A strong nine race card has been assembled for Ascot this Melbourne Cup Day where it is Burgess Queen Stakes Day. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out fourteen metres for the entire circuit.
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Race 1. (14:29) Tabtouch Better Your Bet Maiden 1200m
Landed with 1 Zenaze (Bet Now: $3.30) but not a race I want to get involved in from a betting perspective. He’s second up for Colin Webster after resuming here last Wednesday off the back of some pretty good trials and just couldn’t quite finish it off when fifth. Think he takes good improvement from that outing and from the gate, I suspect Turner will come out and look for the lead.
6 Weona Brute (Bet Now: $3.70) is the interesting runner. Resumes for Team Williams after just one career outing in the Winter at Belmont when last throughout behind a good one in Miss Tycoon. Been given a good break and has trialled up well in readiness for his return to the races, plus Pike takes the ride from a plum gate. Think just watch the market and see what it does.
12 Automatic (Bet Now: $51.00) is a daughter of Playing God for Neville Parnham on debut. She’s had three career trials to date, all coming this prep. Latest trial was on October 14 over 1000m at Belmont when fifth, beaten a few lengths, but looked to move well enough to my eye. Gets the blinkers on for the debut, which is a gear change I always like for a first starter, and has gate one.
Race 2. (15:44) Devil's Lair Handicap (0MW) 1000m
5 Obstination (Bet Now: $6.00) on top for me, but again, a race where I want to just watch. This filly hasn’t won in four career outings but has showed good ability to date. Ran in a 1300m maiden at Northam last time out where she looked to have her chance but when the sprint went on, she couldn’t go with them. Gets the cross-over nose band on and I think back to 1000m suits.
1 Jenja (Bet Now: $4.20) is suited back to this sort of level. He comes through the 3YO Classic won by Amelia’s On Fire and while he was outclassed/held, he was far from disgraced. Tricky draw, but concede he’s going well. The gate is the issue though. Where he gets to is the unknown but in terms of class, he’s one of the hardest to beat here with the claim for McNaught.
8 Victory Shot (Bet Now: $9.50) is a Shooting To Win filly on debut for Simon Miller. This girl has had two trials in readiness for start one, the latest coming last week at Belmont when looking to go about her business quite nicely when running second. Overall, this isn’t the strongest race going around so I think a first starter/maiden galloper can win without surprising.
Race 3. (16:24) Amelia Park Handicap (Class 3) 1000m
Going with 9 Nobel Time (Bet Now: $2.90). She was down to run on Saturday, but instead has been saved for this. She resumed in a Class One over 1000m where she was well supported at various stages and under Pike, led throughout and showed good ticker late to get the job done. Think she’ll lead this field comfortably from the gate and that Class One had good depth to it.
4 Grand Design (Bet Now: $SP.00) looks one of the hardest to beat for David Harrison. She ran over 1200m here last start when given a peach of a ride just off the speed before taking the front, looking home, only to be bloused late by Tuscan Queen, who looks a really good prospect and probably wins the Burgess Queen later in the day. Back to 1000m looks fine as well.
3 Supreme Force (Bet Now: $6.50) is a handy galloper resuming. He can mix his form at times, but his best is certainly good enough to beat these. If the track remains to have some genuine give in it, I think he comes right into play, and his recent Lark Hill trial win was sharp to the eye. Hopefully they ride cold, sit off a fast speed and launch at them late, being strong at the end.
Race 4. (17:03) Fifth Leg Handicap (Class 1) 1200m
8 Rewrite The Stars (Bet Now: $2.60) looks the safe option here. This filly ran at this track/distance last time out when on speed and giving a good kick, looking home, only to be bloused near the peg by a potential star, Windstorm. Looks to be a bit of speed, so interesting to see what they do from gate one, but I think in regards to form, she’s the one to beat among this lot.
9 Amelia’s Contraire (Bet Now: $10.00) is several weeks between runs since racing at this track/distance when on speed and looking to go well, giving a kick but was no match for the finale of Tuscan Queen, who I’m keen on in the Burgess Queen. Tick over trial last week at Belmont was pretty good to the eye and from the gate, I expect Parnham to come out humming.
5 Megadon (Bet Now: $5.50) is a son of Vital Equine for David Harrison that resumes. This guy ran over this track/distance a couple of Wednesdays back and I really liked the way he found the line after getting back to near last in the run. Presented wider and finished off strongly. From the gate, they likely ease back to last again, but the speed should be good, so he’ll get his chance.
Race 5. (17:48) Mrs Mac's Handicap (Class 1) 1400m
Remaining at 1400m looks the only knock with 11 Superstorm (Bet Now: $1.90), otherwise he is just too good for these. It’s a weak Class One and he just has so much upside. He ran over 1400m in a Bunbury maiden last start when back and finishing off strongly, just missing out on the win. Pike remains on and the Winkers go on first time, to hopefully sharpen him up.
1 Indominus (Bet Now: $3.50) is a son of Playing God for Colin Webster that resumes. This guy hasn’t raced since Feb 20 over this track/distance when running a narrow second but he should have won after getting badly held up. That race has produced nine winners, so the form reads very well for this and his trial win last week at Belmont was strong. Just a matter of where he gets to from the gate.
