Matt Brocklebank previews action from York on day one of Sky Bet Ebor Festival and highlights his high-priced fantasies.
- The long standing column is Value Bet 137.4 points profit (staked out 209 points) so far in 2022
- Winners this year include 50/1 Noble Yeats in the Grand National and Desert Crown at 25/1 (antepost) in the Derby
- Lord Riddiford (14/1) and Prairie Falcon (14/1) were both picked at last month’s Qatar Goodwood Festival
Value Bet Tips: Wednesday 17th August
1 point win Gis A Sub in 1.50 York at 33/1 (Bet365)
1 point win El Bodegon at 3.00 York at 14/1 (Bet365)
1 point win Red Verdon in 4.10 York at 20/1 (bet365)
Skybet Odds | Paddy power | Betfair Sportsbook | ITV7
There’s really no need to take on Baaeed
The opening afternoon of the Sky Bet Ebor Festival features a banquet of punt opportunities, in addition to the trifle of the world’s best flathorse Baaeed, who is attempting to extend his career record to 10 wins from 10 starts in the Juddmonte International Stakes.
The four-year-old’s rise to stardom has been a truly remarkable story considering he only made his debut last June, and while there were a reticent grumble or two following his craft victory at the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood last month, that is undeniable the fall his chance to shine now by tackling 10 stadiums for the first time in York.
As long as Mishriff shows up at his best, the 2021 hero should in theory give the favorite a decent race, although sluggish starts have continued to damage John and Thady Gosden’s horse since last year’s Champion Stakes at Ascot and his recent King’s performance of George was well under the one he showed 12 months ago on his way to victory here.
If there’s to be a shock, Baaeed’s stablemate Dubai Honor could be the one to provide it, as he simply looked ring-rusty when pulled out of his nose by Sir Busker in the Sky Bet York Stakes. Expect Dubai Honor to put those efforts far behind in what is a slow-moving affair, although with another run at Ascot it could be more of a betting proposition in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Doyle from the front in Voltigeur heat?
There are more engaging races elsewhere on the map and EL BODEGONthe highest rated horse in the field according to official figures, is worth a dart in the Group 2 Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes.
As a two-year-old he was a Group 1 winner in France but missed his planned comeback in the Prix Greffulhe after a setback in the spring and was then contacted by Desert Crown and company when he finally showed up again in the Dante Kann here.
However, there were many more positives from his next two starts – admittedly back in France in softer conditions – as second to eventual Coral Eclipse winner Vadeni in the Prix du Jockey Club and third behind the Arc-tied Onesto in the Paris Grand Prix.
If the overnight rain showers come that will be a boost but the pouring should have taken the sting out of the ground for day one at York and James Ferguson’s stallion might be able to dominate this from the front. Booking Hollie Doyle certainly suggests he will be asked to make the race and if he is not harassed too badly by Ryan Moore on Aikhal – who is up to 12 furlongs for the first time – he may be able to get out of it slip field.
There’s a bit of class about El Bodegon and having really come to the fore at the end of last season, maybe this is just his season.
Ryan sprints the value call in the opener
Kevin Ryans GIS A SUB may be looking quite interesting at a wild price in the opening Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap game, a race the same court won back-to-back with Bogart and Blaine in 2013 and 2014.
Both horses had run exceptionally well at that meeting as youngsters earlier in their careers, Bogart landing the big sales race and Blaine winning the gimcrack before winning that pot a few years later.
Gis A Sub didn’t win the Gimcrack, but he ran a blinder 12 months ago in second to Lusail in this Group 2 competition, and now for the first time ever he goes off a dangerous-looking 99 mark with a handicap.
His rating has fallen from 106 at the start of the season because he was held up well at Hamilton, Haydock and Ascot but he was thrown in at the deep end in the Commonwealth Cup last time out at the Royal Meeting and showed much more panache in the first blinkers than at his first few outings of the year – leading up to halfway before being understandably outclassed.
He’s since gotten a gelding and been given plenty of time off, which could help the horse rediscover some of his youthful form, and Ryan has swapped out the headgear for cheekpieces to try and find the sweet spot between something too light (like at Ascot ) and didn’t look particularly interested in the game anymore. Here’s hoping everything comes together for him on the ninth start of his life.
Age is no barrier to staying handicap
The recent return of cheek pieces has definitely had a positive impact on the veteran RED VERDON and he’s the other on Wednesday looking overpriced in the Sky Bet Stayers handicap.
The nine-year-old has brought some memorable days to the Ed Dunlop yard over the years and he’s clearly past his prime, but it’s worth remembering that he was still winning at list level last summer, came second he was forced back into the group company.
Finally the handicapper has given him another chance this season, he hit a 104 mark at Wolverhampton in April and is looking well after hitting a neck in his penultimate start at Beverley.
He backed that up with a decent performance last time on Shergar Cup day at Ascot, getting caught in a pocket behind ailing rivals before going on to be beaten by just two and a half lengths.
He’s dropped back to a 97 mark here and with Tom Marquand seems capable of worrying the youngsters in this line-up.
Posted at 1300 BST on 08/16/22
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