A strong card of racing will be run and won at Ascot on Saturday, where the feature race is the $250,000 Group ll A.J. Scahill Stakes (1400m). The weather is fine, the track is good (3) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
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Race One (15:53) : Linley Valley Free Range Pork Handicap (0MW) 1400m:
Back Me: Victorious Lad (Best Odds: $6.00) is having his third up run from a break, with the latest coming on Sunday at Bunbury when third to Joukaku. Draws gate one now and should get every chance. Looks the way to go in a thin race.
Big Danger: Sharmouth (Best Odds: $5.00) let down strongly to win last start at Northam over this distance, having the box seat sit before getting the split and winning well. Harder here, but draws to get a nice sit, and is a definite winning chance.
Roughie: Fremond (Best Odds: $4.40) is on the back up from last Saturday where he finished down the track in the WA Guineas (1600m). Big leap down in grade, and this really is the sort of race where he could beat these.
Race Two (16:33) : Kingston Town Classic- December 5 Handicap (72+) 1600m:
Back Me: Stocks (Best Odds: $4.20) ran over 1400m here a fortnight back where he was given a peach from Jake Casey, but the horse couldn’t quite hold out the brilliant finish of Dark Alert. Field doesn’t look strong here, and he only carries 52kg now.
Big Danger: Dark Musket (Best Odds: $5.00) drops back to the mile after running over 1800m here last start where he worked home okay late to run third to Carney, who is a leading chance later on in the program. Back to 1600m is a query, but he is a class runner who should take some beating.
Roughie: Palace Intruder (Best Odds: $8.00) is on the back up from last Saturday where he was stuck wide all the way when finishing seventh to Tales Of Summer, beaten just over two lengths. That was an eye catcher, and now that he has some sort of form behind him, he could go right on with it.
Race Three (17:13) : Talloman Plate 1100m:
Back Me: By Decree (Best Odds: $2.70) is the one I will take a chance on. Debuts here, so that makes the task difficult, but gee there was plenty to like about her lone trial, resulting in a dominant win at Lark Hill. Pike on also is a good lead.
Big Danger: Airlie Sun (Best Odds: $7.50) resumes here for the Luciani stable. Hasn’t raced since mid July, but has been brought up to fitness with a quiet trial at Bunbury. First up last time in he ran fourth to potential star Hot Goods. That’s good form for a race like this.
Roughie: Kentucky Lass (Best Odds: $12.00) is a nine start maiden who last raced at Northam a couple of weeks back where she charged home for a close up second to I Do de Claire. Extra 100m is ideal and she should prove tough to hold out.
Race Four (17:49) : Jade Tiger Abalone Handicap (72+) 2200m:
Back Me: Tonto (Best Odds: $2.25) broke through for a well deserved win over this track/distance three weeks back, aided by an absolute gem of a ride from Pike. He remains on, and this race doesn’t look harder.
Big Danger: Carney (Best Odds: $9.00) has put together back-to-back wins on the board, the latest coming over 1800m here a fortnight back. Up to 2200m is some query, but why not have a crack while he is in such a rich vein of form.
Roughie: Operational (Best Odds: $14.00) was pretty good against the pattern last week in the Tatts Cup (2100m) here when working home from last to run seventh to Dubai Escapade, beaten just under two lengths. Big drop in grade, draws well and is getting fitter.
Race Five (18:28) : Craig Mostyn Group- Crystal Slipper Stakes 1100m:
Back Me: Nobel Image (Best Odds: $10.00) was heavily backed when making his debut here a fortnight back but she just pulled a fraction too hard in the run when finishing fifth to Our Time Will Come. Does meet the winner 2kg worse off, but more upside and now has the run under the belt.
Big Danger: Swedish Memories (Best Odds: $11.00) debuts here for Simon Miller off the back of a couple of impressive trial efforts, the latest resulting in a second over 850m at Belmont. Drawn wide, but should get over courtesy of Our Time Will Come, and Chris Parnham booked is a good lead.
Roughie: God I Love You (Best Odds: $21.00) debuted behind Our Time Will Come and workedhome well late along the inside to run third, beaten just under four lengths. Again draws the paint, has upside, and if the pattern from last week comes back here, then gate one will be a huge advantage.
Race Six (19:03) : A.J. Scahill Stakes 1200m:
Back Me: Waterman’s Bay (Best Odds: $1.75). No need to elaborate.
Big Danger: Just back Waterman’s Bay
Roughie: Just back Waterman’s Bay
Race Seven (19:38) : TabTouch Provincial Stayers’ Final (60+) 2200m:
Back Me: Planets Align (Best Odds: $2.10) is almost similar to Waterman’s Bay. Unbeaten in four starts, the latest coming 2000m at Bunbury where he toughed it out best for a gritty win. Blinkers coming off now, which is interesting, but Pike remains on…just looks the winner.
Big Danger: Lomfath (Best Odds: $26.00) broke through for his maiden last time out at Bunbury where he charged home from a midfield position and won impressively. Plenty of upside left with him and outside Planets Align, this is a thin race.
Roughie: Mystic Dust (Best Odds: $31.00) resumed at Albany a couple of weeks back over 1900m and worked home hard from the back to win in good style. Much harder here, and his city record is terrible, but there was plenty to like about that fresh performance.
Race Eight (20:17) : TabTouch Provincial Sprint Final (60+) 1200m:
Back Me: Quality Fair (Best Odds: $7.50) ran at Albany over this distance last time out where he got back and charged home to finish fifth, beaten less than a length. Draws much better now, should be close, and really should take a power of beating.
Big Danger: Tudor Bolt (Best Odds: $7.00) is the class runner engaged here. He ran over this track/distance a fortnight back where he tried hard but had to settle for second to Stakes performer Hobart Jones. Had he drawn a better gate, he’d be a moral, but the wide gate brings him right back to the field.
Roughie: Crystal Gardens (Best Odds: $14.00) resumed at Geraldton a couple of weeks back over this distance where she didn’t beat much, but the way she went about it was slick. Proven in the city before and Peter Hall takes over, and he has ridden the mare well previously.
BEST BET: Race Seven Number 1 Planets Align
NEXT BEST: Race Six Number 1 Waterman's Bay
VALUE: Race Six Number 4 Rommel
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 1, 6, 7, 9
Leg Two: 1
Leg Three: 1
Leg Four: 1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10
$50 Investment= 208.33% 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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