Horse Racing Tips | 20th April 2017

Graeme Johnston previews the final day of the Craven meeting.

14:25 Newmarket

The Bet365 handicap over 7 furlongs is a relatively small field with only seven runners but it’s an interesting race none the less. Most of these are on losing runs and this may not take much winning, but there is one in here I really like.

Despite the small field this is likely to be run at a tremendous gallop with the two market leaders Tabarrak and Salateen looking likely to force the pace. It’s possible they may take each other on and with the presence of two front runners I’m looking elsewhere for my selection.

Last year Accession demolished his rivals in this race and I think he can win it again. He seems to save his best performances for here and despite being higher in the weights than he was 12 months ago I expect this to have been his target over the winter.

He goes well fresh and with plenty of pace in the race I think this looks a good opportunity for Accession to claim his seventh career win.

15:00 Newmarket

A 6 furlong Group 3 with seven runners, all of whom are making their seasonal debuts, this is a race to keep a close eye on the markets and take a look at the paddock if possible. Some decent sorts line up here and there is one who could go right to the top.

Brando is a very good horse and remarkably consistent for a sprinter. On eight starts last season he was only out of the places once and that was when stepped up to Group 1 level for the first time in the Nunthorpe.

He then won the Ayr Gold Cup before ending the campaign with a fine second in the Champions Day sprint.

His best form does come with a bit of cut in the ground however he has won on a quicker surface before. An easy winner on his only visit here he looks a cut above his rivals here and it’s worth noting he’s won on his seasonal debut each of the past two seasons.

He’s favourite but he deserves to be and I make him a confident selection.

15:35 Newmarket

The Craven is one of the key trials for the 2000 Guineas and this looks a typically hot renewal. Plenty of Group race form on offer with a Racing Post Trophy winner lining up and some unexposed sorts too so whatever wins this will be a real challenger for the big race in May.

Rivet brings the best form in to the race as a Group 1 winner however on his previous visit to the course he did not seem to handle the track and the Racing Post Trophy he won didn’t look a particularly hot race.

War Decree is another with smart form and his wins worked out well but I have a suspicion looking at his breeding he may not improve from two to three however I may be wrong.

The one I like is the Richard Hannon trained Larchmont Lad. A Group 3 winner at the track last season that form took a boost when Whitecliffsofdover won the Free Handicap.

That was his last start and he should appreciate the extra distance here and with the stable going really well I think he is overpriced and is an each way alternative to the market leaders.

Graeme Johnston’s Best Bets

14:25 – Accession

15:00 – Brando

15:35 – Larchmont Lad (each way)