RACING expert Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) picks out his best bets from Saturday’s action at Ascot, Newmarket and Curragh.
14:10 Ascot| | ITV
A competitive 5-furlong handicap and plenty of old favourites line up here. I’ve backed Orions Bow on his last two starts, once at Musselburgh when he never got competitive after meeting trouble, and last time at Newcastle where he really should have won. He remains of real interest and I expect him to run well at what’s still an each way price.
14:40| Ascot | ITV
A 10-furlong handicap with a relatively short priced favourite in the form of the unbeaten Laraaib and I think he’s opposable. dhas come second on his last two starts including last time out where he looked unfortunate at York and he looks value here to me. He should go very close and is another each way option.
15:15| Ascot | ITV
This fillies handicap over a mile looks between the top 2 in the market and my preference is for Sir Michael Stoutes runner. Tirania came second last time out preventing Silvestre De Souza from completing a four-timer on the day and she may struggle here. Mittens is a well bred improving filly who may prove better than a handicapper and I expect her to win this.
15:50| Ascot | ITV
The summer mile is usually a good race and this year is no different. Sovereign debt has been a revelation for Ruth Carr but I think he will fall short here. Mutakayeef was second at Royal Ascot in the Queen Anne last time and if he runs anywhere near that level he wins this. He is a short price but he should get a nice confidence booster here.
16:50| Curragh | ITV
The Anglesey Stakes are one of the rare juvenile group races in Ireland where the market is not dominated by Ballydoyle runners. Brother Bear ran well when favourite for the Coventry stakes, however, he may have run into one here. Theobald looks a very good prospect for Jim Bolger and is backable here.
17:20| Curragh | ITV
This is another good race but this 5-furlong race looks at mercy of Marsha. A group 1 winner last year she won under a penalty first time out before running a brave race behind the freakish Lady Aurelia. She looks well treated by the conditions and through a short price should win easily on this quick ground.
17:55| Curragh | ITV
The Irish Oaks is one of the highlights of the summer across the sea and Epsom winner Enable is a short price to follow up her classic success. She should win but I’ve had a small bet on the John Ox trained Naughty or Nice each way. She stays well and at Ascot her saddle slipped ending her chances. She may run into a place at a huge price.
15:25| Newmarket | ITV
The Bunbury Cup is one of the toughest handicaps of the season to win but there is one in here I’m taking a chance on. Flaming Spear has won his last 2 on the all weather (both at Newcastle) and is on an upward curve. Last time out he was particularly impressive and if he can show that improvement on turf he could be thrown in here. He’s worth taking a chance on here.
16:00| Newmarket| ITV
The Superlative Stakes is a group 2 for juveniles and this looks at the mercy of the Aidan O’Brien trained Gustav Klimt. He won his maiden well last time and this well bred son of Galileo will love the trip here. With the stable flying this week and early market confidence the signs are ominous for his rivals. He should win this.
16:35| Newmarket| ITV
The July Cup is the highlight of the day and I expect Caravaggio to win this. It’s a very good renewal and it’s no formality so I’ve decided to back one each way who is a huge price instead of taking the short odds about the favourite. Brando is a high-class sprinter who’s won on both his visits to Newmarket. He could run into a place here and I feel he is vastly overpriced.
14:10 Ascot – Orions Bow (9/2 Ladbrokes)
14:40 Ascot –Burguillos (7/2 Ladbrokes)
15:10 Ascot – Mittens (9/2 SkyBet)
15:25 Newmarket – Flaming Spear (6/1 Unibet)
15:50 Ascot – Mutakayeef (4/7 Unibet)
16:00 Newmarket – Gustav Klimt (11/10 Unibet)
16:35 Newmarket – Caravaggio (10/11 Unibet)
16:50 Curragh – Theobald (6/1 Paddy Power)
17:20 Curragh – Marsha (8/15 Paddy Power)
17:55 Curragh – Enable (2/5 Unibet)