Captain Tommy ran up with the pace for three quarters of his race on Friday. However he hit a flat spot on the final bend and tailed off when struggling to keep up with the leaders. This was clearly not his true running and given the trainer's comments was very disappointing. We do have another Eyecatcher running on Saturday in a competitive handicap chase.
Read on to see whether we rate him to be a value pick...
The team at Cleeve
3.20 Newcastle, Betfair Rehearsal Handicap Chase (Class 1) (0-160 4YO+) 2M 7F 90YDS
Top Ville Ben has won three chases from seven attempts, but his only wins have come at class three and four. His last two attempts have been at class one level… last time out he faded after being up with the pace to finish fifth behind Ballyoptic over three miles. His previous run in April saw him beaten six and a half lengths by Lostintranslation at Aintree, which was a good run.
We think that we need to see more competitive form in class one races before we can be confident about backing Top Ville Ben at this level. He has to carry 11′ 7” in this race and gives weight to all bar top weight Lake View Lad. Our antepost pick Jonniesofa carries 10′ 12” and it will be hard to give him nine pounds here. The well handicapped Captain Chaos also looks tricky to give weight to.
Top Ville Ben would be considered each-way value at 8/1 or better but at a best-priced 5/1 currently is not a bet.