The Masters at Ascot kicks off this Saturday with the best race WA has to offer, the Railway Stakes (1600m), the feature. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (15:24) Tourism WA Trophy 1600m
Tricky race to start the day but going with 1 Jeraft (Bet Now: $5.50). Neville Parnham has this bloke absolutely flying at the moment and he has a real liking for Ascot. But last start was impressive and it wasn’t even here with the five year old getting the job done in the York Cup. Toughest test to date but I like him at 1600m.
3 Miracle Man (Bet Now: $4.00) bounced back to his best form for Adam Durrant with a strong winner three back at Bunbury (Metro) before going to the mile and running well before racing in the Peters last Saturday where he was far from disgraced behind Freo. Back to this level, he can be quite effective at odds.
2 Like A Butterfly (Bet Now: $4.60) is a Lou Luciani trained four year old mare who has had two runs back from a break and has been very good each time, her latest run coming in the York Cup when a narrow second to Jeraft. Potentially heading towards the Perth Cup so interesting to see what she does here against this lot.
Race 2. (16:04) Tabtouch Better Your Bet Handicap 1200m
6 Stageman (Bet Now: $2.10) for me. Team Williams trains this gelding, who was a sharp winner at this track/distance two back before stepping back to 1100m and just found it a bit sharp. Back up to 1200, he should get a decent run off a likely genuine tempo and be the one to beat. Hopefully he doesn’t start silly short like last time.
12 The Nicconian (Bet Now: $6.00) is a hard fit/in form galloper for the Neville Parnham team who comes here off the back of a win at this track/distance two weeks ago, leading all the way, bolting up and landing some decent bets at odds. Harder here but has the right racing pattern. He’ll look the winner for a long way.
5 Candlelight Star (Bet Now: $12.00) could be a knockout at odds. Adam Durrant trains this mare, who resumed at Geraldton when a well beaten second before racing at this track/distance where she ran a closing and narrow second to Seannie. That form reads quite well for this and being third up, she should be ready fitness wise.
Race 3. (16:44) Carbine Club Of WA Stakes 1400m
4 Freo (Bet Now: $3.80) has the runs on the board. On the quick back up after racing in the Peters last Saturday where McGruddy gave the gelding a lovely sit just off the pace and despite getting tired late he got the job done. Like him back to 1400m and should have room to improve. Definitely the one to beat.
9 In Love With Paris (Bet Now: $1.95) is a Fred Kersley trained gelding who steps up to 1400m after racing over 1200m here a fortnight ago where he did work to get on speed from the wide draw and that early burn probably told in the end as he couldn’t pick up The Nicconian. Really good weight relief, Williams on and the 1400m should be fine.
1 Red Ora (Bet Now: $20.00) is a Steve Wolfe trained seven year old who had trialled up well prior to resuming in the Asian Beau three weeks back where he had a reasonable run near the speed but couldn’t finish it off behind Galaxy Star. Slight drop in depth should help his cause and has upside. Outside winning chance.
Race 4. (17:24) Placid Ark Stakes 1200m
Happy to give 4 Cup Night (Bet Now: $18.00) another chance. Brilliant winner at this track/distance two back before stepping back 100m in trip when getting well back and finishing off okay to run third to Dance Music. Back up to 1200m with a more genuine tempo in front of him, I think he’ll be effective. Think he’ll be strong late.
8 Dance Music (Bet Now: $2.10) is a clear threat. Simon Miller trains this filly, who had a little freshen up prior to racing over 1100m here a fortnight back where she was on speed most of the way under Pike and despite being under pressure before the turn, she found plenty late and won impressively. Hard 1200m the only negative.
10 Festival Miss (Bet Now: $6.50) should eat up a fast run 1200m. She has run over 1000m in both runs his time in where she has just found the trip too short but has finished off with purpose each time. If they go silly in front, she will be the one flashing home from the back and having last say. Definite chance.
Race 5. (18:00) Tattersall's Cup 2100m
Contender or pretender time for 3 Royal Star (Bet Now: $6.50). Needed the run first up at Bunbury (Metro) before going to the Northam Cup where the Blinkers went on, I thought she was a good thing and despite not getting much room early on in the straight, I thought she had her chance when fourth to Pushin Shapes. Third up, she should just about be ready to go, and at her best, she’s better than these.
A key threat here is definitely 9 Mississippi Delta (Bet Now: $2.70). This Team Williams trained mare won impressively two back before racing over 2200m here where she looked home but was nabbed on the peg by stablemate Queen Bey. Toughest test to date but I think she can measure up against a quality bunch.
