RACING fan Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) picks out his best bets from Saturday’s racing.
14:50 Ascot | ITV4
A mile and a half Listed race for older horses and looking at the betting it’s an open race. A lot of these have good recent win ratios and it’s unlikely to be an easy race to win, but there is one in there that I really like and think has a big future.
UAE Prince was a very expensive purchase as a yearling and this lightly raced son of Sea the Stars is still learning the game. He’s won two of his four starts so far taking a Redcar handicap last time out hinting that there is more to come from him.
The extra distance here should suit and I am firmly of the opinion he will be slightly better than this level. He needs to improve to win but I would be disappointed if he didn’t and he looks the most likely winner to me.
Carntop is of interest as this time last year he was sent off favourite for the Lingfield Derby Trial and remains capable of better than he’s shown so far.
15:40 Lingfield | ITV4
A Group 3 for fillies over 7 furlongs this looks a really good race for the track and sees the return of top French filly Qemah. A dual Group winner at three, connections will be hoping she has another successful campaign.
Qemah won the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot before adding the Prix Rothschild later in the campaign and she was one of the very best of her age group last year.
She was unlucky not to have won more races, she was keen early on occasions and there is reasons to believe she will be better this year.
She handles soft ground and isn’t short of pace so conditions here look ideal. This is likely to be a prep run for Royal Ascot but connections would be very disappointed if she doesn’t make a winning return.
She meets a couple of race fit rivals here, however they all need to improve significantly to feature and despite being a shade of odds on she looks a good bet to me here.
16:00 Ascot | ITV4
The Victoria Cup is one of the biggest 7 furlong handicaps of the year and as ever this looks a fiercely competitive renewal race. With 27 runners you need a horse who can handle big fields and a lot of luck in running thrown in to find the winner, but there is one at a price I think it’s worth taking a chance with each way here.
Squats ran in this race last season finishing down the field however his overall form at this track is really good. From his eight previous starts here that’s the only time he’s finished out of the places so he’s clearly effective over course and distance.
My main concern is that he tends to need his seasonal debut however the yard is going really well and it’s worth taking a chance he’s fully wound up as he is a very backable each way price. The yard also has the favourite Fastnet Tempest and he looks to hold a real chance too but I’ve backed Squats in this.