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The Ascot Summer Carnival continues this Saturday where it is AJ Scahill Stakes Day. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out nine metres for the entire circuit.

Race 1. (15:04) Heineken Plate 1000m

Back Me

7 Red Warrior (Bet Now: $2.90) is a daughter of Safeguard on debut for the David Harrison stable. She has trialled twice in readiness for her first start, the latest coming over 950m at Lark Hill when on speed and despite being niggled at was holding her rivals and ran decent time relative to the morning. Not sure she can win, but should run well all the same.


2 Beethoven (Bet Now: $3.30) is a Helmet gelding having his first start. He trialled over 400m at Belmont on Monday and really, those trials are near impossible to get a real guide on, but he looked to move well enough and it was only the bob of the head that beat him. Lane booked is a good lead and overall, this isn’t a strong race, so he doesn’t need to be a star to figure in the finish.

Long Shot

4 Marocchino (Bet Now: $13.00) is a Lou Luciani trained gelding having his first start. He has had two trials in readiness for his first start, the latest over 400m at Bunbury earlier in the week when pushed out but responding well enough to run second. Depth here looks very thin, Harvey remains on and he has gate one so perhaps he could surprise at odds.

Race 2. (15:44) Mrs Mac's Handicap 1200m

Back Me

He’s just so reliable is 1 Kelly’s Calisto (Bet Now: $5.00) so I’m with him. Adam Durrant trains this gelding, who had a pretty solid Winter prep and was very consistent from start to finish. Thought his Lark Hill trial was very good, going to the line under no pressure in running third. Glenn Smith rides him very well and he should get every chance from gate one.


8 Truly Great (Bet Now: $4.40) will likely be the hot pot given the Pike/Williams/Peters factor. Don’t think he took on much when debuting last Wednesday at Bunbury but he showed a nice turn of foot nearer the inside to get the job done under hands and heels from Pike. Far more depth here, but he’s bred to be a good one and has a stack of upside so has to be respected.

Long Shot

Interesting to see what 2 Black Sabbath (Bet Now: $4.60) does. The Harvey stable trains this three year old, who is three weeks between runs since contesting the WA Guineas where the mile was a stretch, as was the class, when down the track behind Arcadia Queen. The formula of being tested at blacktype and freshened up back to benchmark company has been a proven one, as we saw last week with Market Ruler.

Race 3. (16:24) Salinger Handicap (1MW) 1400m

Back Me

He’s poorly weighted given he’s recent form has been at Geraldton, but I’m finding it hard to get away from 1 Akiko (Bet Now: $6.00). He ran in the Regional Championship here a fortnight back and was clearly one of the best runs of the race when working home strongly from the back to run a narrow fifth. Parnham jumps on now, gate one, can sit closer…really keen.


2 Vital Silver (Bet Now: $2.35) is a handy son of Wanted resuming for the Pearce stable. He hasn’t raced since June 30 when finishing midfield behind at Belmont behind the then in form Great Again. Been given a good break and the two trials leading in have been quite good. Tricky draw but does have a touch of class/quality on his side. Market will be the guide.

Long Shot

10 Retosona (Bet Now: $9.50) is a David Harrison trained mare who trialled well prior to resuming at Bunbury last Wednesday over 1100m where she got back to near last in the run but finished off well behind proven city performer Kentoo. Found to have had blood in the mouth too so there were excuses. Happy to give her a chance based off the encouraging resumption and sharp trials.

Race 4. (17:04) Kirin Megumi Handicap (78+) 1100m

Back Me

Each way all day here via 5 Zuccheros (Bet Now: $19.00). Adam Durrant trains this veteran, who was eight weeks between runs when racing over 1000m here a fortnight ago and I could make a little case he should have placed. Just took a little too long to angle into the clear and once he did, he really finished off his race. Like him up to 1100m, fast speed and Lane takes over.


If 1 Belter (Bet Now: $4.20) can harness his energy, he’ll probably win. Drops miles in grade/depth after contesting the Winterbottom last time where he just went way too hard in front and rightfully dropped out to run near last behind Voodoo Lad. Tayla Stone rides this bloke very well so back to 1100m and back against this class of horse, he’s very likeable.

Long Shot

7 Snow Lord (Bet Now: $7.00) is a Universal Ruler gelding first up for Team Williams. He can be a tad hit and miss at times but we know that at his best he’s a proper city class horse. Has a really good first up record, likes racing at Ascot, and he was one of the star triallers at Lark Hill a couple of weeks ago. Also draws to stalk Belter, so for mine he’s a definite threat.

Race 5. (17:43) The Merrywell Handicap (66+) 2200m

Back Me

The quick rise in trip is the concern but the upside is there with 11 Deception Game (Bet Now: $9.00) for Adam Durrant. He was 1600-1500 a fortnight ago and was a real eye catcher, working home with real purpose late to run fourth to Nordic King. Looks a real stayer, and he’ll need to be because I’m sure Beaucount will make this a proper 2200m contest.


7 Magical Charm (Bet Now: $2.70) is a Team Williams trained mare who was a popular fav when racing over 2100m here a fortnight ago and for mine she was too far back and left flat footed when Ryan Hill booted for home on Beaucount. Eventually picked up the bit and was sound late when a close up fifth. If she can sit closer in the run, she’ll take some beating.

