The Ascot racing season kicks off this Saturday with a nine race card set down. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out three metres for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (15:37) Westspeed Platinum Mdn 1100m
Was very keen on 5 Validation (Bet Now: $3.00) two weeks ago and despite getting beaten, I’m keen on her again. I think the tactics were really poor on her in the race. She is a free wheeling on speed, so opting to take cover was odd, she got pulling and had nothing left for the finale. Hoping McNaught lets her run and if that eventuates, I think she’ll be winning.
1 Zip Zam Zoom (Bet Now: $2.70) was heavily backed in the maiden race mentioned above from two weeks back at Belmont where he had the sweet sit just off the speed and loomed to win but had to settle for second to Bee Quick, who was impressive and also first up. He should take good improvement from that and interesting to note McNaught rides Validation and not this guy.
3 Neat Action (Bet Now: $31.00) is a Playing God gelding for Neville Parnham that resumes. This four year old hasn’t raced since May 15 here over 1500m when behind the speed and battling away well without really threatening. Thought his Belmont trial placing was pretty good and from the barrier, can see him getting the suck run behind the speed and being strong late.
Race 2. (16:17) TABTOUCH MAIDEN 1600m
Provided there is no second up syndrome, 9 Sublime Image (Bet Now: $2.35) should be breaking the maiden tag here. This mare resumed over 1400m at Belmont two weeks ago, 36 weeks between runs, and paraded like she would need the run, and the market thought so too, because she was $4.8-$6 in betting. Still, finished off with purpose to run second to Jarman. Fitter, extra 200m…keen.
2 Indian Chant (Bet Now: $8.50) is a David Harrison trained gelding that was hard in the market when racing over the mile at Northam last time out where he went forward from a wide gate to lead and gave a good kick when asked by Newman, but just couldn’t quite finish it off when third to Dafox, who had run well in town the start prior, so the form doesn’t read too bad for this.
3 Son Of The Sun (Bet Now: $15.00) comes through the Jarman race from two weeks ago, the 1400m maiden. He was wide no cover for the trip and entitled to drop away, but kept chipping away and was good in defeat when fourth, beaten two lengths. He’s had a few chances to break the maiden tag, but with better luck in running, he can cause some problems.
Race 3. (16:57) MAGIC MILLIONS INITIAL PLATE 1000m
1 Brazen Arrow (Bet Now: $7.00) is a son of Smart Missile for Roy Rogers. He trialled a couple of weeks back at Lark Hill over 950m and despite doing a bit wrong, gee he showed good change up speed when asked for an effort by McNaught. Wanted to drift about a bit under pressure, but the turn of foot was there to see and I do like the booking of a senior jock in Jarrad Noske.
8 Neurologic (Bet Now: $4.50) is a daughter of City Place for the Martin Allan stable that draws wide, but looks to have ability. She’s had two trials in readiness for start one, the latest coming over 950m at Lark Hill when back in the run before Pike eased her wider and under light riding, she won the trial in pretty good time. The gates makes things tricky, but she looks talented.
7 Convention (Bet Now: $6.00) is a Paul Jordan trained filly and as is the norm with the stable and their youngsters, it showed really good speed from the outset in the trial, this one being over 1000m at Belmont, and under riding, she won by a space and ran reasonable time in doing so. Stable usually has good success with early season juveniles and this girl looks ready to go.
Race 4. (17:33) BYRON BAY PREMIUM LAGER (72) 2100m
2 At The Ready (Bet Now: $4.40) isn’t going too bad for Adam Durrant. This bloke ran behind Bunker Buster in the race mentioned above where he was back near last in the run and never really in the hunt but did make up ground very late. He tends to save his best for Ascot, he draws a soft gate and the big tick for mine is that Pike takes the ride, and he placed on the horse the start prior.
Hard to knock the way 1 Bunker Buster (Bet Now: $2.25) is going at the moment. Racing really well for Adam Durrant, winning two weeks ago at Belmont where he had a bit of a struggle to get the win but in the end, class came to the fore and he was too good, just. Was heading towards the Kalgoorlie Cup but stable dodged that and instead have elected to run in this very winnable race.
8 Mosseratti (Bet Now: $7.50) has bumped into Bunker Buster at his past two and has raced well behind the in form Durrant stayer. Last start, he was a little unlucky not to go close to beating him given he was held up a touch and had to switch course to nearer the inside, which wasn’t the A1 ground, and ended up running third. He’ll run well again and with better luck, he can win.
Race 5. (18:10) Amelia Park (Rs1mw) 1200m
Can 5 Nerodio (Bet Now: $4.80) make it four on end? I think he can. Stephanie Baknarich has done a fab job with this gelding this time in, winning 3/3, the latest coming over 1200m at Belmont when finishing off with real purpose from off the speed to get the job done once again, and clock some sharp late splits in the process. Confident he can measure up to this level.
1 Creative Hero (Bet Now: $6.00) is a son of More Than Ready resuming for the Adam Durrant stable. This guy hasn’t raced since the Lex Piper during the Autumn Carnival where he was okay but outclassed behind Regal Power, and I think 1500m at that stage of his career was a bridge too far. Fresh at 1200m off the back of a handy trial at Lark Hill, expecting a forward showing.
