1705 GMT on 04/11/16.
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