HORSE RACING nut Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) returns with his best bets for Saturday’s action.
13:00 Naas | At The Races
This is a four-runner Grade 3 two-mile hurdle where tactics could prove vital and it looks wide open.
All four have realistic chances and all still have the scope to go to the top. Three of the top Irish stables are represented and I like one at a decent price.
Koshari (7/4 Ladbrokes) won in France on his second start and is so far one from one in Ireland. He’s represents the Ricci, Mullins and Walsh combination who generally mop up graded races so has to be respected.
However, Koshari didn’t set pulses racing when winning last time out. He could be anything but at the prices I’m against him.
Missy Tata (9/4 Bet365) was fourth in the Fred Winter last season and has won her last three starts bringing the most solid form in to the race.
She’s clearly improving with every start but there is little depth to her previous two victories. She is the horse to beat here and comes in fit but she’s plenty short enough in the market for my liking.
Joseph O’Brien has made a great start to his training career and returns to the National Hunt scene after sending a runner to Santa Anita last weekend.
Slowmotion (7/2 Ladbrokes) has won one of his three starts in Ireland and is better than she showed in the Mares Champion Hurdle at Punchestown last season.
The fact she was sent off at 2/1 shows she’s well regarded and was a very impressive winner the time before that. She is open to any amount of improvement and at the prices on Saturday, she’s worth a bet.
14:00 Lingfield | At The Races
The Betway Churchill Stakes is run over the course and distance of the two big all-weather races of the season (Winter Derby and Easter Classic) and is generally a good indication towards these races later in the campaign.
However, it’s also a valuable race in its own right and is an early season winter highlight.
Yorker (4/1 Ladbrokes) is a Group 1 winner in South Africa and makes his all-weather debut. His form is hard to weigh up but he has shown he’s got a decent engine on his three starts for William Haggis. He is race fit and has claims but he’s best watched here, in my opinion.
Maverick Wave (15/2 William Hill) has a solid all weather record but comes here after finishing last in the Champion Stakes last time out. He was a pacemaker that day but this represents a significant drop in class.
On his day Maverick Wave’s talented and he’s race fit but he has finished behind Grendisar on four occasions and isn’t a win proposition for me.
Grendisar (5/2 Stan James) was a revelation last season winning on his last three starts, all of which were over course and distance. After being the perennial bridesmaid he finally got the winning bug and looked a new horse.
He can run well fresh and looks a cut above his rivals here. He loves the track and races off level weights and I expect him to make a winning return.
13:00 Naas – Slowmotion (7/2 Ladbrokes)
14:00 Lingfield – Grendisar (5/2 Stan James)