Value Bet: Have Faith in Beckett hope
Ben Linfoot picks out the best bets at Newmarket and York in his Value Bet preview ahead of Friday's action.
Gold Faith can return to winning ways at Newmarket
Ralph Beckett is a trainer that consistently has a good end to the Flat season and it's a big day for him on Friday as Rich Legacy bids to add to his Group One haul in the Dubai Fillies' Mile at Newmarket.
The Holy Roman Emperor filly is a bit unlucky not to head into this with an unbeaten record, her victory in the Group Two May Hill Stakes at Doncaster last time giving weight to the argument that she was an unlucky loser in the Prestige at Goodwood.
That success on Town Moor means she comes into this with the best British form, although Aidan O'Brien sends over a couple of fillies' from Ballydoyle – Rhododendron and Hydrangea – that have already dipped their toe into Group One waters in the Moyglare.
Throw impressive maiden winners Spatial and Sobetsu into the mix as well and you have a fascinating clash that might shake up a 1000 Guineas ante-post market that is currently struggling to decide who deserves Classic favouritism heading into the winter.
It's a race to watch and learn from for me, but there is a bet on the Newmarket card and it does concern that man Beckett as he also runs GOLD FAITH in the Godolphin Flying Start Old Rowley Cup at 3.45.
As I began, Beckett is a trainer that does well at the end of the year. He had a 25 per cent win strike-rate in November 2012, a 23 per cent win strike-rate in November 2014 and 14 winners from 67 runners gave him a 21 per cent win strike-rate in October last year.
They're healthy numbers at what can be a difficult time of the season and his yard is in good form at present too. Beckett has already had three winners in October, all in the last couple of days, including Listed success in France for She Is No Lady.
She Is No Lady brings us round nicely to the Old Rowley Cup, as she was fifth in the race last year, while stablemate Argus was sixth. The year before, Beckett's Cinnilla was third, and though that's a small sample the signs are this is a race Beckett targets and in which he does well.
All that backs up the case for getting with Gold Faith at 25/1 (bet365, 20/1 generally), although his form merits greater respect than those odds whether you think the form of the Beckett stable at this time of year is relevant to his chance or not.
This horse remains extremely unexposed after just seven career starts, five of which have come as a three-year-old of which four have come over distances around a mile-and-a-half.
Since he's been stepped up in distance his form has reached a new level and he followed up a good Kempton second with victory on the July Course at Newmarket off a mark of 79 in the summer. That was an impressive win and the second, Rockspirit, and the fourth, Lord George, have both boosted the form since with subsequent victories.
Up 6lb for that success, Gold Faith struggled to land a blow in a hot race at Goodwood next time, but he wasn't beaten far having been keener than ideal and then poorly positioned on the inside at the business end of the contest.
He stepped up on that run when third at Salisbury after five weeks off, but again he was short of room, this time more drastically, as he was denied a run throughout the final two furlongs, only seeing clear daylight when his chance had gone.
It might seem like we're getting into excuse territory with him, but given he's so lightly-raced he's easily forgiven a few runs where things haven't dropped his way and at least they contribute to his generous odds on Friday.
As for this test, there should be no excuses. He'll love the ground, he's had another mini break since Salisbury (seems to need time between his races), his draw in eight is good, there is plenty of pace around him and top lightweight jockey Jimmy Quinn should have no trouble ensuring he has a smoother passage this time on the wide expanse that is the Rowley Mile.
He looked to have a perfect blend of turn of foot and stamina when winning on the July Course and at 25/1 he's a huge price if able to display those qualities again.
Over at York there's a good-quality card to kick-off their final meeting of the year and ICE SLICE looks underestimated at 20/1 (general) in the stanjames.com Bet On Your Mobile Stakes at 2.20.
James Eustace's five-year-old has had the season of his life after switching to prominent tactics, winning five times this campaign, and he's risen from a handicap mark of 72 to one of 94 in the process.
You could conclude his winning streak has come to an end after defeats off 93 and 94 on his last two starts, but I'm not sure we've seen enough evidence yet to fully justify the argument that the handicapper has caught up with him.
It's only three starts since he won at Chester off just 3lb lower, while next time at the same track he ran really well from a wide draw before he went off too hard last time at Ascot.Both of those defeats suggest he's still in good form and he's interesting stepping back up in trip to a mile – the distance two of his five wins have come over this season.
Looking through the race there doesn't seem to be much competition for the lead and regular partner Ryan Tate could well find himself in a nice rhythm up front without using up too much petrol.
A few of his wins this season have come on galloping tracks like York and this course and distance could suit him perfectly, particularly if he gets the run of the race up front.
Finally, Tony Martin has been mopping up plenty of staying handicaps this season and his new recruit LANDSMAN could bag him another one in the StanJames.com Stakes at 3.25.
The three-year-old put in a career-best effort last time on his final start for Johnny Murtagh, just going down a short head to My Direction on his first go over a mile-and-a-half.
The winner has run well off much higher marks twice since and the pair were over five lengths clear of the rest.
It looks good form and Landsman looks nicely treated off 85, while on that Tramore evidence he looks sure to enjoy the further step up in trip too.
The general 11/1 looks perfectly fair.
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: +385.04pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 BST on 06/10/16.
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