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Ascot Preview, 14th April news

Ascot Preview, 14th April

Terry Leighton | Metropolitan Racing | Fri 13 April, 2018

Race 1 - Shaun Of The Dead

I was going to write this on Thursday night, but I was far too disgruntled after Shaun McGruddy’s ride on Jester Rock. On a rail and leader bias track, you have the favourite and leaders back on the fence – absolute party time! Then the nightmare begins. A long way out there is extreme desperation (middle aged woman sending money to Nigerian scammer type desperation) shown to get off the rail and hand the race to the horse on your back. Being outridden by Andrew Castle is like being out punted by the Penguin (humorous Perth Racing identity for those unaware).

I find it really therapeutic to let my frustrations out to anybody who reads this even though nobody gives a shit about the 8th at Albany. If one of you can please watch the replay and agree with me (even if you don’t really), it will make my day. I am a man of simple pleasures.

Was keen on the chances of the in-form Simon Miller’s runner, Our Bonnie Girl until she was rubbed out. Of the remaining runners, I do think that Tip’s And Scandals is at the absolute bare minimum odds ($2.25) from barrier 9 with Alan Kennedy on board. He is the on top selection as Clever Dick is quickly developing a non-winner reputation (from a lot of winning positions), while Zon Zol could get a long way back. I expect the winner to come from one of those three but won’t be suggesting a play.


8 Tips And Scandals
1 Clever Dick
4 Zon Zol

Suggested Bet: No Bet.

Race 2 – Quality Over Quantity?

We’ve finally found an event that Donald Trump’s inauguration had a better turnout too.
Disappointingly, the listed Comrade Stakes has only got the 5 runners (I’m not counting Respondent) with none of them being world beaters. High rated runs against the much-improved Red Ora at his most recent two starts leave Falcon Crest as the deserved $1.90 favourite. The small field may pose a few questions however, as he is mapped to sit outside Already Famous on a likely slow tempo. His strength isn’t sprinting off a slow speed, so the 59kgs and likely conditions of this race could be a real tester.

Happy suggesting Pinzu as the horse this race suits most. The Wizard hops on board and before his two runs this campaign over the highly unsuitable sprint journeys, he has never SP’d above $5.50 (quite an impressive stat for a horse with 24 outings). This is a horse the Durrant camp has a lot of time for. From the gate, he is likely to be back last, though this is probably only going to be two lengths of Falcon Crest. 54kgs is a luxury weight for him and I think Pike will be willing to make a move from the 500m to test Falcon Crest. Expecting him to be too strong late.

North Ridge and Already Famous are both going well enough to be live chances here.


5 Pinzu
1 Falcon Crest
4 North Ridge

Suggested Bet: 60 wins Pinzu (5).

Race 3 - Winx And Prawns

He hasn’t quite won 25 in a row just yet, but Pearls And Prawns couldn’t have been much more impressive at his three outings to date. The form lines aren’t great and he was afforded charmed runs in each of his victories, but the way he won those races suggested he is something special. A Bernard Tomic like arrogance, but actually likeable. This is his toughest assignment to date and he has drawn his first outside alley, which maps him to be in the second half of the field. Is not a great barrier horse, though has shown the ability to muster early and also have a sprint late. I dare say that the patient Clint Johnston-Porter in the saddle, he will jag him out to last and either look for gaps late or a three wide line. He is untapped.

I really want to tip Pearls And Prawns, he is a horse which gets bums on seats. But unfortunately, I cannot go past the horse mapped to win this, Rockon Tommy. First up he was snagged out from his tricky alley when putting in the run of the race behind Necklet and subsequent Raconteur winner Mizlecki. Expecting him to end up in the one by one here.

In Love With Paris was a good winner first up, but was afforded a charmed rails run by Dan Staeck. I can confirm that was the last time Dan Staeck actually saw a rail (5 rides on Pinjarra Cup day from barrier 6 or wider, all sat deep without cover – really impressive consistency). The weight increase, and sticky draw make it difficult. Three Secrets was disappointing stepping up to the 1500m and drops sharply back in trip here. Cracking race.


