Irish racing tips: Johnny Ward's best bet at Naas on Saturday

By Johnny Ward
Fri 10 Feb 2023

I'm not a huge fan of mares' races – for all that Honeysuckle is running in the right race next month – but they have their place and there's a brilliant Listed Chase for mares at Naas on Saturday, live on Racing TV.

The feature BBA Ireland Limited Opera Hat Mares Chase (3.25) is a €25,000 contest and shows the irrelevance of grading at this level as, given the calibre of the line-up, this could be a Grade One.

The pace in the race could be very hot and it's nearly a race in which the best bet might take place after the tapes. I couldn't find a confident selection for that race, but I do have a fancy in the 1.40pm. Be lucky.

1.40 Naas: Hands Of Gold

So local is Hands Of Gold to this track, he will barely know he has had a day out – and hopefully the same is true of the race as he appears to be a 'good thing'.

Well-backed when successful at Gowran Park in January, those who laid him at 20 in-running after a blunder two out were left with egg on their faces as he hacked up, with two of the rivals he beat there re-opposing on Saturday.

The penalty will not stop him scoring again, if he's in the same mood.

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