4 Dark Musket (Bet Now: $21.00) is a handy stayer who is heading towards the Perth Cup. He ran in the Ascot Gold Cup a fortnight back in a race that was depleted by the false start but despite that he ran alright when third to Prize Catch. Extra trip and fitter, he should run well at odds with an eye towards the Perth Cup.
Race 6. (18:35) Jungle Mist Classic 1200m
12 Pearls And Prawns (Bet Now: $2.50) is the X factor. She was backed off the map when resuming at this track/distance three weeks ago and despite a couple of hairy moments in the run, class came to the fore and she was impressive. Time she ran was quick for the day so for mine, she’ll measure up here.
2 Celebrity Dream (Bet Now: $3.20) should just about be ready third up from a break. She steps up to 1200m after two 1000m runs to start the prep, both races being lead ups to the Winterbottom where she has been far from disgraced. Has a fabulous 1200m record and was dominant in this Mares series 12 months ago. Certainly appeals.
13 Sally’s Realm (Bet Now: $14.00) is a Team Williams trained mare who comes through the Pearls And Prawns race from three weeks ago and I thought her effort was solid enough. She got well back off the pace and never really looked likely but closed off well. Up in trip would be ideal but a fast run 1200m could see her ambush these if they go quick.
Race 7. (19:15) WA Guineas 1600m
15 Arcadia Queen (Bet Now: $2.15) looks the clear horse to beat. Outstanding filly for Team Williams that won the Champion Fillies last Saturday here under a lovely steer from Chris Parnham, who had the filly parked off a genuine speed and proved too good late. Pike back on and she’ll lap up a fast run mile to my eye.
10 Junipal (Bet Now: $7.50) is another who should love a fast run 1600m. He ran over 1800m at Flemington on Oaks Day where he looked all over a winner but he couldn’t quite finish it off and was pipped on the peg. Like him back to the mile and provided he has handled the trip over, I’m convinced he’ll be in the finish.
8 True Defender (Bet Now: $27.00) comes through the Fairetha where he was first up and to the eye, he was a tad plain behind The Velvet King, but he was first up and looked to carry condition. Blinkers going on first time tells me there is intent and Froggy should get him to park behind noted front runner Ulusaba and get a sweet trip on the fence.
Race 8. (20:00) Railway Stakes 1600m
I think barring bad luck, 11 Galaxy Star (Bet Now: $2.50) will eat these up and spit them out. She’s a star in WA who booked her place in the field via a dominant win in the Asian Beau, settling off a slow tempo but proved far too good. The great thing with her is that if they go slow, she’s got the turn of foot, and if they go quick, she’s got staying prowess. Don’t think they’ll be beating her.
7 Peaceful State (Bet Now: $6.00) looks the obvious threat. He last raced in the Kennedy Mile at Flemington where he got back and never really looked likely but had to love the way he got clear and surged late to just miss. He tends to do his best work on the road, so the trip away I don’t think will be an excuse an the Flemington form usually stands up here.
I think the horse at overs is 9 Action (Bet Now: $21.00). I think you have to put a line through his run last Saturday. He was just run off his legs and never seemed comfortable at any stage behind Freo. I think up to the mile will be perfect immediately and the tempo will be strong again. Hoping the extra 200m will help him handle it.
Race 9. (20:40) Furnace & The Fundamentals Up Next Handicap 1400m
Siding with 7 Royal Statue (Bet Now: $4.60). Adam Durrant trains this four year old, who resumed here on Cup Day at this trip where he defied an alarming betting drift and finished off with real purpose to get the job done. Should have a stack of upside left and prove hard to hold out late. THe one to beat in the last.
4 Ouqba Jack (Bet Now: $6.00) comes back to the 1400m after racing over the mile here a fortnight ago where he was near the speed all the way and tried hard but had to settle for second to Blackwood River. Think he can get a really good run here near the speed and prove hard to beat. Last 50m will his test.
Alan Matthews has a really good mare in 5 Pearl Trade (Bet Now: $19.00) and I think she’s a key threat here. Resumed over 1200m here a fortnight ago where she got well off the pace and finished off strongly to run third to The Nicconian. Hopefully she can sit a tad closer in the run and be dangerous here.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Eight Number 11 Galaxy Star
NEXT BEST: Race Seven Number 15 Arcadia Queen
LONG SHOT: Race Four Number 4 Cup Night
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 2, 12, 13
Leg Two: 15
Leg Three: 11
Leg Four: 1, 4, 5, 7, 9
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All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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