Track: Good3, Rail: Out 3m
Track comment: The track has been prepared to be in perfect condition for this day and we move the rail to 3m which is the close as we’ve been to the true position since getting back to Ascot. It’s going to be a hot day with some easterly breezes expected which will suit horses on pace runners.
Race 1: Peace For Paris Handicap 1200 metres
No. 8 LUNAR ECLIPSE returned in style at Ascot when finishing second behind Paddy’s Flat over 1200m and meets that horse 1kg better for that short-neck defeat, gaining the services of Craig Williams. With early speed in the race he should be sitting just off the leaders and attacking the line late. No. 3 Lenience is a quality galloper when at his best. He drops back in class here and gets 2kg off his back with Jake Casey taking the ride. He’s drawn perfectly and if he’s at his best he’ll be right in the finish. No. 2 Flying Roar was last start beaten by G1 Winterbottom Stakes hopeful Lucky Street by 3 lengths. He drops from a 78+ to a 66+ and get 3kg off his back with Clint Johnston-Porter taking the ride. From barrier two he should be able to sit outside the leader and he’ll be very hard to run down with the blinkers going on. No. 4 Cougar Nights also has the blinkers going on and has the services of Damian Lane. This six-year-old by Trade Fair has a very good record first-up (2:1-1-0) and he trialled well at Bunbury over 1000m.
Top four: 8 Lunar Eclipse, 3,Lenience, 2 Flying Roar, 4 Cougar Nights
Betting strategy: Each way bet No. 2 Flying Roar
Race 2: Hahn Superdry Handicap 1500 metres
No. 8 ZOETOMTAYA has been racing well in mid-week company where she has had to carry 58.5kg in her past two runs which has hurt her over the final 100m. She drops to 55.5kg for this start and meets Vital Edition and Tales Of Summer 1kg better for recent clashes. She should be able to sit close to the leaders and I think she can cause an upset in this race. No. 11 Liberty Rise also has mid-week form lines but she’s been terrific winning when carrying 58kg last start and attacking the line powerfully. She’ll carry 54.5kg and should get the early speed in the race that she requires to rattle home late. No. 6 Little Shadow is another that has been flying home late in recent runs. Last start she was beaten by 0.5 lengths by Neverland over 1400m. The combination of Bernie Miller and Patrick Carbery is on fire and I see no reason why it won’t continue here. No. 3 Thunderclap Newman is a Saturday class horse and hasn’t been near his best in recent week. Shaun O’Donnell takes the ride and with a good track/distance record and I think he can turn his form around.
Top four: 8 Zoetomtaya, 11 Liberty Rise, 6, Little Shadow, 3 Thunderclap Newman
Betting Strategy: Win bets for No. 3 Thunderclap Newman ($16 Crownbet), 8 Zoetomtaya ($14 Crownbet) and No. 9 Our Finest Moment ($23 Crownbet). All are over the odds.
Race 3: Listed Jungle Mist Classic 1200 metres
No. 2 SHEIDEL will ensure that this race is run at a strong tempo. She’s been disappointing this campaign but she’s dropping back in class. She’s two from two at the track and distance and from barrier two she’ll be the one to chase down. No. 4 Ideal Image is two from two when first-up and has won two from three over 1200m. She’s a classy mare by More Than Ready, and if the leaders tire late, she’ll be the one finishing off strongly. No. 3 Fuld’s Bet is another that will show plenty of speed in this race. His top form lines are very strong alongside horses such as Liberty’s Gem which is racing in the Winterbottom Stakes and Malibu Style. The blinkers go on for this start and he’ll be eye balling Sheidel when they turn for home. No. 6 Zonte came fourth in this race last year and is three from three when second-up. She’s drawn perfectly in barrier four and should be poised just behind the leaders as they turn for home.
