A stunning Saturday for Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) last week and he’s back here for more brilliant racing tips.
14:30 Newmarket | Channel 4
The Palace House Stakes is the first opportunity to see some of the top sprinters on turf this season and a bumper field of 22 have shown up. While not all hold realistic chances it’s a fascinating renewal and there is value to be had.
Sole Power is one of the most popular sprinters of recent times and at age 9 is still a force at this level. The winner of over a million pounds in his career he owes connections nothing and comes here fit after a stint in Dubai. However he wasn’t at his best over there and has to concede weight to all of his rivals in the race. The ground may be too soft for him so I’m taking him on here.
Take Cover is a bold front runner who has come back to form on the all weather lately and has form in big field handicaps. He has winning form on soft ground and could play a massive part here. However it’s almost 20 months since he last won on turf and it looks like he will set the race up for others than win himself.
The one I like here is Waady from the John Gosden yard. A hugely progressive colt last season he has been gelded over the winter and that could have a huge effect on him.
He’s unbeaten over five furlongs and didn’t settle properly over six furlongs. The likely fast pace here will be ideal for him and I think he will run a huge race. He won on his debut last season and with his stable in fine form he looks primed to go close. I’m backing him each way here.
15:05 Newmarket | Channel 4
The Jockey Club Stakes looks a very good renewal with last year’s St Leger winner, a Derby runner up and a Goodwood Cup winner lining up and it should prove an informative race, but who wins?
For the record I think Jack Hobbs is a star. Runner up in last year’s Derby I firmly believe he will take his form to a new level this season and trainer John Gosden expects him to improve with age.
If he is anywhere near fit he wins this and I think he is the horse to beat over middle distances this year. However I don’t like backing odds on chances on their seasonal debuts so I’m backing another, but I think this fellow has a huge season ahead.
Simple Verse had an amazing season last year and after making her debut in February she ran eight times ending up with the St Leger and Fillies championship on her CV.
However with success comes weight and she has the formidable task of conceding weight all round here. I have a feeling she will have targets later in the season and she will improve for this so I’m taking her on today.
I’m going to take a chance on Big Orange here. This Michael Bell inmate had a great season last year winning the Goodwood Cup before coming fifth in the Melbourne Cup. He has race fitness on his side after a trip to Dubai and put up a huge effort coming second to the highly talented Vazirabad.
In a race where all of the fancied runners make their seasonal debuts he could steal this and with Frankie Dettori on board if he is given an easy time in front he could be hard to peg back. I’m taking a chance on him here each way.
15:45 Newmarket | Channel 4
The first Classic of the season and it’s had the look of a one horse race for some time. Air Force Blue comes here odds on to add to Aidan O’Briens Classic haul and he looks well clear of his rivals. The fact Ballydoyle have only sent two across and the other is a 40/1 shot tells me they are confident and I think they are right to be, but is there value opposing him?
I think Air Force Blue wins this, so I’m not going to look at him too much, so if something goes wrong who’s most likely to take advantage. Stormy Antarctic was an impressive winner over course and distance in the Craven but I’m not sure about that form.
He handled the soft ground well and beat the well touted Foundation but that rival looks like he needs a trip and the rest of the field are below group form. He will probably run a solid race but he’s too short for me in the betting.
Galileo Gold improved with every start last campaign and ended up with a third in the Grand Criterium on his final start. He was keen there and if he settles better could be a top 3 year old this season.
I’m not sure what his ideal trip will be this season however connections seem bullish about his chances here. Again he could run a big race but I’m looking elsewhere today.
Marcel won the Racing Post Trophy last season and though that’s known as a Derby trial he didn’t look short of pace that day and I’m interested in him here.
He went into that race a 33/1 chance but ended up an impressive winner and trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam rates him highly. No stranger to training Classic winners he will have him primed for this and in a race where stamina is not assured from a lot of these especially on softish ground I expect Marcel to see the trip out well and is the most likely to take advantage of the favourite doesn’t run to his mark. I make him another each way selection.
14:30 Newmarket – Waady each way (8/1 Bet365)
15:05 Newmarket – Big Orange each way (10/1 Bet365)
15:45 Newmarket – Marcel each way (12/1 Coral)
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