Eight races will be run and won at Ascot on Saturday. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (14:42) Lanciano Plate 1100m
Like the look of the David Harrison trained 5 Saturday Sun (Bet Now: $14.00). This Nicconi gelding debuted here last Friday where he got a fair way back in the run and was a bit green throughout, but didn’t mind the way he finished off his race when fourth to Miss Ellmya. Should take good natural improvement from that debut run and up to 1100m, he looks a leading contender.
3 Mini Winnie (Bet Now: $5.00) is two weeks between runs after racing over the 1000m here where he got back nearer the inside and was held up at times, but got clear and was good late when third to Specialism, who was beaten but far from disgraced last Saturday. Good draw once again. Just hoping he can take advantage of it and be able to sit that bit closer in the run.
Expecting good improvement from the Michael Lane filly 9 We’ve Got Dreams (Bet Now: $5.00). She wanted to get it over and done with in her debut here two weeks ago, running along at a good speed before feeling the pinch late when fourth to Specialism. If she can harness her energy a bit better, she’ll be dangerous because on debut she was fractious in the gates and took a while to load up.
Race 2. (15:22) Tabtouch Better Your Bet Handicap (1MW) 1600m
5 Pagan Image (Bet Now: $4.00) on top. Adam Durrant trains this three year old, who resumed at Bunbury on March 24 over 1400m where I thought Pike gave him every chance but he just lacked any turn of foot when fourth to Pure Magnus. Been given a good break since that effort and did trial at Lark Hill trial behind the well performed stablemate Come Play With Me in mid April, so I think the market will tell you if he’s ready or not.
3 Langley (Bet Now: $5.00) is racing in a real purple patch of form at the moment for the Mark Bairstow stable. This will be his fifth run in as many weeks so fitness won’t be an issue for him. Ran over this track/distance last Wednesday where I thought Peter Hall gave the Redoute’s Choice gelding every chance and he looked home, but was bloused right on the peg. Soft gate again and he’ll be there when the whips I’m cracking. Does he have the killer punch?
7 Flirty Friars (Bet Now: $8.00) is a son of Blackfriars for Paul Jordan who is starting to put it together. He has won his past two, both over the Pinjarra mile. Won the maiden two back before stepping up to Class One company and he bolted in, running decent enough time relative to the day. Has failed in town before, but now his confidence is up, he might well be better off.
Race 3. (16:02) Cavalier Handicap (76+) 2100m
Going the way of 4 Dark Musket (Bet Now: $7.50) in a tricky race for the stayers. This bloke was a game third in the WA Cup over the two miles before stepping back to 1800m here last time out where he got back and found the line well in defeat when fifth to Superior Smile. Getting back up in trip will be ideal for this bloke and he is starting to get somewhat down in the weights.
2 Come Play With Me (Bet Now: $2.40) is back racing for Adam Durrant, having had a little freshen up since the WA Cup where I thought Peter Hall gave the stayer every chance to win but the class of Cappo D’Oro was too good. No trials since that run, so bringing fresh legs to this, and is up in the weights, but does have class on his side and that will carry him a long way.
6 Salon Du Cheval (Bet Now: $3.50) is one to watch for sure. Lindsey Smith trains this bloke, who was good without luck behind Dutch Spy first up before going to the Diggers Cup on Anzac Day where he was keen in the run and had nothing left for the straight behind Touch Of Silver. At his best, he can win this. Just depends which version of Salon Du Cheval turns up to win.
Race 4. (16:42) Australian Racing Hall Of Fame Handicap 1200m
5 True Attraction (Bet Now: $4.40) is a talented son of More Than Ready for the Williams camp resuming. The form around this horse from the Summer Carnival is A1, with his last run being in the WA Guineas when fourth to star stablemate Arcadia Queen. Has had two trials in readiness for his return, so I think the grounding is there to run well fresh and does have class on his side.
2 Flirtini (Bet Now: $1.85) is a talented filly for Simon Miller that is first up. This girl hasn’t raced since the WA Guineas where she was back in the run but made good ground late behind the dominant winner and star filly Arcadia Queen. Looked sharp in a hot trial win last wee at Belmont in fast time, has class, in well after the claim and stable/jock combo is flying at the moment.
6 Unibro (Bet Now: $13.00) is a son of Universal Ruler for Adam Fairey who would have been a tragedy beaten when racing here on Good Friday where he was absolutely bolting and nearly came down when looking for a run before eventually getting the split and bursting through to win. Reckon he’s come back well and despite facing tougher opposition, he’s got hard fitness under the belt.
Race 5. (17:15) La Cucina Handicap (64+) 1500m
14 Patristic (Bet Now: $5.50) will do me here. Jayne Busslinger has done a fab job with this horse this time in. Won impressively here two back before racing at this track/distance last Wednesday when just going a fraction keen in front and with the big weight, he was going to be vulnerable late and that’s how it panned out. Leads pretty comfortably despite the wide gate and gets really good weight relief.
