A strong eight race card has been assembled for Ascot this Saturday where it is Lex Piper Stakes Day. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out seven metres for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (16:23) Mouritz Blitz Plate 1100m
2 Magic Planet (Bet Now: $5.00) gets the nod for me in the opener. Adam Durrant trains this youngster, who was well in the market when debuting over 1000m here a fortnight back but just did too much work in the run, sitting wide no cover on speed when tiring late behind Party Night. Draws much better this time around and Pike steers.
6 Alcina (Bet Now: $6.00) attempted to lead all the way in the race won by Party Night mentioned above. She is a stablemate of Party Night and she tried very hard on speed but Party Night was just too tough on the day. Has the gate speed to lead these from the gate and though a slight query at 1100m, I think she’ll run really well.
9 Olivia Knows (Bet Now: $14.00) is a filly on debut for the Neville Parnham team. This girl has had two trials to prepare for her debut, with the first one coming over 400m before a third over 1000m where she looked to travel nicely throughout and went about her business well. Stable is going well and stable rider chooses this girl.
Race 2. (17:04) Airspares Services & Parts Handicap (1MW) 1400m
Siding with 2 Jeraft (Bet Now: $2.70). Did a really good job over 1500m here last Saturday I thought, getting a mile off them in the run before making up a stack of ground nearer the inside and was held a touch when third to Nelson’s Flight. Like that he is backing up the following Saturday and just has to overcome the nasty gate.
5 Presentatie (Bet Now: $4.20) will appreciate the step up to the 1400m. She ran over 1000m here three weeks ago and just lacked the speed to go with them but her finale was more than sound behind stablemate Masquerade. 1000 to 1400 is a big leap, but I’ll trust the stable to train her for it and overall, this isn’t a strong race.
4 Flower Of Scotland (Bet Now: $5.50) is a promising mare by Domesday who deserves a crack in town. Ran over 1400m last time out at Bunbury and I thought she was dominant in winning, sitting on speed before being clicked up and careering away late. More depth here, but has the right racing pattern and is in form.
Race 3. (17:45) Fujitsu Ducted Air Handicap (72+) 1200m
You’d have to think 5 Ellicazoom (Bet Now: $3.40) is anywhere near right, she would just about take care of this lot. This girl hasn’t raced since a pretty full on Spring prep where she ran well in Melbourne without winning before contesting the Peters and ran like a tired horse. Trial win last week was outstanding and she looks ready to go.
1 Candelight Star (Bet Now: $7.50) is an Adam Durrant traiend seven year old who has come back in super order. Resumed with a super win at Geraldton before racing over the 1000m here last Saturday where he got back off the pace and worked home with purpose late behind Snow Lord. Tricky draw, but Pike on a big tick.
3 Get Over It (Bet Now: $5.00) had trialled up okay prior to resuming at this track/distance a fortnight back where he was hard in the market but I thought on face value, he was quite disappointing behind Star Glitter. Does have a very good second up record and I think he has a few credits in the bank from last prep, so forgive/forget the resumption.
Race 4. (18:20) Jeff Mouritz Gas & Air Cyril Flower Stakes 1200m
She lacks the class, but 7 Royal Missile (Bet Now: $1.85) is flying for the Simon Miller team and is down in the weights. She hasn’t raced since lumping 59kg to a game win in the Pearl Classic at Pinjarra four weeks back. Tumbles down to the minimum now and Pike remains on, which is a good lead. Confident she can measure up.
1 Battle Hero (Bet Now: $2.30) is the form/class horse of the field and as such, he is topweight. Thought there was great merit in his win last time out in the Pinjarra when leading all the way. He was there to be beaten but he found plenty late when challenged and clung on. Maps well again. Just has to carry the weight.
3 Dream Lifter (Bet Now: $27.00) is a very good sprinter who has been freshened up since running a howler in the Scenic Blast where he didn’t pull up 100% post race and was disappointing behind Rebel King. If he turns up with his best form, he goes awfully close. Just an unknown as to where he is at. Market will be the guide.