Long Shot

8 Beaucount (Bet Now: $7.00) will lead this field and give an almighty sight. He tried to break their hearts over 2100m here two weeks ago and gave a great sight for a long period of time but couldn’t quite finish it off and staggered to the line to run third to The Big Show. If he doesn’t go as hard this time around, the race sets up that he could well pinch it.

Race 6. (18:19) A J Scahill Stakes 1400m

Back Me

8 Arcadia Prince (Bet Now: $2.70) for me. This is clearly his toughest test to date, but the depth here looks a tad suspect and he seems a horse on the up for Team Williams. Past two starts/wins have come at this track/distance and each start he has been electric from off the pace. Steps up to WFA but the way he’s racing, I think he’ll comfortably measure up.


1 Great Shot (Bet Now: $5.00) is the unknown. On the seven day back up after racing in the Kingston Town last Saturday where he well and truly confirmed that 1800m, maybe even a tough mile, is not his go behind Arcadia Queen. Back to 1400m, back to this level, he looks one of the hardest to beat…just depends what upside is left in the tank with him.

Long Shot

7 Pinzu (Bet Now: $23.00) trialled up really well prior to resuming in the Carbine Club three weeks ago and the Adam Durrant trained gelding landed some good bets when finishing with purpose from off the pace to score. Bar Plates go on…my guard is well and truly up when they’re on, but the first up win was electric and he is more than capable of running well second up.

Race 7. (19:30) Devil's Lair Handicap (72+) 1500m

Back Me

3 Jeraft (Bet Now: $6.00) is a definite improver. He comes through the Blackline race from three weeks ago where he had to drag the field up to the speed runners and by the time he got there, he was gassed and couldn’t finish it off. Like him back to 1500m and I love Chris Parnham going back on. He rides the gelding better than any other rider. Can definitely bounce back.


9 Reveille (Bet Now: $4.60) a key threat for me. Adam Durrant trains this mare, who is three weeks between runs since racing over the mile here where she got a long way back in a fast run race before eventually getting to the outside, letting down hard, but just missing out on picking up Blackline in a tight finish. If she is close enough on the turn, she’s certainly good enough.

Long Shot

10 Broker (Bet Now: $19.00) should be near ready to produce his best third up. Jason Miller trains this gelding, who ran over 1400m here a couple of weeks ago and was far from disgraced I thought behind Arcadia Prince, who I am quite keen on in the Scahill. 2/2 at the 1500m, down in the weights and I don’t see that much pressure in front so he could roll forward.

Race 8. (19:30) Tabtouch Better Your Bet Handicap (1MW) 1800m

Back Me

This looks a bit of a nightmare to sort out. Leaning the way of 1 Eliza’s Dream (Bet Now: $16.00) for Tim Crosby. This gelding has done most of his recent racing at Bunbury and has been very consistent, his last start coming a couple of weeks ago and proving much too good after getting the 1/1 sit. More depth here, but it’s a race with a host of winning chances.


10 Royal Strata (Bet Now: $13.00) is a Justin Warwick trained mare in ripping form at the moment. Loved the way she attacked the line to win last Wednesday at Bunbury, sitting off a fast speed before angling into clear and really savaging the post to get the win. Has run well at Ascot before and now she’s in a winning frame of mind, she could well go on with it.

Long Shot

13 Orabreeze (Bet Now: $35.00) took a while to break the maiden tag but he finally got win one on the board last start over 1690m at Bunbury, sitting on a pretty slow speed before being asked for the big effort and finding sufficient late to score. How often do you see these non winners finally get a picket next to their name and then back up with another. Lane booked also.

Race 9. (20:05) D'Orsogna Handicap (66+) 1200m

Back Me

13 Truly Belong (Bet Now: $8.00) will do me here. Loved her resumption behind Patapus before racing here a fortnight ago and if you were on, apologies for bringing up the nightmare. She should have gone very close to winning but got stuck behind some very tired runners when looking for clear air and went around as if it was a barrier trial. Better luck this time around and she’ll take some beating.


5 Forceful (Bet Now: $5.00) is a talented son of Hard Spun for Team Williams that resumes. This bloke came of age in the Autumn at Belmont, winning three on the bounce before being tipped out. The Lark Hill trial last week was just fair to the eye, he was pushed out but did respond when second to Snow Lord. Pike choosing him to ride looks the good lead for those who like.

Long Shot

6 Arrum Boy (Bet Now: $9.00) is a Steve Wolfe trained four year old who has performed very well in town but recently had been struggling which is why Wolfe sent him back to the provincials. Still not sure how he lost the photo two back but made amends last time with a comfortable win. Got the confidence boost last start, now he can go right on with it from a soft gate.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Three Number 1 Akiko

NEXT BEST: Race Six Number 8 Arcadia Prince

LONG SHOT: Race Four Number 5 Zuccheros


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 1, 7, 8, 9

Leg Two: 3, 9, 10, 11

Leg Three: 1, 2, 3, 10, 13

Leg Four: 5, 6, 13

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