RACING fan Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) picks out his best bets from Saturday’s racing.
15:30 Haydock | ITV4
The Sandy Lane Stakes is a Group 2 for three-year-old sprinters and should be one of the main trials for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. We have seven lining up and this looks a good race with a couple in here that I really like.
Second Thought (11/2 BetVictor) had a very profitable season on the all-weather going from maiden winner to all-weather champion three-year-old sprinter in four months and four starts. He is progressive and could improve further for the switch to turf, however I think he is up against it here and I’m looking to take him on.
Poets Vanity (14/1 Stan James) is a filly I like and she ran a solid race in the 1000 Guineas last time out. She doesn’t settle well and the drop in trip here could be the making of her. This is the first time she has been tried over a trip this short and connections will be hoping she can fulfil her early promise.
In an average renewal she would be my selection but there is one in here I think is pretty special.
Harry Angel (5/6 BetVictor) won the Mill Reef on only his second start and I think he is a sprinter destined for the top. He returned at Ascot earlier this month finding only Blue Point too good, but it must be noted he was conceding weight to the winner there.
Trainer Clive Cox tends to take time with his top horses and he should be fitter now. He’s a short price but he’s a Group 1 horse in my opinion and will win this.
16:05 Haydock | ITV4
The Temple Stakes is one of the big early season sprints and this looks a typically strong running. All eyes will be on Quiet Reflection (11/2 Betfair) making her return but with doubts over the ground she is likely to have plenty of opposition in the market.
Quiet Reflection had a superb season last year and comes back as one of the countries top sprinters. On soft ground she is, in my opinion, the best horse over six furlongs in Europe, however on quicker ground she is vulnerable.
At the time of writing, it’s firm ground, and on seasonal debut she is opposable. If the rain does arrive then my opinion changes, however at the moment she is best watched.
Washington DC (4/1 Paddy Power) has become a consistent sprinter over the last 12 months, and though just short of top class he is a likeable sort. Race fit and straightforward he is the one to beat if the ground stays firm, however he tends to find one too good at this level and I’m looking elsewhere.
Goldream (9/1 Bet365) is a dual Group 1 winning sprinter and loves firm ground. He returned in the Palace House finishing just behind Washington DC. He should come on for that and I think that form may well be reversed.
The stable is going much better now and if the ground remains firm I will be backing him each-way.