The Masters continues at Ascot this Saturday with Winterbottom Stakes Day, where it looks to be a clash between Terravista and Malaguerra. The weather is fine, the track is good (3) and the rail is out six metres for the entire circuit.
Race One (15:19) : Crown Towers Plate 1000m:
Back Me: 1 Dainty Tess (Bet Now: $2.60) is an absolute ripper who resumes for the Dan Morton yard. She hasn’t raced since early September where she looked to race liked a tired horse behind Sweet Ora, who has gone on to bigger and better things. She flies fresh and given her record, she does appear well weighted and gets Oliver steering her.
Big Danger: 9 Delaney (Bet Now: $3.20) debuted here a tick over two weeks back off the back of a couple of some very good trials and despite being a slight market drifter she got the job done and done it impressively on speed. She’ll either lead or get the dream sit behind Dainty Tess and she does have the race fitness on her side. Massive chance.
Long Shot: 2 Veuve De Vega (Bet Now: $10.00) is the watch horse. He kicked off his career during the Winter and though he did win a race, it was clear that he would be better with time and the prep under the belt. Two trials leading in have been good and it appears as if he has really furnished out into a lovely type.
Race Two (15:54) : Amelia Park Lamb Handicap (72+) 1600m:
Back Me: Going to stick with 5 Pounamu (Bet Now: $3.60). He had really good market support when racing here a fortnight back and he was given a sweet steer from Peter Knuckey, beating home an above average type in Universal Law, who ran without luck last week. Go back to the start prior and he ran within a neck of subsequent Railway winner Scales Of Justice. Oliver steers, good draw, hard fit, weighted okay…looks the one.
Big Danger: 1 Star Exhibit (Bet Now: $3.20) ran fourth to Pounamu in that race mentioned above and he just couldn’t quite quicken despite a relatively soft run just off the pace. I think Pike jumping back on is a big tick. But the negative is that he rises 2kg in weight, like the winner, so he has to make up a length…does Pike have that much of an influence? Time will tell.
Long Shot: 6 Abbasso (Bet Now: $7.00) could be the improver here at a price. This former Chris Waller runner comes through the York Cup (1500m) where he got back in the ruck and finished off strongly late in the piece when fifth to Django. That form has held up okay in Stakes company since and this bloke does have the most upside out of this field.
Race Three (16:34) : Avenue Q Handicap (1MW) 1500m:
Back Me: Giving 2 Astronomite (Bet Now: $3.20) one more chance. I was quite keen on his chances when racing here a fortnight back but he let me down badly when showing no ping at all to run sixth to Our Mate Al, who ran well last week to frank the form. On his best form, Astronomite is lengths better than these. Just depends if you can trust him because he has been a money muncher this prep.
Big Danger: 4 Jaspara (Bet Now: $6.50) was once upon a time a nightmare to follow as a punter but he has really turned the corner this time in, winning two from two this prep, the latest coming over this track/distance on November when narrowly beating Preselection, who he meets 1kg worse off at the weights, but I think he might just have a bit more upside and it’s hard to ignore winning form.
Long Shot: Gary Crispin, I hope, has realised that 7 Toppa Dawozza (Bet Now: $21.00) isn’t a stayer and that he is indeed a miler. That seems to be the case because his two efforts this time in have been quite good, the latest coming a tick under three weeks back where he sat back and finished off strongly nearer the inside when third to Big Red Costa. He too is third up, so he should be ready and the genuine speed will be right his alley.
Race Four (17:14) : JJ Richards & Sons Handicap (72+) 1200m:
Back Me: 3 Lenience (Bet Now: $2.40) is a horse in really good form this time in. He ran over this track/distance a fortnight back where he had a charmed run behind the tempo and fought on well but was just simply no match for the potential star that is State Solicitor. Back in trip will really suit him and he will get the run of the race again.
Big Danger: 1 Gigante (Bet Now: $3.50) is a ripper for the Jim Taylor stable. He might not be the best horse in the stable but gee he tries hard. He ran over 1100m here three weeks back and was very good in defeat when a close up second to Delicate Miss. He’d clearly be on top had he drawn a decent barrier, but eight does make things tricky. But he is tough who can work and still attack the line.
Long Shot: 8 Dendee (Bet Now: $6.00) is a talented mare that resumes for the Dan Morton yard. She performed well in Stakes grade around this time last year but just didn’t quite go on with it subsequent. She does go well fresh, Tim Clark steers and despite drawing wide, I think she can slide over from the gate and get cover without doing too much work.
Race Five (17:55) : Crystal Slipper Stakes 1200m:
Back Me: 1 Keeper Keen (Bet Now: $3.00) for me here. He debuted here a fortnight back and was quite impressive in winning. He sat around midfield most of the way before Noske eased him wider on the turn and when he balanced up, gee he let down with purpose. 1200m with a genuine tempo suits him perfectly…looks the way to go.
Big Danger: 10 Rubia Miss (Bet Now: $8.00) is a Hinchinbrook filly that debuts for the Simon Miller stable. She trialled in late September and went about her business nicely before being freshened up and trialling well on November 14. Stable should always be respected with their youngsters and this does appear to be a tricky race.
