The Masters- the showpiece of WA racing, kicks off this Saturday at Ascot with a cracking program, headlined by the $1 Million Group l Railway Stakes (1600m). The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out three metres for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (15:24) Amelia Park Handicap (72+) 1200m
7 Remember Berlin (Bet Now: $5.00) on top for me in the opener. Simon Miller trained gelding on the seven day back up after racing over 1000m here last Saturday where he looked a bit one paced but battled away pretty well to run third to The River. Up to 1200m is a big tick and he has run well on the quick turnaround previously.
5 Rhi’s Rocket (Bet Now: $2.45) is a Lindsey Smith trained son of Hinchinbrook who comes through the same race as Remember Berlin. He did all the donkey work on speed and gave a really good kick into the straight but was no match for the heavily back fav The River. Maps super again…just has to tick the 1200m box.
8 Helms Gate (Bet Now: $20.00) is an interesting runner here. Vaughn Sigley trained gelding resuming after a 14 week. Hasn’t raced since mid Mid August when finishing midfield behind Our Finest Moment. Resumes with no trials, but has the quality to run well despite his seemingly awful first up record, which doesn’t read great (4:0-0-0).
Race 2. (16:04) Tourism WA Trophy (66+) 1400m
1 Gunnago (Bet Now: $5.50) is an absolute beauty for the Jason Pateman team. He was dynamic over 1200m here a fortnight back, sitting on speed and showing tremendous fight to hold off Celebrity Dream, who goes around as a leading chance in the Jungle Mist, so that does read well. The negative is the steep weight rise. Only reason he ain’t on top.
10 Glimmer Girl (Bet Now: $13.00) is a quality mare for Team Williams who shouldn’t be discounted here. She was five weeks between runs when racing over 1000m here two weeks ago where she got back and closed off well…just lacked the killer blow. That run should bring her right on and up to 1400m is a big tick.
Race 3. (16:44) Carbine Club Of WA Stakes 1400m
1 Zarantz (Bet Now: $11.00) looks pretty good value to my eye. Simon Miller trained galloper who resumed in the Northam Cup and while the form guide says he made no impact, he had no chance to given they dashed home in sub 34. Not many horses can pull off that kind of split in WA. Much better suited here and should improve big time.
2 Properantes (Bet Now: $3.60) could have gone to the Railway after his win in the Peters last Saturday, but the stable have kept him on ice for this. Impressive win in that race last week, but he was given such a sweet steer off the pace and it was a case of right spot at the right time. Should get a similar run here and regular rider Troy Turner takes over.
6 Tradesman (Bet Now: $2.45) is the class factor here and looks well placed to run a beauty. Resumed three weeks back in the Asian Beau and was an eye catcher late, warming to the task to finish not far off Pounamu. Can pull out a decent run second and the stable does get world class rider Douglas Whyte steering.
Race 4. (17:24) Crown Perth Jungle Mist Classic 1200m
7 Crystal Fountain (Bet Now: $2.45) on top in what looks a two horse race to my eye. This mare hasn’t raced since racing down the straight on Derby Day where she was far from disgraced I thought in what looked a strong mares race behind Lyuba. Looks so well placed here to get some blacktype and Olly steers.
4 Celebrity Dream (Bet Now: $5.00) looks the pick of the local mares and she should take some beating despite the nasty gate. Loomed large to win at this track/distance a fortnight back but couldn’t quite reel in Gunnago. She’ll get back from the wide draw but look for her to get cover, peel and launch at them late.
10 Top Of The Class (Bet Now: $8.50) is the big watch here. Talented mare resuming for the Michael Lane team after a strong Winter prep, where she was a bit hot and cold at times but she did show glimpses of brilliance when she was on. Been given two trials to prepare for her return and she does get Damian Lane steering.
Race 5. (18:00) Tabtouch Placid Ark Stakes 1200m
11 Truly Belong (Bet Now: $5.00) for me. Adam Durrant trained filly who had the sweet sit just off the pace when racing at this track/distance a fortnight back and once she got the split, it was all over as she dashed clear late. Gate is the concern, but she does seem quite versatile, so I think they’ll drag back and ambush.
3 Rockon Tommy (Bet Now: $4.40) ran fourth in that race won by Truly Belong and I think you might have to be a bit forgiving of that run. He was five weeks between runs, first look at Ascot, and to top it all off, he was struck on the head by a rival jockeys whip. The wins prior were that of a blacktype horse, so give him another look.
9 State Attorney (Bet Now: $20.00) had been somewhat of a bookies horse, going down several times as an odds on pop, but he got the win on the board last time out in a four horse field at York. The form didn’t exactly look great on Wednesday with Requisition running terribly, but that horse pulled its head off. Hard to line up, but in the right stable and wears the right colours.
