Super Saturday will be seen at Ascot this weekend as the Perth racing carnival swings into gear with the two biggest events run in Western Australia- The $1 Million Carlton Draught Railway Stakes (1600m) and the $500,000 Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes (1200m). The other feature race is the $350,000 Group ll W.A. Guineas (1600m) where several lovely three year olds will be stepping out, including Luke’s Luck and Academus.
The 2011 Railway winner Luckygray is looking to defend his crown and appears on track after a brilliant first up win in the Lee Steere Stakes. He is the topweight, but he does look hard to beat. His main dangers appear to be the Epsom winner Fat Al, and local galloper Ranger, who is a first up specialist and has trialled very well.
The Winterbottom is set to be a cracking affair, with the two boom local sprinters, Barakey and Travinator, the pair to beat but don’t leave out Hallowell Belle and Pinwheel. Both horses do deserve a group one win, but there is no such thing as an easy group one.
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Race One: Miller Genuine Draft Sprint 1000m Form Guide
Back Me: Tricky race to kick off Super Satuday. I am going with Freetime. His two runs this time behind Travinator have been quite good. Ran on strongly first up but then second up, I think he was ridden a touch closer to the speed, which did backfire, but that is the way to ride him. With a big drop in grade, he can certainly bounce back into the winners circle.
Don’t Back Me: Excellorada and Return To Rio both have quite shocking records at Ascot compared to Belmont. Both could be risks.
Big Danger: Megem’s Boy definitely has the class and ability to win this. He hasn’t been too bad this time in, but he was a shade disappointing last start. But I feel inside barriers are a big disadvantage for him, so the wide barrier here looks ideal. He can bounce back.
Roughie: Beach Express is first up and has trialled quite nicely in preparation for a first up assault here. Has a great overall record and appears to be the knockout horse.
Race Two: Bulmers Handicap 1400m Form Guide
Back Me: Looks to be a two horse between Mister Panon and Brave Prince, with a slight lean towards the latter. Looked to be in need of the run when resuming, then returned to form with a fighting second behind Detection. He should get the gun run from the barrier and the stable and rider combo should always be respected.
Don’t Back Me: Anything to beat the two horses mentioned above.
Big Danger: Mister Panon is an ultra consistent who has finished in the placings in all four career starts. He resumed in the same race that Brave Prince contested and looked a shade unlucky when sitting behind the leader and not being allowed to build up momentum. He gets conditions to suit and looks the main threat.
Roughie: Military Hero is one of the better maiden gallopers racing in Perth at the moment. Resumed at Bunbury after trialling well and he just missed when finishing a close up second. He has drawn well and definitely should be thrown in exotics.
Race Three: Crown Lager Handicap 1400m Form Guide
Back Me: It’s hard to knock winning form and that is why He’s Starkers goes on top. Sat wide on debut yet won well, then looked to have had enough yet pulled out plenty to win again. He then resumed a fortnight back and looked very impressive when coming off the speed and charging clear late. This is his biggest test to date but he looks more than capable.
Don’t Back Me: Just a little query on Iseethingsyoudon’t given she had a very hard run last week when setting a cracking speed and weakening late. A wide barrier and 58.5kg makes it difficult.
Big Danger: Pininci is the sort of horse that needs to be saved for the straight. He was put to sleep out the back two starts ago and let down powerfully to win. He then sat a touch closer to the speed and while he finished off ok, he didn’t quite let down as well as he did when he won. If ridden completely cold, he is the main danger.
Roughie: Suribachi is a former kiwi who has had only one run in Perth, back in May and he was quite dreadful. He has been given plenty of time in the paddock and his latest trial at Belmont was very good. Keep an eye on him.
Race Four: Tattersall’s Cup 2100m Form Guide
Back Me: Another race where the appears to be only a couple of chances: Moonlight Bay and Starlight Lady. Given how Bossy is the best rider of stayers in the world, Starlight Lady goes on top. She was ridden a treat to win last start and although she is stepping up to blacktype company, she looks as though she’ll handle it.
Don’t Back Me: The first four. They are either out of form or are outclassed. Put a line through them.
Big Danger: Moonlight Bay was desperately unlucky in the Ascot Gold Cup. She sat behind the leader and was in the pocket until about the 250m where she shoved into the clear, charged late and just missed. The 2100m looks perfect and she has upside in terms of fitness.
Roughie: Smart Twister is the sort of gelding who bobs up every now and then and thank the lord he got home for me last start at $11 thank you. Big rise in class, but he is in form, he’ll sit on the speed and keep whacking away.
Race Five: Carbine Club Of W.A. Stakes 1400m Form Guide
Back Me: First of the good things in the shape of Shamardashing. I’ll be surprised if he gains a start in the Railway but John Thompson has found a perfect back up race. He resumed on Emirates Stakes Day at Flemington and was most unlucky when being held most of the way behind Launay. He generally never performs early in a preparation, so that run was a good indication that he has come back in great order. Nash is on and he just looks the winner.
Don’t Back Me: I will be quite surprised if Shamardashing got rolled here. Just back him.
Big Danger: Dreamaway was once touted as the new rising star of Perth racing. But since her WA Derby win 18 months ago, she hasn’t done much. But her trial to get ready for this was solid and if she brought her best form, she can finish in the money.
Roughie: Kalgoorlie Cup winner Lopov has been freshened since that victory in September. He is another that has trialled well and although he is looking for further, he could be put to sleep on the fence and find the line well.
Race Six: Carlton Dry Jungle Mist Classic 1200m Form Guide
Back Me: Going for Gai and Nash with Upon This Rock. She resumed in a Listed race on Hawkesbury Cup Day and finished fourth, beaten just under a length after sitting just off the speed. She is a tricky mare to follow because she can be brilliant yet she can also be dreadful. In saying that, she does look very well placed here.
