RACING expert Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) returns to share his best bets from Saturday's action at Newmarket.
Saturday 4th May 2019 | 2:20 Newmarket | ITV
The Palace House Stakes is one of the key five furlong races in the run up to Royal Ascot and this is a typically strong renewal. There is likely to be plenty of pace looking through the field but there is one in here I'm a huge fan of and I firmly believe he will be a star this season.
Sergei Prokofiev (5/2 Ladbrokes) was quite busy for a Ballydoyle juvenile last season and after his good third in what looked a hot Coventry Stakes he seemed to disappoint. However, when dropped back to five furlong he started to fulfil his early season promise and I'm convinced he is a minimum distance sprinter and nothing else.
Sergei Prokofiev returned this season with a battling win over slightly further and this drop in trip is ideal. He will be fitter for that race and with course form in the book already I think he will win this.
Saturday 4th May 2019 | 2:55 Newmarket | ITV
The Jockey Club Stakes may have a small field but it's full of group race winners and I would be surprised if whoever takes this doesn't go on to win at the top level later on in the campaign. I'm going to take my chance on one at a price here who I still believe has much more to offer than what he's shown so far.
Mildenberger (14/1 Bet365) was second to Roaring Lion in the Dante last season where he made the running at a modest pace and shaped like a stayer behind last season's horse of the year. He wasn't seen for the rest of 2018 and made his return at Epsom where he was down the field in a handicap.
However, Mildenberger will be much fitter here and it's worth noting he was awkward at the start and was always playing catch up so I'm prepared to write that off.
He is a horse I think it will pay to follow this year and he's another one with solid course form to his name and at double-figure odds he is worth a small interest here.
Saturday 4th May 2019 | 3:35 Newmarket | ITV
The 2000 Guineas is the first classic of the season and despite it looking a strong race you can't help but be disappointed that it's lacking the two star juveniles from last season. Even so, it will still take some winning and I'm backing one who, despite disappointing on his return, looks sure to go very close here.
There are a lot of question marks surrounding these with the stamina in question of Ten Sovereigns (4/1 Unibet) and Advertise (15/2 Bet365), and the speed of Magna Grecia (5/1 Ladbrokes), it's going to require a slight leap of faith backing most runners in the field.
Nevertheless, I seen something in the Craven that really caught my eye and I am very excited about him. Royal Marine (12/1 Bet365) was a Group 1 winner on his third start last season, and after a campaign in Dubai where he didn't like dirt, he was sent back to turf where he was fourth in the Craven where on paper he was a disappointing favourite.
However, let me tell you why he wasn't. The pace in that race was muddling and he already has proven stamina, so he was the most adversely affected by this and he never settled at all. He was then trapped in on the rails and he was dropped out to last just to get a run before staying on late.
Royal Marine covered more ground, never settled and the race was pretty much decided before he got balanced. There will be more pace here and I also expect him to be in a better position too. Granted he has to improve but at the odds he stands out as the value call, to me.