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While we’re talking about the rise of WA sprinters after Barakey’s 12th straight win in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes last Saturday, tomorrow’s Ascot feature gives another insight – and maybe a punting conundrum – on the next wave of dashing short-coursers!

Local trainer Simon Miller saddles up two well above average sprinters Hard Ball Get and Miss Bux in the Listed 3YO Placid Ark Stakes (1200m).


And you could make a case for backing either. Hard Ball Get – $2.00 out to $2.40 on Luxbet – was unbeaten in two weaker grade starts at Belmont in the Winter, but tuned up with an effortless recent trial win. Miss Bux, heavily backed early on Luxbet from $6.50 into $3.40, announced her ability on debut with a dominant front-running win at Bunbury just over two weeks ago.

From a better draw and with natural gate speed, Miss Bux should find the front, while Hard Ball Get will come over from a wider gate an d hopefully sit at her “wheel.” They should have it between them, but I’m confident Hard Ball Get will take the filly in the straight and be stronger on the line! And if you want to ice the cake with a few more layers, roll it in to Fanicio in the fourth race over 2200m!

A competitive day’s racing on the eastern seaboard has the Listed ATC Cup (2200m) and Sharp Flying Sprint (1200m) as the highlights at Warwick Farm, the Open class Victoria Cup (1440m) headlines Caulfield, while most eyes at Eagle Farm will be on the Listed Recognition Stakes (1600m).


Here’s a snap-shot of how I see Saturday’s spoils:

MY RECOGNITION STAKES TIP (Eagle Farm R6): TRIPLE SIX: After two strong runs back at Rosehill, perfectly placed now over the mile from a good draw and on the limit weight. This isn’t a strong Listed race, and with early backing for others, Triple Six is one of the best v alue bets in Australia!

MY BEST BET: NUPTSE (Warwick Farm R7): Although weighted to her best, the jockey’s claim helps, and she boasts a very good second-up record. Had no luck resuming under lights, and is better suited away from the fence where she can wind up before the turn. Only bad luck beats her!

MY BEST VALUE BET: MR EDISON (Warwick Farm R6): Big odds, but ready to win now fourth-up over the mile. Hit the line strongly in a similar race last start, and gets in just 0.5kg over the limit.

MY BEST LAY: BLEDISLOE (Warwick Farm R6): Won well resuming, and while he enjoys good weight relief here, this is a much tougher race and is also drawn wide. Way under the odds!

BEST BACKED ON LUXBET: I AM TITANIUM (Caulfield R1): No contest here. From the moment we put up $4.20 about this two-year-old colt on debut, every sharp punter wanted to be on. Heavily backed o n Luxbet right into $2.50!



Race 4: Ridden quiet, the extra trip shouldn’t worry Moriarty who found the line behind a good horse last start in class record time. He’s the one to beat! Still on the limit weight, Fromelles is the danger ideally stepping up in trip, while Dreamworker is also well-placed despite a class rise. Veteran Fiumicino has been given a month to recover from the Bendigo Cup, but rises sharply in weight and would prefer a softer track.

Race 5: Good sprint. First-up on the limit with a strong fresh record, Stratford has been well supported, but I’m tipping Coup Ay Tee who hasn’t raced for five weeks but looks ideally placed to settle midfield and gather them in! Forfeiture is better suited here second-up and is a danger. Last-start winner Uate drops in weight and will be in the finish, while Riva De Lago is a big watch first- up for five months with the claim.

Race 6: Tricky and open mile with several hopes, but at the value I’m keen on Mr Edison who is nicely treated and hit the line well last start in a similar race. The Great Snowman has been well backed, and while a query running a strong mile, he enjoys a big weight drop. Early favourite Bledisloe also has weight relief, but will find this a lot tougher, while I’m also a big knock on last-start winner Bay Window who rises in weight and has drawn wide.

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