9 Rebel Knight (Bet Now: $3.30) is racing in consistent form at the moment. Good two back in the Raconteur behind Cup Night before going to this track/distance two weeks ago where I thought Parnham gave him every chance but found one better in Make Mine Champers. Pike jumps on and I can see him being positive from the outset, potentially stalking the top tip. If so, hard to beat.
1 Settlers Creek (Bet Now: $12.00) is racing in near career best form at the moment for the Colin Webster stable. This veteran has won his past two, both here over 1400m, the latest being two weeks ago when sprinting off cover and scoring a most impressive win. Continually creeping up in the weights, but gee he’s going about it the right way at the moment and this does look his grade.
Race 6. (17:50) Perth Glory Handicap (1MW) 1200m
Hard to get away from 8 Free Trade (Bet Now: $3.40). Still does a little bit wrong but no denying the engine he has under the hood is very good. He made an absolute mess of them at this track/distance two weeks ago, leading all the way under Chris Parnham and the change up speed when asked for the big effort was evident and that of a horse destined for better things. Still a bit immature, but is getting better and happy to be in his corner.
9 Leading Girl (Bet Now: $4.20) is a talented daughter of Reliable Man for Team Williams that is first up. This girl hasn’t raced since the Summer Carnival where she was good in the Burgess Queen on Melbourne Cup Day before a gutsy third to Arcadia Queen in the WA Champion Fillies. Has looked sharp in a couple of trials leading into her return and clearly has to be respected.
I think 13 Smarty (Bet Now: $17.00) deserves a crack at this level. Peter Fernie trains this daughter of Galah, who is 2/2 this time in, both wins coming on her home track at Kalgoorlie where she has been too good. Stable don’t bring them to town unless they measure up and despite some stiff opposition here, I think she can run a positive race and be around the mark somewhere.
Race 7. (18:20) Roma Cup 1200m
Class gets 8 Galaxy Star (Bet Now: $2.30) home doesn’t it? Probably sits behind Arcadia Queen as the best horse in WA at the moment and makes her return to the track after an impressive Summer Carnival, highlighted by her dominant Railway triumph before second to Arcadia Queen in the Kingston Town. Won the Ted Van Heemst soon after and was going to be odds on for the Perth Cup but was spelled. Back racing and trial last week at Belmont was very good.
1 Rock Magic (Bet Now: $3.30) is an absolute beauty for Chris Gangemi who has been competitive in several of the big sprint races in Melbourne but had a good long spell prior to resuming in the Northam Stakes where he was there to be beaten but he lifted late under Noske to score a wonderful win in his return to racing. 1200m at Ascot under WFA conditions looks ideal.
2 Great Shot (Bet Now: $15.00), the 2017 Railway winner, is first up here and I think he could be a knockout chance if ha lands in front and gets a cheap furlong. His Summer Carnival was solid without winning, his best effort coming in the Scahill last time out behind Arcadia Prince. He has had two trials in readiness for his return, so the grounding is there for a decent first up showing.
Race 8. (18:50) Free Entry To Belmont Park Handicap (70+) 1100m
Bit of a throw at the stumps in the last via 13 One Short (Bet Now: $13.00) resuming for Steve Wolfe. He’s been somewhat of a frustrating horse to follow and trust for a while, his last win being under a year ago. But he draws to get the ideal drag up via Mervyn, he can sprint well fresh and looked sharp in a trial win, with big ticks being that the bar plates are off and that he didn’t wear blinkers in the trial. Think he’s a great each way gamble if he stays at around double figures.
12 My Demi (Bet Now: $5.00) a threat for me. Was quite keen on him when he raced here last Saturday and despite a few strides where it looked as if it would be a horror watch, he got clear late and burst through under an in form Brodie Kirby to get the job done. That was his first run in three weeks, and the run wasn’t overly hard, so I don’t see the back up being an issue and he can win again.
You’ll get a great run for your money via 10 Mervyn (Bet Now: $9.50) for the Peter Fernie stable. Just copped far too much pressure over 1000m here two weeks ago when leading and for mine I thought he stuck on pretty well in defeat behind Hoboken. Don’t think there is anything that will go with him here so he should get the lead to himself and with the claim for McNaught, I can see this bloke running a very cheeky race. Last 50m clearly will be the test.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Six Number 8 Free Trade
NEXT BEST: Race Seven Number 8 Galaxy Star
LONG SHOT: Race Eight Number 13 One Short
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 4, 9, 13, 14
Leg Two: 8
Leg Three: 8
Leg Four: 1, 10, 12, 13
$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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