RACING expert Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) has taken a look at the best plays from Saturday's action.
Saturday 18th January 2020, 13:30 | Haydock
Haydock's graded action gets underway with a two-and-a-half mile novice chase and despite there only being four lining up it's a race worth paying attention to.
Windsor Avenue is the current favourite, but comes here on the back of his first defeat over fences last time. He went out like a light last time out, and if you look through his jumps form it's possible his previous performances flattered him with rivals underperforming. He is well regarded and the highest rated in the field, however he is opposable.
The one I really like here is Knight In Dubai (3/1 Bet365). He was highly tried over hurdles running at the Cheltenham Festival twice, but he strikes me as an even better chaser in the making. He fell on his only attempt over fences last season, however he was in contention when he did.
Since his return to the larger obstacles he's impressed with two easy wins and his jumping has been almost impeccable. He will handle the ground, is uncomplicated and I think he will win this.
Saturday 18th January 2020, 15:15 Haydock
The New One Unibet Champion Hurdle trial isn't known for producing winners of the Champion Hurdle however this may be different this year. Cheltenham's main Tuesday event is looking a little light and there is one horse in this race who has a serious chance of taking that crown.
Last year's Triumph Hurdle winner Pentland Hills (7/4 BetVictor) is on something of a recovery mission here after his below par reappearance however I suspect he will put that right here. Last time out he travelled beautifully, almost too well and folded tamely close home. He will be fitter on Saturday and his form last season would be good enough to beat these rivals.
There are only four lining up, but two of them (Ballyandy and Cornerstone Lad) like to race prominently so there should be a decent pace for the selection to chase here. Pentland Hills should win this before taking his place in the main event at the Festival.
13:30 Haydock – Knight In Dubai to win (3/1 Bet365)