2 Rockon Tommy
7 Pearls And Prawns
1 In Love With Paris

Suggested Bet: 30 wins Rockon Tommy (2).

Race 4 – Lay Down Sally

Some blood rushed toward the nether regions when Gigante’s priced popped up for this event and I genuinely believe this old war horse will be awfully hard to beat here. First up he was $100/1 when Emma Stent jagged him out the back, and to quote D-Mac he would have required a periscope to see the leaders. He found trouble around the bend before running the quickest last 200m of the race and second quickest last 400m, despite major traffic issues. Close to the run of the day. His strength has never been his closing sectionals, so for him to reel that off shows he is flying.

Belter should find the lead here with Recoiled on his back and Floyd likely to work to his outside. Floyd was super second up, when carrying the 59.5kgs to victory under hard riding from Jarrad Noske. This is a different race. Over the 1200m, with a likely hot tempo set by Belter I think you will see Floyd doing his best Sally Robins impersonation with about 100m to go.

The Celt and Roger The Roman are both live winning chances, but the $16 each way for Gigante is what gets me out of bed in the morning.


1 Gigante
4 The Celt
2 Roger The Roman

Suggested Bet: 40 wins and 40 places Gigante (1).

Race 5 – We Have Lift Off

The eagerly awaited return of one of WA’s current ‘boom’ horses in Missile Launch, has finally arrived. This imposing son of Smart Missile went from a Bunbury maiden to a 66+ Saturday victory in the space of four starts. This most recent effort before a spell was the sign of a really talented animal. He sat deep in running throughout and was entitled to give up the ghost half way down the straight, instead he showed his class and won with a degree of ease. There is a reason a few of the ‘smarties’ (a separate identity to the mystery ‘them’ or ‘they’) are mentioning him as a potential 2018 Railway Stakes bolter. First up, coming off a trial which was hard to gauge, this may be the run he is susceptible. If he is anywhere near his best, he wins.

There is a reasonable amount of speed in this event with Greco likely to attempt to cross the field from the outside gate. War Jeune, Harry Thomas and potentially the awkwardly drawn One Short will look to come across with him. Expecting Baraki Beats to finally be ridden off the pace consistently. I have a well-documented love/hate (predominantly hate) relationship with this enigmatic galloper (better use of the word enigmatic this time – comment noted) and have been calling for him to be ridden off speed for a while. Think he goes a lot closer to beating Taxagano last start if Ryan Hill doesn’t start belting him while straightening. A pet hate of mine is whipping while taking the bend as 9 times out of 10 your horse wobbles off and you lose more ground than you gain. Wait til you straighten, let the horse stride then give him a clip. Always happy giving free advice to jockeys, I know how well it is received.

All eyes will be on the Missile here and he has not been missed early after opening at $4. Could well start in the red if the camp is confident they have him close to 100%.


7 Missile Launch
1 Taxagano
6 War Jeune

Suggested Bet: 70 wins Missile Launch (7).

Race 6 – WA Oaks

The race which has slowly slipped from Group 1 to Group 3 status is unfortunately not asking probing questions to again be re-instated as one of WA’s premiere events. It is always hard to get a gauge on the younger horses and their future abilities, but I don’t think we have a Delicacy amongst this lot. In some positive news, I don’t think we will get to see Bob Peters do his best Raymond Holt impersonation while collecting the trophy.

Friar Fox looks like one of the better bets on the card and should be undefeated in her last four had it not been for bad luck in the 1000 Guineas. She is mapped to sit forward of midfield and looked to have plenty in hand when winning comfortably over the 2200m. The step up to 2400m does not look like it will pose any type of issue. After again drawing poorly, Private Dancer will be ridden more aggressively by Jarrad Noske this time around and if he can pull off a sharp bit of riding in the first 200m of this event and find some cover in the first half of the field, she definitely has the class to win. I do question if she is a genuine stayer however as she did appear to peak on her run in the Natasha (albeit with a longer, sustained run than Friar Fox). American Joy is the best of Bob’s and again, I expect Pike to ride her aggressively early to find a spot somewhere near the speed. Her last run was a lot better than it reads on paper as it was an incredibly on-pace bias day.