Long Shot: 2 Okina Kuri (Bet Now: $9.00) was completely unwanted in betting when debuting over 1100m here a fortnight back and despite the long price, he ran really well to run second to Keeper Keen. He can sit much closer in the run now he has the inside gate, and I think he has more scope than Keeper Keen. Just whether or not he is brilliant enough.
Race Six (18:35) : Tabtouch Tatts Cup 2100m:
Back Me: Going to give 11 Kia Ora Koutou (Bet Now: $7.00) another chance. Most of these come through the Ascot Good Cup a fortnight back and I thought his effort in defeat was pretty good behind Tonto. He has most upside out of this lot I think and he does meet Tonto 2kg better off. Sticking solid.
Big Danger: 4 Tonto (Bet Now: $7.50) does look a key contender despite the weight. He was a strong winner of the race mentioned above and was given a plum steer from Whiting. Despite rising 2kg, he will be better suited at 2100m, and he is only fourth up himself so he should have a bit of upside left in the tank.
Long Shot: 5 Young Lionel (Bet Now: $18.00) ran fourth in the Gold Cup and his effort was tidy. He sat off speed most of the way and though he didn’t really quicken, he stuck to the task quite well. Like most here, he will be suited up to 2100m and if he can a drag up and clear running, he will be a threat for sure.
Race Seven (19:15) : Tabtouch Regional Championship 1200m:
Back Me: 13 Battle Torque (Bet Now: $9.00) clearly on top for me here. He resumed over 1100m at Northam last Thursday where he got back in the ruck and finished off the race with real purpose when running fourth to Sharkmouth. He does get a weight pull on that horse here and Pike takes over, plus his two efforts in town have been in quality races.
Big Danger: 8 Luke’s Gold (Bet Now: $5.50) is an up and comer that arrives to town in really good form. He has won three of his last four, the latest coming last Thursday at Northam when sharing the spoils with Sharkmouth. He meets that horse at level weights and does meet Battle Torque 1kg worse off, but Oliver jumps on and he draws to get lovely cover off the speed and ambush late.
Long Shot: 6 Vitalism (Bet Now: $18.00) is a galloper who is loving life this time in for leading Geraldton trainer Sarah Childs. He ran on his home track a fortnight back and produced a lovely turn of foot from off the pace to get the job done impressively. The draw makes things slightly tough, but he will get back regardless and Hugh Bowman steers, so he has a bit going for him.
Race Eight (20:00) : Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes 1200m:
Back Me: Keen on the Joe Pride trained 1 Terravista (Bet Now: $3.60). He looked to trial well at Hawkesbury prior to kicking off the prep on Oaks Day at Flemington where he looked quite unlucky in not winning when held up at a crucial stage when appearing to have plenty to offer and would have picked up Redzel in the last hop. WFA just suits him so perfectly here, and keep in mind he has performed very well near or indeed beating Chautauqua. I think if he brings his A-game, he’ll be too classy.
Big Danger: I think 2 Malaguerra (Bet Now: $3.40) is the obvious threat, but as a betting prospect, he is severe unders. A 12/10 ride from Melham and some misfortune for Spieth gave him the Darley Classic (1200m), but credit where credit is due. He kicked on and was very strong to the line. From all reports he looks to have relaxed very nicely since going over and he will be in front of Terravista in the run. Whether or not he beats him remains to be seen.
Long Shot: 8 Vega Magic (Bet Now: $12.00) had absolutely no luck, like most, behind Rock Magic in the Prince Of Wales before turning the tables on that horse a fortnight back in the Colonel Reeves despite sitting wide no cover, he toughed it out strongly when challenged by Rock Magic. Not sure how he will handle this genuine WFA test, but he does have a lethal turn of foot when cuddled and presented, and I think he is the clear pick of the local chances.
Race Nine: Get The Tabtouch Handicap (1MW) 2100m:
Back Me: 1 Magic Rocket (Bet Now: $5.50) for me in the get out. He ran over 1800m here three weeks back where he was an alarming drifter in betting but despite that, he was far too good for his rivals. That followed a close up second at the same track/distance behind The Forgotten One, who has gone on to win again, so that form reads well and he is suited up in trip.
Big Danger: 5 O’Reillys Crumpet (Bet Now: $4.80) is on the quick back up after racing last Thursday over 1700m at Northam where he just got a mile out of his ground yet finished off strongly to run fifth to Top Rated. Immediately steps up to 2100m and Pike jumps on. Yet to fire at races beyond 2000m but I think he gets his chance here in an even contest.
Long Shot: 6 Source Of Survival (Bet Now: $14.00) is one horse who is an interesting runner here. He ran over 1500m here last Wednesday and just plugged away, showing no turn of foot at all behind Royal Attraction. Steps straight to 2100m, which is intriguing given he hasn’t raced beyond a mile previously, but the way he is racing, I think the 2100m will suit.
BEST BET: Race Eight Number 1 Terravista
NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 3 Lenience
VALUE: Race Six Number 11 Kia Ora Koutou
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 4, 5, 10, 11
Leg Two: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 16
Leg Three: 1, 2
Leg Four: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6
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