RACING fan Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) picks out his best bets from Saturday’s racing at Haydock.
15:30 Haydock | ITV4
The Pinnacle Stakes over just shy of a mile-and-a-half is a Group 3 for fillies and mares. With the ground on the soft side this could take some getting and stamina will be pushed to the limits. Ten are scheduled to go to post and I think it looks quite open.
Ajman Princess (9/4 BetVictor) failed to win as a three year-old however she kept good company with a fine second at Royal Ascot her best performance. She returned this season with an easy maiden win before she won a listed race at Goodwood in fine style. That was a messy race but she is clearly still progressing and could go close.
Dubka (13/2 Betfred) won four times last season and comes from a stable that specialises in improving their older horses. When stepped up in class she fell short and she has quite a lot to find to win this. Her most impressive win came on soft ground and she should be fitter for her return but I feel this may come too soon.
Bateel (3/1 Ladbrokes) switched from the David Simcock yard to be trained in France by Francis Graffard and has started her career in France with a solid second in a Group 3. She has won four times in total, all with soft in the title, and is unbeaten on an easy surface.
She stays well and with the arrival of the rain I make her a very confident selection.
16:05 Haydock | ITV4
Another Group 3, this time over the specialist distance of seven furlongs looks a really good race and a bit of a head scratcher. The soft ground and the trip shouldn’t inconvenience many of these and it could end up a tight affair, but there is one I like.
Breton Rock (11/4 Ladbrokes) ran right up to his best last time when third in the Lockinge and has to be respected on soft ground. A previous course and distance winner he ticks a lot of boxes and is deservedly favourite. However, he has to concede 5lbs here and in a tight race that could prove beyond him.
Jallota (7/1 BetVictor) is another who likes soft ground and seems at his best over seven furlongs. Another previous course and distance winner he should strip fitter for his return last time out but he has a 3lb penalty here and I think that may just stop him. He could run in to a place but I’m looking elsewhere for my bet.
I am a very big Mitchum Swagger (5/1 Ladbrokes) fan and I’m convinced he is more than up to winning this. He was touched off in a Group 3 at this track last season and he’s been keeping good company recently.
Seven furlongs is his ideal trip and he will handle the ground. Ryan Moore taking over is a huge positive and I think he is the one for me in this tricky race.