Don’t be surprised to see Paul Harvey skip 10 lengths in front with Prue here.


2 Friar Fox
4 American Joy
1 Private Dancer

Suggested Bet: 70 wins Friar Fox (2).

Race 7 – Rose Coloured Glasses

I cannot remember a more anticipated Karrakatta Plate than the 2018 edition. While it can again occasionally get a bit monotonous watching Simon Miller’s team of crack two-year old’s win all the lead up events, his team this year certainly add a stack of intrigue to this event.

Post barrier draw, I am presuming Agent Pippa will cross and find the fence unless the blinkers give Driftstar the edge to hold her out early. I am not going to tip him in my top 3, but I get a real Gold Rocks (2011 Karrakatta winner) type feel from Driftstar. Capable of coming back from an unexpected shocker as the $1.35 favourite.

Listening to Aaron Mitchell on Tab Radio this week, I get the feeling he plans to take a sit with Valour Road. This should leave Chix Pic (with the blinkers on, who David Harrison said has sharpened him up several lengths) and Lady Cosmology from gates 14 & 15 looking to come across and find a spot one off. Expecting one of these two to lead up the three wide-line and in a race of this quality and at the likely tempo we will see, would make it a near impossibility to win. If as expected, Agent Pippa does find the fence and roll them along, I do think she will be susceptible in the latter stages. With an expected strong three wide line leader, this is a Karrakatta where drawing a little awkwardly may be advantageous. I am really hoping the track plays fair. If it is a rail bias day, then the likes of Princess Pierro and Lordhelpmerun (barriers 1 & 3) will come into calculations with the soft runs just off the speed. It will all come down to the ride and luck they find in the straight. If you can however make ground from 4 to 8 horses off the fence then the likes of Assetro, Platoon and the horse I am going to put on top, Emerald Rose will all come into calculations.

Emerald Rose has been the unlucky horse of this two-year-old season. Some of that luck was self-inflicted with a few tardy getaways, but more recently it has been jockey error. In the Gimcrack, despite being impeded over the final 100m, she ran the second quickest last 200m of that race, only 0.01 seconds behind Princess Pierro who had no such obstructions. Her previous effort she was the best part of 10 lengths off Lady Cosmology, Princess Pierro & Agent Pippa with 500m to go and finished only a few lengths off them. This was another day which had a heavy on pace bias. To me she looks like the type of horse that if you can get her to the extreme outside and let her wind up for the full 294m Ascot straight, she will reel off a really hot closing 100m. Paul Harvey is the right man for the job.

There are 10 live chances in this, but at $30 I am happy being on the filly who should be rocketing home late. Cracking race.


14 Emerald Rose
2 Chix Pic
9 Assetro

Suggested Bet: 20 wins and 20 places Emerald Rose (14).

Race 8 – Not Again…

Fully aware I am starting to sound like a broken record with this horse and there can definitely be some Baraki Beats comparisons made. But. Not Again Ken will win one soon. My heart broke a small amount when Glenn Smith went down with injury, though the replacement rider Aaron Mitchell did pilot a nice double on Wednesday in a similar fashion to how we’d like to see Ken ridden. Let’s go back to the Bunbury Cup. Clint Johnston-Porter clearly didn’t heed my very succinct instructions – this horse CANNOT race without cover. This is not a bullshit stat – the last 4 times the horse has been ridden without cover (25/3/18, 24/2/18, 1/1/18 & 9/12/17) he has run DEAD LAST – 43 horses have beaten him home, while he has beaten 0 home (in case you didn’t know what dead last in capital letters meant). I simply do not get how you can possibly instruct for the horse to be ridden in this manner. This is getting me a little heated. Woosa. Anyway, at his most recent outing, I don’t need to use words – just watch the first 100m of the race. Matthieu Autier currently has an arrest warrant out for what he did to the horse that day. The worst part about that, is I tipped him (I actually declared him) with him on board. I should be better than this and I apologise.