Top four: 2 Sheidel, 4 Ideal Image, 3 Fuld’s Bet, 6 Zonte
Betting strategy: Each way bet No. 3 Fuld’s Bet
Race 4: Asahi Handicap 1200 metres
This looks like a race in two to my eye. No. 7 RESONATES has been brilliant over the past twelve months and she showed that class again last start when she was only beaten a length by Black Heart Bart over 1420m. William Pike has chosen to ride stablemate Neverland which is a small concern, but she’ll have a nice gap on the favourite as they turn for home and be very hard to run down. No. 8 Neverland will jump as the favourite after her brilliant performance last start at Ascot over 1400m. She never looked like winning until running the final 600m in 34.02 to sweep down the outside to victory. She’ll be giving Resonates a big head start as they turn for home but she has the class and the best turn of foot. Outside of these two gallopers, No. 9 Fashion Princess worked home strongly first-up after being held up for a large majority of the straight and No. 5 Halo Express has been up for a while, but he gets his chance again with barrier five and Damien Oliver taking the ride. This is his preferred distance (4:3-1-0) and he looks a nice place chance.
Top four: 7 Resonates, 8 Neverland, 9 Fashion Princess, 5 Halo Express
Betting strategy: No. 7 and No.9 is the best quinella bet of the day
Race 5: Listed G1X.com.au Place Ark Stakes 1200 metres
Well we have the best named race of the day here so we had better find the winner! No. 10 CELBRITY DREAM was a best bet for the G1x followers last start and she didn’t let us down. She’s drawn nicely in barrier two and she should get a nice trip with the early speed that will be in this race. She has a devastating turn of foot and looks the one to beat. No. 9 Puteri Jewel looked the upset winner against Celebrity Dream last start before getting caught late. She’s drawn well in barrier four and Craig Williams takes the ride, I expect him to try to steal it at the top of the straight by skipping away as they corner. No. 5 Remember Berlin is the stable mate of Puteri Jewel and was also race favourite when he was beaten by Celebrity Dream on debut. She proved too good for him then and I think the same will happen again here. No. 12 Let It Slip found some trouble last start, but once she got out she attacked the line well. The experienced Peter Hall takes the ride and she’s one that could surprise a few at nice each way odds.
Top four: 10 Celebrity Dream, 9 Puteri Jewel, 5 Remeber Berlin, 12 Let It Slip
Betting strategy: Win bet #10 Celebrity Dream
Race 6: Group 2 Sky Racing WA Guineas 1600 metres
So far this season the fillies have been too good for the boys and I think that pattern will continue here. No. 13 SHOWY CHLOE is almost the forgotten horse in the race. She won the G3 WA Sires at Ascot over 1400m by 4.8 lengths last season and hasn’t been disgraced this campaign, being beaten by 1.5 lengths in the Belgravia after carrying 57kg from barrier eleven and then beaten 1.5 lengths by Blackwood in the Burgess Queen when carrying 58kg. She has 54.5kg here meaning that she gets a nice swing in the weights on Blackwood and Arcadia Dream and the blinkers go on. I think she can remind everyone of why she jumped as the favourite in the Burgess Queen last month. No. 15 Arcadia Dream must have galloped under a ladder because this horse has had no luck whatsoever this preparation. She’s been brilliant when getting clear running, but it’s been too late with the winner off and gone at her last three runs. William Pike takes the ride for the first time and that might change the luck of this filly. No. 14 Blackwood jumped as the favourite last start in the G3 Champion Fillies and finished third. She’s drawn wide, but going back in the field may enable her to show that turn of foot that we saw last campaign when she was undefeated. No. 10 The Cobbla is the best of the boys for me. He should be able to sit just behind the leaders and he has a good enough turn of foot to play a part in the finish.
