RACING fan Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) picks out his best bets from Saturday’s racing.
14:20 Newmarket | ITV1
The Palace House Stakes is often seen as a starting point for some of the countries top sprinters and this is no different with multiple Group 1 winners in the field. As a lot of the main fancies are making their seasonal debuts it may pay to look at bigger priced runners for some early season value.
Profitable came to hand early last year winning this race before winning the Kings Stand at Royal Ascot. He is a top class 5 furlong performer and is the one to beat here. Godolphin have snapped him up since then and he is likely to win races however in this big field I feel the value lies elsewhere.
Marsha ran some fantastic races last year culminating in a Group 1 win in the Prix de L’abbaye. She is only four so could improve further and is a filly I really like. However she has a big penalty to defy here and if she was able to win this I would be hugely surprised and almightyly impressed.
The one I’m going to take a chance on here is Kimberella. A tough and dependable handicapper, he was transferred to the Richard Fahey yard when Dandy Nicholls retired.
He has been transformed by this switch and has won twice on the all weather for his new yard. He’s in the form of his life, is race fit, and though he has a few pounds to find I think he is a good value each way bet here.
14:55 Newmarket | ITV1
The Jockey Club Stakes is another good race on the card however this has attracted a very small field. Only five line up but it’s a good race and as the market suggests, the favourite should be hard to beat, but she’s by no means unopposable.
Winner of the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks last season Seventh Heaven is a top class filly and the best horse in the race. On her day she is very good and ran a huge race behind Jack Hobbs in Dubai on her return.
There are a lot of reasons to expect her to win however to me she is vulnerable. Her best form comes on flat tracks and I’m not convinced this is her track, she should win but has thrown in a couple of off performances so I can’t back her at odds on.
I’m going to oppose her with the French raider One Foot In Heaven. He has ran in some of the world’s top races last season (Arc and Hong Kong Vase) and he ran with credit.
While he falls just below top class he is a very good horse. He looked like he needed the run on his return at Chantilly and with that run under his belt and the extra distance sure to suit I make him a value bet against the odds on favourite.
15:35 Newmarket | ITV1
The 2000 Guineas is upon us and despite the small field this is a very good renewal in my opinion. We have a mix of proven juveniles mixing it with unexposed horses and I’m convinced that this race will produce multiple Group 1 winners.
Churchill has been ante-post favourite all winter and his form looks solid. Not beaten since his debut he is not only talented but brave as a lion.
It’s likely we are yet to see the best of him and it’s possible he will improve further against better horses. I really like him and hope he wins, however he’s too short a price and the fact I missed the fancy prices ante-post last season still haunts me.
The money has come in for Barney Roy all week and he is now clear second favourite. He won well on debut prompting Godolphin to buy him (common theme today) and that looks a great investment.
He won the Greenham in fine style and the extra furlong here will suit. However my concern is the Greenham was full of maiden winners and may not be the strongest of form in this race.
The Guineas always seems to throw up a big priced placed horse and there is one here that I think could continue that run. Larchmont Lad was fifth in the Craven last time out however I feel he is better than he showed there.
He was on the wrong side of the course and when he hit the front he seemed to run out of steam. Richard Hannon is convinced he will come on for that race and this previous course winner is a generous each way price in my opinion.
14:20 Newmarket – Kimberella each way (16/1 Paddy Power)
14:55 Newmarket – One Foot In Heaven to win (11/2 Skybet)
15:35 Newmarket – Larchmont Lad each way (40/1 Ladbrokes)