HORSE RACING boff Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) has been in outstanding form in 2016. Here he picks his favourite Saturday bets.
2.35 Market Rasen | Channel 4
The 188bet Handicap Hurdle is a listed race over just shy of two miles, one furlong, and is one of the big hurdle races of the summer.
This looks a good race but there is one in here that I like the look of in this intriguing contest.
Hassle (11/1 BetVictor) was sent off joint favourite for the Summer Hurdle and he was keen early on and finished midfield. He wasn’t beaten far that day and since then he has ran twice coming second and winning at Cartmel last time out in good style.
That day he went from the front and I expect him to either set the pace or race prominently on Saturday and that will help him settle better and see the trip more effectively.
He’s still improving over hurdles and he will be at his peak now at the end of the summer campaign.
Though this looks a good race, he looks sure to run a solid race and I plan to back him here.
3.10 Market Rasen | Channel 4
The 188bet Handicap Chase is another very competitive summer national hunt highlight and this looks a very good race.
There is a lot of strength and depth to this but there is one towards the bottom of the weights who I like the look of.
Vintage Vinnie (5/1 Ladbrokes) has a record of one win from six starts over fences but he’s better than he has shown over the larger obstacles.
After turning his chase debut into a precession he fell when in contention in a Cheltenham novice chase and after that he was never hit the heights expected of him.
Last time out on his return to action he had a confidence boosting victory over hurdles and he lines up here as potentially very well handicapped horse.
I firmly believe he will develop in to a group class staying chaser and providing he gets into a rhythm early on, he could take some beating here.
4.10 Newmarket | Channel 4
The Cambridgeshire is one of the big flat handicaps and a notoriously tough race for punters to unlock. In a field of this size I like to back a horse each-way and that’s my plan and I’m very sweet on one.
The Luca Cumani-trained Banksea (14/1 Coral) is the one I like here and there are a few reasons why. He’s still unexposed, with two wins from nine starts he’s improving with every visit to the racecourse.
He has big field experience and since dropping back to a mile has settled a lot better. The big field and strong pace he will get here are both positives and this looks like the ideal race for him.
Not only that his jockey Jamie Spencer is a master in handicaps over a mile on a straight course. Drawn in the middle he can choose where to go and I think he will be involved at the finish today.
I plan to back him each-way here and I expect us to get a good run for our money.