So. Azza. I quite like you as a jockey and know you are a smart young man. From barrier 6 – cover midfield and this horse can sustain a run from before the bend – don’t be afraid to take off with 400-500m to go. Easy, right? The blinkers being removed is a big tick in allowing the horse to settle early. I just hope the horse is mentally OK after what frog legs did to him last start. #prayforken

Most sane people would probably tip Ragazzo D’Oro here after a huge effort behind the smart Western Temple. Is mapped to lead this and the main dangers (besides Ken) in Middle Earth, Elegant Blast & Cougar Nights are all likely to be a mile off the pace. Should run a good second.

Due to Ken being more up and down than a cheap prostitute, I’ll be recommending a win only play despite the big price.


1 Not Again Ken
2 Ragazzo D’Oro
4 Cougar Nights

Suggested Bet: 50 wins Not Again Ken (1).

Race 9 – Follow The Pontiff

Necklet does look the standout in the final event of the day, and in the absence of William Pike, I dare say the majority of Australia will be looking to the Pontiff in the ‘get out stakes’. It is always a worry when a three-year-old races against the older horses for the first time, especially in a capacity line-up like this, but I do expect Paul Harvey to ride her with a fair degree of aggression early to keep her out of trouble. The Mizlecki and Rockon Tommy form looks superior to anything being brought in by her rivals here.

My Laina’s last effort was totally out of the blue. It rated as one of the best runs of the day and when you factor in the heavy on pace bias of that meet, it comfortably makes it the best run we saw on Good Friday. Clint Johnston-Porter retains the ride and if she can repeat that effort, then she goes very close. My Demi has since franked that form.

Fancy Fox was scratched by the stewards a week ago when presenting with unapproved racing pads and is suited in this grade. The 59.5kgs for a mare is a serious ask, though her last victory was over Quilista with 58kgs. If they are making ground on the day and Lisa can find the three-wide line, then the $35 on offer may look like good shopping. A lot of ‘ifs’.

A really competitive finish to a great days racing. Fairly excited.


10 Necklet
9 My Laina
1 Fancy Fox

Suggested Bet: No bet.

22 Comments | 3 years ago

Recent Comments

User hash

hash 14 Apr | Posts: 7022

Complaining about back a 100/1 pop in a G3 never thought Id see the day lol

User Rodent

Rodent 14 Apr | Posts: 5659

Interesting that the Oaks winner's improvement wasn't questioned by the Stewards. I have a long memory and had a little on at 100-1 due to its WA Guineas effort. I was grasping at straws and expected it was money down the drain, more insurance than anything el...

User hash

hash 14 Apr | Posts: 7022

Talk about a novel

User thefalcon

thefalcon 14 Apr | Posts: 17757

anybody read the stewards report  re the last winner? if I had i'd have had a real good go!got a pumpkin for a head...

User detonator

detonator 14 Apr | Posts: 3146

Brilliant ride by Lucy on Elegant Blast. Ride of the day by far !!!! =D>

User udontknow

udontknow 14 Apr | Posts: 457

The celt from war god and recoiled in the next

User Coldy

Coldy 14 Apr | Posts: 1584

In Love with Paris odds get better the more it wins it seems, fantastic stuff. My useless selections for rest of the meeting chasing e/w value in all . If you want to have a poke at me ,man up and post your own :-j   Recoiled, Harry Thomas ,Lik...

User Bobcat

Bobcat 14 Apr | Posts: 109

Did ascot just jump early?

User Rodent

Rodent 14 Apr | Posts: 5659

Didn't get my early quaddy on because they jumped 30 seconds early! How much turnover did they just cost themselves?

User Godd

Godd 14 Apr | Posts: 178

Clever dick Already famous Belter Taxagano