HORSE RACING boff Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) has been in outstanding form in 2016. Here he picks his two favourite Saturday bets.
3:45 Ayr | Channel 4
The Ayr Gold Cup is the highlight of the flat season in Scotland and this looks a typically strong renewal.
A field of 25 line up and as ever the draw will be important with trainers keen on high numbers. We’ll get clues in the Silver Cup but it looked like low numbers will be favoured from Friday’s racing.
Growl (11/2 Bet365) is drawn low and looks sure to be sent off favourite and is currently trading at short odds for a big field handicap.
His form this season has been exceptional with two wins and finishing no worse than fourth in seven starts and I expect him to run a solid race here.
He was unlucky not to finish closer in the Stewards Cup and he is the horse to beat.
G Force (12/1 Bet365) has been well supported in recent days and if back to his best is an incredibly well handicapped horse.
He’s not won in over two years but that was the Haydock Sprint Cup so he’s very talented. He showed a glimpse of his talent last time out, however, at the prices he’s not for me, though he is talented enough to win this.
The one I like here is the top weight Absolutely So (16/1 Bet365).
He’s six now but he’s still relatively lightly raced and comes here a fresh horse.
He ran a good race in the Wokingham and hasn’t been seen since and I think this has been his target.
He’ll like the ground, will enjoy the pace of the race and is drawn in the middle so he can choose where to race. Absolutely So looks primed to run another huge race in a handicap and I’m backing him each-way here.
5:00 Newmarket | Racing UK
A mile-and-a-half fillies handicap and although it’s not one of the main races of the day, it’s a very interesting race and there is one at a price that I like the look of here.
Elraazy (9/4 Bet365) won a Haydock maiden last time out in the style of a stayer and the first two pulled clear and looked above average. That was 2 weeks ago and she takes a step up in class here.
Given her connections she has to be respected but at the prices she doesn’t appeal to me so I’m looking elsewhere.
Dubka (9/4 Bet365) is a Sir Michael Stoute filly chasing a four-timer and last time she won a handicap she ground out a victory showing a great attitude.
She is bred to improve further however she’s conceding weight to some unexposed sorts and my opinion is her winning streak ends here.
The one I like in this is the Roger Varian-trained Talent to Amuse (9/1 Bet365).
A winner of a Lingfield maiden in June she looked a filly to follow but she disappointed twice after that and is now on a recovery mission.
However, there were excuses for that; her stable were really struggling for winners at that time and have only recently turned the corner in the last four weeks.
If she shows her true potential here then she is well handicapped and I’m taking a chance that she is better than she has shown on her last two starts and I plan to back her.