Top four: 13 Showy Chloe, 15 Arcadia Dream, 14 Blackwood, 10 The Cobbla
Betting strategy: Each way bet No. 13 Showy Chloe
Race 7: Group 1 Crown Perth Winterbottom Stakes 1200 metres
I’ve settled on No. 4 SHINING KNIGHT at odds. This horse races brilliantly when first-up (5:3-1-1) and has ran well in this race in the past. There is no doubt that the camp has given him the best preparation possible to make sure he’s fresh and ready to win and William Pike takes the ride and from barrier two, he’ll get the best opportunity to finish strongly and get past the tiring leaders. No. 1 Buffering is the best horse in the race, it’s as simple as that. He’s won this race before so we know he travels well. If there are any concerns it’s that the speed from the outside barriers may mean that he has to work harder then he wants through the early stages which brought about his downfall in the G1 Manikato two starts ago. No. 2 Fast ‘N’ Rocking beat Buffering in the Manikato and will be hoping to do the same again. From barrier three, he should get a similar run to Shining Knight and if the speed is too hot out in front he’ll be one that attacks the line strongly. No. 3 Watermans Bay finished second in this race last year before heading over east and racing well. He loves the track and distance and will be ready to go after a narrow defeat first-up over 1100m.
Top four: 4 Shining Knight, 1 Buffering, 2 Fast ‘N’ Rocking, 3 Watermans Bay
Betting strategy: Each way bet No. 4 Shining Knight/ Boxed trifecta 1,2,3,4,16
Race 8: G1 James Boag’s Premium Railway Stakes 1600 metres
This race has absolutely everything - speed through the early stages, classy back markers, plenty of cerise and white hopefuls as well as some classy eastern state raiders. I’m tipping the class mare No. 3 DELICACY. Although barrier 15 is not ideal, it forces Pike to take her back in the field and I think that’s when she races best. There’s no doubt that Pike will need some luck to find a decent spot from that gate, but we’ve seen him do it before under similar circumstaces in this race with Elite Belle and I believe he can do it again. No. 5 Real Love was the early choice for Pike before he changed to Delicacy and her first-up victory over 1400m was all class considering that she carried 58kg. Like Delicacy she’ll need some luck from barrier 13, but we saw Damien Oliver pull off a miracle ride on Black Tycoon here a few years ago so there’s no doubt he has the class to do it in front of his home fans. No. 15 Tower Of Lonhro is the best each-way of the day in my opinion ($41/$9.50 with Crownbet). He has carried 59kg in recent times and still been very competitive, he carries a career low weight in this race and meets horses that he’s beaten before such as Balmont Girl and Fuchsia Bandana with a significant weight advantage. He’ll get a nice run from barrier 9 and if there’s a blow out, he will cause it. No. 2 Messene is going to get the run of the race and was only 1.8 lengths off Royal Decent and 2.5 lengths off Winx earlier this preparation.
Top four: 3 Delicacy, 5 Real Love, 15 Tower Of Lonhro, 2 Messene
Betting strategy: Each way bets with No. 15 Tower Of Lonhro and No. 2 Messene
Race 9: Listed Tattersall’s Cup 2100 metres
No. 4 ASK ME NICELY has a good record when stepping up in distance after competing in a 1400-1600m race and he follows that path here. He attacked the line well in the G3 Peters Stakes over 1500m last start and before that he won the Listed Boulder Cup. I think he’s the best stayer in the race and few will finish as strongly as him. No. 5 Young Lionel won the Listed Northam Cup over 1600m two starts ago and finished second last start in the Ascot Gold Cup. He had his chance in that race but he does meet the winner Drive West 1.5kg better in the weights. No. 7 Dubai Escapade was very unlucky in the Listed Kalgoorlie Cup when beaten 1.3 lengths after being blocked for a run. My biggest concern for him is that he hasn’t raced since September 27. No. 6 Drive West won the Listed Ascot Gold Cup last start but now goes up 3kg, he is racing n career best form though.
Top four: 4 Ask Me Nicely, 5 Young Lionel, 7 Dubai Escapade, 6 Drive West
Betting strategy: Each way bet No. 4 Ask Me Nicely
Quaddie $75 for 25%: 13,14,15 / 1,2,3,4 / 2,3,5,10,15 / 4,5,6,7,12
$220 = 25%