Eight races will be run and won at Ascot on Saturday, where the feature race is the $100,000 Listed Scenic Blast Stakes (1200m). The weather is fine, the track is good (3) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Race One (15:53) : Lunar Raceday February 13 Plate 1000m:
Back Me: 1 Guest Express (Best Odds: $1.80) ran over 1200m here a fortnight back and finished off his race alright late in the piece when running third to impressive winner The Celt. Back to 1000m is ideal and he draws the inside gate. Hard to beat.
Big Danger: 5 Wrinkly (Best Odds: $6.50) debuts here for Neville Parnham off the back of a handy trial win at Belmont recently, where he looked pretty good. Drawn to be near Guess Express and shouldn’t be far off based on the trial.
Roughie: 7 Tide Up (Best Odds: $13.00) debuted in that race The Celt won, and the daughter of Oratorio just looked in need of the hit out. Very green and didn’t quite know what to do. Pike remains on, which is a good lead.
Race Two (16:33) : Waitangi Day Next Saturday At Ascot Plate 1000m:
Back Me: 1 Hot Goods (Best Odds: $1.28) should be winning and winning with ease. She created a big impression in her first prep, winning five from five. Beat up the older horses in a sharp trial win at Belmont, and she just looks better than these. Don’t be surprised to see her in Melbourne before too long.
Big Danger: 4 Le Patron (Best Odds: $5.00) resumed at the midweeks here last Wednesday and though the margin was narrow, the win was impressive. Draws gate one, so she she won’t be far away from Hot Goods, and should run second.
Roughie: 3 It’s Dynamite (Best Odds: $16.00) is on the back up from racing here last Saturday where she stuck on well to run third to Rhi’s Rocket, beaten 1.5L in a solid effort. Pike jumps on, and while I doubt she can win, she is a must for exotics.
Race Three (17:13) : Flying Colours Madfish Promotion Plate 1500m:
Back Me: 1 Blackwood (Best Odds: $1.50) looks another plum ride for Lucy Warwick. She hasn’t raced since December 19 when finishing fourth to Tarquin Shadow in the Starstruck (1600m) against the mares. Back to her own age now, and if she has any sort of fitness, she’ll be winning.
Big Danger: 4 Great Shot (Best Odds: $5.50) made his city debut over 1400m here two weeks ago where he sat on a strong speed and kicked on very strongly when second to Glitterbell, who had the suck run out the back and swooped. Looks ready for the 1500m and is hard fit.
Roughie: 2 Fremond (Best Odds: $9.00) ran over 1400m here three weeks back where he was making ground late in the race when fourth to stablemate of Blackwood, Lite’n In My Veins. He will get a suck run from the gate and will be strong at the end of 1500m.
Race Four (17:50) : Happy 60th Birthday Ray Collins Handicap (72+) 2100m:
Back Me: 5 Dark Alert (Best Odds: $1.80) looks the way to go here. There was plenty to like about her win here a fortnight back where she let down strongly under hard riding from Pike to wear down Stakes winning mare Tarquin Shadow. Looks a bit better suited here, draws well…hard to hold out.
Big Danger: 4 Cougar Express (Best Odds: $4.80) was given a lovely front running steer from Paul Harvey here last Saturday, stacking them up in front before sprinting hard at the top of the straight and clinging on to victory. Those tactics won’t win here, but he should get the run of the race and is a definite winning chance.
Roughie: 8 Bayatorio (Best Odds: $31.00) ran fourth in that race Dark Alert saluted in, and I thought his effort was more than satisfactory given he sat back in a race where the leaders dominated. With a more genuine tempo here, he can threaten for sure at good odds.
Race Five (18:30) : Vale Jeremy Hayes Handicap (1MW) 1100m:
Back Me: 2 Gigante (Best Odds: $7.00) for me here. He ran over 1400m here a fortnight ago and finished off alright, but was not suited by the slow tempo set by the eventual winner Vengabus, who won again last Saturday to frank the form. Back to 1100m should suit and he will do no work from the gate.
Big Danger: 4 Classical Prince (Best Odds: $4.00) resumed over 1000m here two weeks ago when wide no cover for the duration yet charged home for a close up second to Kennocha. Provided he hasn’t taken too much harm from that, he’ll prove hard to hold out.
Roughie: 1 Secret Nova (Best Odds: $5.50) was given a lovely front running ride by Jason Brown to win here three weeks back, winning by over a length in strong fashion. Wide gate is the worry, but if he can overcome that, he’ll go close.
Race Six (19:05) : Scenic Blast Stakes 1200m:
Back Me: 2 First Among Equals (Best Odds: $1.90) resumed in the Miss Andretti (1100m) and closed off hard from the back to run a close second to star local sprinter Lucky Street. No Lucky Street here, and with natural improvement, and the fact he is on the minimum…he looks the winner.
Big Danger: 5 Red Ora (Best Odds: $3.10) resumes here with no trials. He hasn’t raced since September when a fast finishing third in the Hannans during the Kalgoorlie Cup Carnival. Interesting to note that Pike rides this bloke and not his regular ride, Silverstream. I’m respecting that fact.
Roughie: 1 Rock Magic (Best Odds: $11.00) resumed in the Summer Scorcher and ran home nicely late near the inside behind Sheidel. Should do no work from the inside gate and will be improved by the run under the belt.
Race Seven (19:42) : Raceday Hospitality At Ascot Handicap (1MW) 1600m:
Back Me: 10 Silver Romance (Best Odds: $4.60) got a long way back in the run last start with the rider hugging the rail, and the son of Savabeel closed off strongly to run a close up third to Muskets At Dawn. Should be at peak fitness now and if he can sit closer from the better gate, he’ll just about take care of this lot.
Big Danger: 9 Paris Dream (Best Odds: $2.50) finished off best to win first up at Bunbury before running in that Muskets At Dawn race where she also finished off stoutly from the back. Pike jumps off, which is a concern, but the apprentice goes on to take weight off, so she looks well placed.
Roughie: 5 Crystal Gardens (Best Odds: $5.00) is the galloper Pike rides. Her effort last Wednesday was full of merit considering she was wide no cover for the duration when a close up third to Zoetomtaya. With better luck here she can win for sure without surprising.
Race Eight (20:20) : In The Memory Of Max Simmonds OAM (72+) 1400m:
Back Me: 11 Paseo Del Prado (Best Odds: $6.00) can be a hard horse to follow, but his two runs this time in have been the full of merit, the latest resulting in a second to Baraki Beats, beaten a half length. McGruddy rides the horse very well, and despite the tricky gate, I’m happy to be in his corner in what looks a tricky race to close the program.
Roughie: 3 Tonto (Best Odds: $4.80) is a handy stayer that resumes here off a two month break. He has a pretty tidy first up record and interesting to note that Pike is riding, and he rode the horse beautifully at his past two outings before being spelled. Look for him to charge late.
Big Danger: 10 Futurism (Best Odds: $15.00) resumed over this track/distance a fortnight and was outstanding from the back in a slowly run race when second to Vengabus, and as stated earlier, that form has been franked. She runs better second up, draws well and meets a weaker field. Hard to beat.
BEST BET: Race Six Number 2 First Among Equals
NEXT BEST: Race Three Number 1 Blackwood
VALUE: Race Eight Number 11 Paseo Del Prado
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Leg Two: 1, 2, 5, 7
Leg Three: 2, 5, 8, 9, 10
Leg Four: 3, 5, 10, 11
$50 Investment= 12.50% of the dividend if successful.
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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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