Value Bet: Knight to slay rivals
Value Bet tipster Ben Linfoot has two each-way selections at big prices for Saturday's Betfred Cambridgeshire at Newmarket.
Knight Owl (yellow cap) winning at Newmarket earlier in the season
Value Bet Selections
One particular high-profile absentee in this year's Betfred Cambridgeshire means there is a distinct lack of the sort of unexposed horse that usually attracts all of the attention in a race like this.
John Gosden's Sacred Act would undoubtedly have been that horse but for his late setback, yet instead the focus is on a trio of former winners.
Bronze Angel is going for a record third success in the race, while Educate and Third Time Lucky are bidding to do what Marcus Tregoning's horse has already done and win this big pot for a second time.
The best-fancied of the trio is Richard Fahey's Third Time Lucky, as he heads the market on the back of a return to form when fifth at York last time. He had struggled earlier in the season, but that fifth in the Clipper Logistics Stakes was a step in the right direction and he comes here just 5lb higher than when successful 12 months ago.
Adam McNamara, seen to such good effect aboard Heartbreak City in the Ebor, takes off 5lb, so Third Time Lucky's chance is there for all to see, even if he would probably prefer a bit more juice in the ground.
Last year he was ridden prominently on the far side and that could be the case again from stall 13, while he's one of a handful of possible pace angles on that part of the track in this year's renewal.
Zhui Feng, Ode To Evening, Very Talented and Dolphin Vista, as well as Third Time Lucky, are all likely to help force a sound gallop from those drawn in the low numbers and there's a good possibility the far side could hold sway again.
I certainly wouldn't want to leave a far-side runner out of the staking plan and from his berth in stall nine James Fanshawe's KNIGHT OWL makes plenty of each-way appeal at 20/1 (general) (each-way terms vary – some firms 1/4 1,2,3,4,5, Sky Bet 1/4, 1,2,3,4,5,6).
The Rock Of Gibraltar gelding is a late developer and he's better than ever at the age of six, as proven by two of his three runs this season.
First time up he was excellent, showcasing his credentials for the Cambridgeshire with a ready success over the course and distance from a mark of 88.
He travelled very smoothly in a prominent position for George Wood that day, finding plenty coming out of The Dip to seal his win over Examiner and he'll bid to confirm the form with that rival on 2lb better terms.
Indeed, he only went up 4lb for that victory and the form worked out well, while the slow pace over a mile was dead against him in a small field at Yarmouth on his next start.
That was in June, but his current well-being is best judged by his very good second at Ripon last time where he was just denied in a photo by David O'Meara's Treasury Notes, with whom he gets a 4lb pull for a short head defeat.
His second place that day was a career-best effort and the handicapper put him up 2lb for it, with the weights for the Cambridgeshire already published. He's 2lb well-in then, which is not a lot, but such races are often decided by fine margins and it's worth remembering last year's winner was officially 4lb ahead of the assessor.
He can sit handy off a good gallop and finish strongly, and his light campaign is a potential positive here as well as he'll have fewer scars than most.
I like his chances at 20/1.
Obviously, dangers are everywhere. Bravo Zolo, Spark Plug and Banksea are in-form horses with good chances, while Stipulate enjoys this course and distance and would've been interesting but for heavy support on Friday.
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Ed Vaughan was aiming this horse at the consolation race, but he's sneaked in the main event at the bottom of the weights and I'm not sure the market has acted accordingly.
He's drawn in 34 on the stands' side, which may prove to be a negative as alluded to earlier, but he's perfectly capable of making his own running and any perceived draw bias is factored into his odds.
The main positive is he's in the form of his life, with successive career-best efforts on his last two outings.
The first of those came on the Rowley Mile in May when he won over 10 furlongs from Gold Prince, a horse that ran well in defeat off higher marks subsequently, the pair over three lengths clear of the third.
Given a break since then, he returned at Epsom at the end of August, a course he'd not really performed at in two previous goes. That makes his close third off a mark of 90 all the more commendable and there's every chance he can improve again back at Newmarket in the Cambridgeshire.
A key source of improvement could be the drop in trip, as he's thrived when granted a decent gallop over ten furlongs and he travels very strongly in his races, suggesting that a further drop to a lickety-split nine will be ideal.
He certainly won't be done for lack of stamina having won over a mile-and-a-half, while Josephine Gordon remains in good form and her 3lb claim will help from a handicapping perspective.
She's only teamed up with Vaughan on five occasions this season, but one of those was aboard Cold Fusion on the July Course, the pair bolting up by five lengths in a handicap at odds of 16/1.
Such a win will have helped her land a first Cambridgeshire ride and, at 40/1, her mount looks to have been underestimated.
Starting this week, 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: +393.04pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 BST on 23/09/16.
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