Don’t Back Me: Big test for Peggie’s Dream. She looks like a talented type, but I feel she will be found out here.
Big Danger: Morning Mist was unbeaten first up before resuming the other day and she was never really in the hunt, finishing fifth. She does race well second up as well and I am prepared to give her another chance. Plus, again, the stable and rider always come to the fore, especially during the carnival time when the better races are run and won.
Roughie: The big improver could be Mabel Grace. She has been ridden on the speed in her two runs this time and she hasn’t been able to finish off her races. I think barrier two is perfect for her as she can take a sit behind the speedy Terminado and attack the line, which is where she is at her best.
Race Seven: Sky Racing W.A. Guineas 1600m Form Guide
Back Me: Looks a race in three between Luke’s Luck, Academus and Antique Belle. Going with the Darley galloper because he does have the runs on the board and should be cherry ripe now after having two solid runs this time in, including an eye catching fourth at Flemington. He goes on top, but the other two are worthy rivals.
Don’t Back Me: Anything apart from the three gallopers mentioned.
Big Danger: Luke’s Luck was very good in the Lee Steere behind Luckygray. He sat last and was held up badly until the 200m when he eventually got out. But by then, Luckygray had the momentum up and a winning break. He would not have been out of place in the Railway, so he has a touch of class. Barrier draw is horrible, but his racing pattern will take care of that. Antique Belle…I haven’t seen a better thing beaten than this filly EVER last week in the Fillies Stakes. Quite simply, she should have bolted in, but got checked badly on several occasions. She has barrier one now and is the definite knockout runner.
Roughie: Rebelson was freshened and he appreciated that last start with a dominant display in the Fairetha Stakes. This is the toughest test to date for him, but he is in form and has drawn beautifully.
Race Eight: Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes 1200m Form Guide
Back Me: Hallowell Belle on top for me. All three runs this time in have been super. A first up winner of the Gilgai, she then went to the Manikato and was stiff in finishing third. She was sent to Flemington for the Patinack Farm Classic and she ran a beauty for third behind two superstars, Mental and Sea Siren. She has the form on the board and should finish powerfully given they should go helter skelter in front.
Don’t Back Me: Barakey is not a betting prospect. $2.35 is way too short for a horse who, yes has been impressive, but has quite frankly beat nothing and I’d say in five or six of his ten career starts and wins, they have been barrier trials. This is his biggest test to date and looks terrible unders. I’d say the same for Travinator also given that the 1200m will test him.
Big Danger: The value runner is without doubt Pinwheel. The clear class galloper and is a bomb when produced fresh. Was given an easy time in a recent barrier trial at Rosehill, but he should be primed for a first up crack at this. Power Princess was quite impressive in winning the Prince Of Wales a month back. She has since finished second in a Belmont Park barrier trial and is the knockout horse. Remember, she did finish third to Black Caviar in Adelaide.
Roughie: Spirit Of Boom looks the clear next best. He raced ok during the Melbourne Spring and can improve here while the Adelaide visitor Conservatorium will definitely give some cheek. He carried 62kg last start at Morphettville and only just got beat in very slick time. Throw those two in exotics.
Race Nine: Carlton Draught Railway Stakes 1600m Form Guide
Back Me: I am quite keen on the local star Luckygray. Won this event last year and after a brilliant Autumn, he was given his chance to come East for a crack at the big ones. He performed ok in the Liston, but then failed badly in the Memsie, so he was sent back home. He resumed a fortnight ago in the Lee Steere Stakes with a dominant win. He looks to have everything going his way and looks the clear top pick, even with the wide barrier.
Don’t Back Me: Putting a line through Wall Street and Yosei. Both are racing well, but they each have shocking barrier draws and are unfamilar with the Ascot circuit.
Big Danger: Prepared to forgive Fat Al and his shocker in the Emirates Stakes. He just looked a bit flat and perhaps in the need of the hitout after winning the Epsom some several weeks prior. He is better than that and is a must include here. Nash will have him in front and rolling, attempting to break their hearts. Ranger is a first up specialist and the stable have deliberatly set him for this race. Trialled well recently, under hard riding, so he should be right in terms of fitness. The up and comer is Maschino. He was a great winner last week and could definitely knock them all off.
Roughie: Playing God didn’t look comfortable at all in the Emirates Stakes. Give him another chance. The other roughie is Niblick. He pulled his head off last week when beaten by Maschino. He has the talent to win this. He just needs to relax in the run.
Race Ten: Peroni Italy Sprint 1000m Form Guide
Back Me: Hard race to end the afternoon, or evening if you are in the East. Going for the mare who is right down the bottom- Beguile. She resumed in a nice little race at Pinjarra and was ridden a treat by Pike. He did everything possible but she didn’t quite get there. Bossy takes over now. She has placed second up, has got a handy record at Ascot and is on the minimum. Hard to beat.
Don’t Back Me: Akhedasset is the topweight and is in form, but Paul Harvey does have an ordinary record on the horse. Might be a silly reason, but certain horses sometimes need certain riders and it seems these two don’t gel together.
Big Danger: Geiger Rio is a consistent type who is never far away from the action. Has been up since early July yet has only missed a place only the one time. 58kg is a worry, but barrier one will allow the rider to give him a very soft trip and try and cuddle him with the weight.
Roughie: Be So Ryski showed during her first race campaign that she has more than average ability. Won her first three starts at Bunbury before coming to this track and placing twice from as many starts. Was tipped out, has trialled nicely and if they go hard in front, she’ll be charging late.
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