AN outstanding Saturday of racing, Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) shares his best bets.
14:05 Ascot | Channel 4
The Stella Artois 1965 Chase has attracted a field of seven runners and looks wide open on paper with each runner holding claims of some sort and whoever wins this should have a good season ahead of them.
Kylemore Lough makes his first start outside of novice company today and make giant strides last season. He was highly tried as a novice hurdler and shows those ambitions weren’t as wild as it looked at the time and ended the year a Grade 1 winning chaser. However this is a tough contest and on his seasonal debut I’m against him.
Dodging Bullets won the Champion Chase two seasons ago in a weak renewal however he was slow coming to hand last year and never really looked like defending his crown.
He returned this season at Exeter with a half decent effort but something about him worries me. At the weights he’s thrown in but I just don’t fully trust him and even though he is the best treated by race conditions I can’t back him.
God’s Own was a good novice two years ago but it was beginning to look like he may never reach the heights he looked like he once could. After a few tame efforts in top races he beat the mighty Vatour twice, and though I think he was flattered on both occasions he is a top chaser.
He will appreciate the distance and is weighted to reverse form from his last start. He has to concede weight all round here however I think he will be up to the task today.
14:40 Ascot | Channel 4
The Coral Hurdle only has five runners but they are a good bunch and all are proven Graded race winners. However one of these is very much on the up and I’m very sweet on them.
Zarkander is a proven Grade 1 horse and has tasted victory at the top level in both France and England and has the best form on offer here. Not only that he receives weights from three of his rivals so looks well in. However he doesn’t win as often as he should and unseated his rider when looking the likely winner last time out. He is likely to run his race however he may be venerable to younger legs.
Lil Rockerfeller has been a credit to connections and on his day is a match for these. He’s added real consistency to his game however he has to concede weight all round here and I don’t think he’s quite classy enough to do that. He will run his heart out but he is likely to fall short.
I cannot wait to see Yanworth here. A very high class novice hurdler he was only beaten once when coming second to Yorkhill. There is no shame coming second to him and I have a feeling he will be even better this season.
He travels so well in his races and I think in this small field he may have too much tactical speed late on. Barry Geraghty comes here to ride him rather than go to Haydock and I see this as a tip in itself. He’s a short price but I think he will win.
14:05 Ascot – God’s Own to win (5/2 William Hill)
14:40 Ascot – Yanworth to win (Evens Bet365)