2 The Cat Ratcher (Bet Now: $SP.00) could be one for wider multiples. This bloke resumed over 1200m at Bunbury where he was last throughout and never really in the hunt behind Devoted Star. 2000m+ is when he’ll come into his own, so whatever he does here, he will improve on, but gets gate one and the claim for Harry Grace, so there are a couple of ticks.
Race 6. (18:28) Seppelt Wines Handicap (0MW) 2200m
Going to give 4 Honorific (Bet Now: $6.00) another chance. Thought he’d run a race at odds just over two weeks ago over the mile here, and was specked at odds, but just never really got into the contest and for the most part was disappointing. A rise in trip looks perfect for this bloke and Pike takes over. I’d want a decent price to bet on him, but if he’s double figures and better, then yes, he’s an each way bet.
3 Mosseratti (Bet Now: $3.20) is nearing three years since he has greeted the judge, but he’s bursting to win a race. He ran over 1800m here a couple of Saturdays back when unwanted in betting and sitting off a slow tempo, which wasn’t his go coming back in trip. Now he’s back up in trip, the tempo should be a touch more genuine and this is a significant drop in depth.
Another one up in trip is 2 Chapasco (Bet Now: $6.50). Was okay in defeat two back over 2100m before coming back to the mile at Bunbury and sticking to the task gamely but was one paced, so I like him back up to a staying trip and should do no work in the run from the inside gate for Chris Parnham. In a tricky race, he’s one of the leading chances, but hard to get really enthused from a betting perspective.
Race 7. (19:05) Handicap (Class 3) 1600m
2 Kia Ora Star (Bet Now: $5.50) is going super for Michael Lane but he just can’t quite crack it for a win. Ran over the mile at Bunbury last time out where you could easily make a case that he should have won. Just had no luck in the straight when seemingly having plenty to offer and should have won when running a narrow second. Better luck this time around and he can win again.
1 Locomotive (Bet Now: $6.50) is a Simon Miller trained gelding that comes through that Bunbury race mentioned above and he too was unlucky, but I don’t think he was unlucky not to win. Should have finished closer after getting the box seat sit behind the speed and was held up, but got out in time to win. He’s going well this guy and is hard to beat despite the gate.
All you can do is win and that is what 5 Mr Kunafa (Bet Now: $4.80) did on debut over 1400m at Bunbury. Led throughout and despite running at a solid clip, he kept finding and was tough in winning. From the gate, expect him to lead once again and I don’t think 1600m will be an issue for him. Not sure he can hold off Bogart, but he should run a rather honest race.
Race 8. (19:45) Burgess Queen Stakes 1400m
7 Tuscan Queen (Bet Now: $2.90) looks the winner. Her former stablemate Arcadia Queen was desperately unlucky in this race last year before going onto better things and while I doubt this filly will match the deeds of Arcadia Queen, I think she can take this out and progress through the 3YO races during the Carnival. Very impressive winner against the older horses over 1200m here last time and she’s screaming of a horse wanting further.
6 Platinum Bullet (Bet Now: $7.00) looks the main danger. She comes through the Belgravia where she had no luck at all in the straight when bolting for a run in the straight and should have finished much closer behind Jericho Missile. Draws a soft gate and the big tick is the Blinkers going on, telling me there is intent, and off last start, the 1400m should be fine.
3 Rocky Path (Bet Now: $13.00) is racing as if 1400m will be okay for her after looking like she’d struggle beyond 1200m as a 2YO. Took on the older horses last time out over 1200m here and ran on well late in the piece when third to Megazone. Off that, 1400m is okay for this filly and if the tempo is more than genuine, I think she’ll be one of the strongest at the end.
Race 9. (20:25) Crown Perth Handicap (Class 5) 1400m
Last race on Cup Day…time for the great man W Pike to get a nation out in winning style via 7 Not To Be Mist (Bet Now: $2.30), who looks the good thing on the program. Resumed over 1200m here where he looked a bit flat footed when the sprint went on but finished off well late in the piece to run a close up third. He looks as though he will eat up 1400m and has a stack of upside. Hopefully a nation roars for a hero.
Fresh and back in trip are two big ticks for 4 Velago (Bet Now: $6.00). Thought it was a really ordinary steer over the mile here last time out. Just persisted to pour on the pressure on speed, and the horse just had no petrol tickets left for the straight when down the track behind Jedaffair. Form prior was good and if he brings that here, he can run a much improved race.
6 Moet De Vega (Bet Now: $6.50) is a son of Lope De Vega resuming for Sean Casey. This guy had two runs last time in and didn’t really set the world on fire at all in a disappointing preparation. Been given a break and has trialled up well in readiness for his return to the races. His best is clearly good enough to figure in the finish, so watch the market and see what it does.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Nine Number 7 Not To Be Mist
NEXT BEST: Race Eight Number 7 Tuscan Queen
LONG SHOT: Race Six Number 4 Honorific
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7
Leg Two: 1, 2, 5, 9
Leg Three: 6, 7
Leg Four: 7
$50 Investment = 125% 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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