Race 6. (18:35) Magic Millions Tatts Cup 2100m
8 Royal Star (Bet Now: $3.00) should win barring bad luck. Outstanding effort last week in the Peters I thought behind Properantes given she had to make a long run and the pace was an absolute crawl. Getting out to her ideal distance range now, Pike sticks, has class…as I said, I think only bad luck sees her getting beat.
7 Trap For Fools (Bet Now: $3.10) is the up and comer in ripping form. Lindsey Smith trains this bloke and has been beating up the benchmark horses with a fair bit of ease in recent times. Obviously different gravy here, but maps to lead quite comfortably and despite Tayla Stone riding the horse a treat in recent times, Douglas Whyte is a definite upgrade.
11 Toppa Dawozza (Bet Now: $27.00) is a bit of a bludger in terms of winning but he does try and isn’t far away for the most part. That was the case again in the Ascot Gold Cup where he ran a gutsy and close up fourth to Gatting, who goes around in the Railway as a knockout chance, so that form reads well and regular rider Jason Whiting takes over.
Race 7. (19:15) Sky Racing WA Guineas 1600m
3 Money Maher (Bet Now: $4.20) is a horse I’ve been hot on for this race for a couple of months and I won’t drop off now he is here, especially after what he produced when winning Fairetha a fortnight. Yes he had things fall into place for him, but gee he was dominant and won as if he’d eat up the mile. Should get a similar run and take some beating.
14 Perfect Jewel (Bet Now: $5.00) is a classy filly for the Williams camp who dodged the Champion Fillies last week to target this race en route to maybe the Kingston Town. She was set an impossible task in the Burgess Queen on Cup Day but her effort was sound when fourth to Mikimoto. Pike jumps on now…just has to overcome the nasty draw.
2 Debellatio (Bet Now: $11.00) was completely unwanted in betting when resuming in the Fairetha, with punters worried about the wide gate. They were right as he was wide no cover for the trip behind Money Maher. Draws much better now and has the run under the belt. I could entertain him each way for sure at double figures.
Race 8. (20:00) James Boags Premium Railway Stakes 1600m
15 Sovereign Nation (Bet Now: $19.00 ODDS BOOST) on top in a really good edition of the Railway. This bloke hasn’t raced since the Kennedy Mile at Flemington where he got back in a race where the backmarkers really had no hope but he found the line with purpose and was sound behind Shillelagh. He is a horse who likes racing on the fresh side, he’ll get good three wide cover and launch.
3 Tom Melbourne…(Bet Now: $7.00 ODDS BOOST) that’s right. I’ve dodged him throughout the Spring but I am going to be another victim and include him as a massive threat. You can’t deny that he is flying under Chris Waller. He’s in career best form…just not winning. Looked all over a winner last time out in the Kennedy Mile but found Shillelagh too good. The reason I have him on top is the fact that Waller has trained him to have sprint in his legs. So that, plus his staying background, I can see him running a bold race here.
11 Gatting (Bet Now: $34.00 ODDS BOOST) is another that will be very strong at the end of a hard mile. His run in the Ascot Gold Cup last time out was a beauty when winning. Given such a sweet ride by Pike, he had the horse parked behind the speed before presenting at the right time and finishing best, powering to the line and through it. He’ll get a suck run behind Tom and have his chance. Note that Lee Newman is riding 1kg over.
Race 9. (20:40) Tabtouch Perth Cup New Years Day Handicap (72+) 1600m
12 Mosseratti (Bet Now: $7.50) looks a great bet in the get out. The two key chances here come through the York Cup and I thought this bloke was very good. Not helped by the slow tempo but he kept finding and gee he was strong to the line and through it when third to See Me Sizzle. Draws to get good cover and there will be a more genuine tempo.
5 See Me Sizzle (Bet Now: $4.00) is the hard fit/in form type here, this one for Team Williams. He won the York Cup and it was largely down to such a sweet ride from Parnham, who had the horse outside the speed, controlling things nicely and kicking strongly when required. Won’t get it all his own way here but has to be respected.
Big watch here on 1 Angola (Bet Now: $41.00). This bloke hasn’t raced since June 2016 at Belmont when finishing last in the Strickland behind Ihtsahymn. The two big ticks for mine are that he is fresh at 1600m, signalling he is forward enough, and his two trials leading in have been outstanding to the eye. Definite yard/market watch.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Six Number 8 Royal Star
NEXT BEST: Race Two Number 5 Cash On Call
VALUE: Race Eight Number 15 Sovereign Nation
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 4, 6, 7, 8, 11
Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 13, 14
Leg Three: 3, 4, 11, 15
Leg Four: 1, 4, 5, 12
$50 Investment= 12.50% of the dividend if successful
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