Race 5. (18:55) Gas & Air Commercial Handicap (72+) 1600m
3 Western Temple (Bet Now: $1.70) looks well placed here. Adam Durrant trains this gelding who ran over this track/distance a fortnight back where he just got a mile back off the speed and worked home strongly in a leader dominated affair behind Wrinkly. Up to the mile third up is perfect and Pike jumps on now.
7 Cougar Nights (Bet Now: $5.50) will love the rise to the mile. He ran over 1400m here last Saturday where the trip was probably a bit short for him but he was a real eye catcher late behind Sweet Ora. Should be getting close to peak fitness now, has more upside than most, and if they go keen in front, he’s the horse.
10 Sonnen (Bet Now: $18.00) is a knockout chance at odds. He comes through the Wrinkly race from February 24 where the trip was short of his best and he never really looked likely but he was really good to the line and through it. Once he gets to 2000m+, he’ll be better off, but I think he’ll still be effective at the mile.
Race 6. (19:30) Lex Piper Stakes 1600m
I’ll back in the judgement of Pike siding with 2 Action (Bet Now: $2.50). He could have had the choice of several runners here but goes with this lightly raced bloke, who hasn’t raced for five weeks since racing over 1500m here where he got back and took forever to wind up but his finale was more than sound behind Friar Fox. Winkers go on to sharpen him up. I’ll side his way.
1 Money Maher (Bet Now: $4.80) is a quality animal for the Pearce team who was hard in the market when resuming over 1400m here a fortnight back but he never really looked likely at all in what was a most disappointing fourth. He is much better than that and to my eye, he seemed more dour, so up to the mile should suit.
7 Sentimental Friend (Bet Now: $6.50) is an above average gelding for the Williams camp who comes back to the mile after winning impressively over 1800m here a couple of Wednesdays back. Admittedly he beat nothing but the manner in which he did it was quite sharp. He should do no work from the gate and will be strong late.
Race 7. (20:05) Bonaire Evap Cooling Handicap (66+) 1000m
10 Scalpel (Bet Now: $7.50) has finally drawn a barrier, so I’ll side with him. He is first up since running down the track at this distance but keep in mind he was four wide no cover for the trip. Freshened up, blinkers off first time and he finally draws a decent barrier. Concerned that Aaron Mitchell rides the stablemate, but I’ll stick with Scalpel.
6 Atacama Sky (Bet Now: $5.00) is a Simon Miller traiend gelding who is nearing a win and I think he gets a great chance here. He ran at this track/distance a couple of Wednesdays back where he looked all over a winner 150 out but he fell in an absolute hole and was swamped late when a narrow third. Senior jock on and draws well.
1 Star Glitter (Bet Now: $11.00) was a horse I liked at huge odds a fortnight back over 1200m here and aided by a lovely ride off the pace, he came with a well timed run and got a deserved win on the board. Not normally a horse who can string them together, but with a soft run off a hot pace, he could have last say.
Race 8. (20:40) Gas & Air Wangara Handicap (1MW) 1200m
Each way, I’ll go with 4 Sixpence Spent (Bet Now: $12.00) in the get out. This bloke ran over 1200m at Albany last Thursday where he got back off the pace but worked home with real purpose late behind Scottish Trader. Gets good weight relief, blinkers are back on and if they go hard in front, he’ll be charging at them late.
9 Kimbo’s Girl (Bet Now: $8.50) is a Simon Miller trained mare who is back racing. Two months between runs since racing over 1400m here where she sat on speed and gave them a good kick but just peaked on the run late when fourth to Oliver’s Travels. She is a bomb when produced fresh and draws a lovely gate.
11 Wacked Out (Bet Now: $11.00) is on the seven day back up after racing voer 1500m here last Saturday where he ran his race in the gates and behind it after playing up badly, eventually running last. He is much better than that and I find it very interesting that he is backing up within a week and is coming back to 1200m.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Three Number 5 Ellicazoom
NEXT BEST: Race Six Number 2 Action
VALUE: Race Eight Number 4 Sixpence Spent
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 3, 5, 7, 10
Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7
Leg Three: 1, 2, 4, 6, 10
Leg Four: 4, 5, 9, 11
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