8 Friar’s Fantasia (Bet Now: $7.00) is first up for the Pearce camp and she bears close watching. She hasn’t raced since May 8 when on speed and fighting hard, but couldn’t quite get the job done when a close up third to Golden Acres. Been given a good spell and has been prepared for her return with a couple of trials, both of which have looked pretty good to the eye.
Race 6. (18:45) Crown Courtyard (Bm78+) 1400m
Interesting to hear trained Bernie Miller say during the week that 10 Cup Night (Bet Now: $4.80) may go to the paddock after this run, which usually tells me the horse is at the end of a prep, so that’s a concern, but he’s only third up here off the back of a brilliant win over 1400m at Belmont. For mine, he could be a potential up and comer for the locals in the Railway, but the trainer thinks perhaps 2020 is his time to shine. Either way, he’s on top here.
8 Forceful (Bet Now: $4.60) is a Team Williams trained gelding that should love the step up to 1400m. He resumed over 1200m at Belmont three weeks ago where the market said he’d need the run and that’s how it panned out, but he did find the line with real purpose late in the piece. Has a really good second up record and the big ticks are returning to Ascot and stepping up to 1400m.
11 Special Delivery (Bet Now: $41.00) looks a definite improver second up. He resumed over 1400m at Belmont where he tried hard but just lacked the speed in the legs to be a winning threat when down the track behind a Stakes winner in Cup Night. A step up in trip is probably what he’s looking for, so remaining at 1400m is unknown, but does have a touch of class.
Race 7. (19:15) Crown Towers (Bm66+) 1600m
8 Velago (Bet Now: $4.60) looks one of the safer options. This gelding has finished runner up in both outings this time in, the latest coming three weeks back over 1400m at Belmont when attempting to lead all the way and he gave a good kick but just felt the pinch late when second to Lorentinio in a driving finish. Like him up to the mile, should land near the front and prove tough to run down.
4 Jedaffair (Bet Now: $4.60) is an Adam Durrant trained mare that was just fair when resuming over 1300m behind Regal Counsel before stepping up to the mile where Pike put her into a lovely spot just off the speed and in a driving go, Pike got the best out of her to win and defy a notable late betting drift. Think she’s got plenty of room for improvement. The knock is does she want further?
I reckon the old boy 1 Dark Musket (Bet Now: $41.00) is going well and I certainly wouldn’t be shocked if he got the win. He ran over the mile at Belmont last time out, a trip clearly short of his best, but I really liked the way he kept chipping away and his late splits weren’t too bad at all behind Taxagano. He’s looking like he wants further, so remaining at the mile is a query, but is one for multiples.
Race 8. (19:50) CROWN PERTH-3YO CLASSIC 1000m
Very interested to see how 13 Celebrity Queen (Bet Now: $1.85) goes. Team Williams trains this filly, who debuted at Belmont back on August 28 and it was one of the wins of the meeting, finishing off with real purpose from off the speed to get up and beat Some Sort, who has gone right on with it since and won a couple of races, so the form reads well and this girl has a stack of upside.
2 Jericho Missile (Bet Now: $5.50) is a quality son of Smart Missile that is first up for David Harrison. This three year old hasn’t raced since the Karrakatta Plate when down the track behind Dig Deep and on face value, he was disappointing. Been given a good break and his trial a couple of weeks back at Lark Hill behind Roger The Roman was quite good to the eye.
If they go silly in front, I reckon 10 Rocky Path (Bet Now: $17.00) could be a blowout at huge odds. She produced her form during the Winter and at times was hit and miss, but towards the end, she was putting it all together. Been given a few weeks off and while 1000m is short of her best, I can see her doing no work off a good speed and launching at them late at big odds.
Race 9. (20:25) Crown Sports Bar (Rs1mw) 1400m
Up to 1400m should the Alan Matthews trained 16 Matakanui (Bet Now: $19.00). This bloke resumed over 1300m at Belmont where he was ridden cold, pretty much like a barrier trial, and I liked the way he found the line late behind Swift Mirage. When trained in NSW, he did win 2/3 second up and came into his own when stepping out in trip, so he’s a knockout chance IMO.
3 Peppijack (Bet Now: $6.50) just has to repeat his effort from first up to go close to winning. He had specking when resuming over 1400m at Belmont and tried very hard after racing a bit keen early on in the run, but had no answers late to the finale produced by Cup Night, who is a Stakes winner and a potential Railway contender down the track. That form has to read well for this, and he’s a second up winner previously.
2 Stratocreed (Bet Now: $8.00) is a Team Harvey trained galloper that has been a little unlucky at his past two. Had to make his run nearer the inside two back, which was the inferior ground that day. Then came back in trip to 1300m and was very unlucky, getting badly held up when clearly having something to offer when second to Lady Sass. Better luck this time around and he can win.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Two Number 9 Sublime Image
NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 2 At The Ready
LONG SHOT: Race Nine Number 16 Matakanui
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 3, 8, 10, 11
Leg Two: 1, 2, 4, 8, 9
Leg Three: 13
Leg Four: 2, 3, 8, 16
$50 Investment = 62.50% of the dividend if successful
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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