RACING fan Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) picks out his best bets from Saturday's action.
A listed handicap hurdle over 2 miles and a fascinating little race are in prospect. While there may only be a field of seven lining up none of them are strangers to the winner's circle and this looks better than the listed level to me.
Charli Parcs won his first 2 starts before falling in the Adonis hurdle when looking hold. He was sixth in the Triumph Hurdle after that remains a horse of potential. He had a huge reputation last season and it's of interest what he does this year, however, for me, he is too short a price given what he has achieved so far.
High Bridge was midfield in last season's Supreme Novice Hurdle and returned this season with a fine third in what's proving a white-hot handicap hurdle. He remains another that's unexposed and could end up high class, but he's run into one here that I have huge expectations of.
Mount Mews was second in Aintree's grade 1 novice hurdle last year and was touted as a champion hurdle hope for this campaign. His return to action was at first glance disappointing, third in an Ayr handicap, however, I'm not too worried. The ground that day was bottomless and be was conceding a lot of weight. With that outing behind him and the better ground, he is the one to beat in my opinion.
The Ladbrokes Trophy stakes or the Hennessy to you and me is the first big staying handicap chase of the season and one of the biggest betting races of the year. A big field on soft ground means it's likely to be really testing and there is no shortage of strong candidates here.
American is three from three over fences and this delicate son of Malinas has been wrapped up in cotton wool by Harry Fry to make it here. He is hugely talented and will appreciate the ease on the ground so has to be high on anyone's shortlists. My concern is all his wins have come in single figure fields and this may just be too much for a relatively inexperienced sort.
Total Recall joined Willie Mullins from Sandra Hughes and on debut for the yard beat the useful Alpha Des Obeaux, who has since won at grade 2 level so his form looks solid. He may still have plenty of improvement in him and is respected, however, he is too short in the betting for me.
Singlefarmpayment has plenty of big field handicap experience and despite this still has a really good racing weight. He seems to show his best form at Cheltenham, however, he's remarkably consistent and a solid jumper. He will love the fast pace and has the form on soft ground, I almost can't see him not being involved at the finish here.