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Ascot Preview, 15th December news

Ascot Preview, 15th December

Terry Leighton | Metropolitan Racing | Fri 14 December, 2018

Race 1 - Trial And Error

Won’t bother even attempting a speed map with the juveniles, with six of the nine runners unraced. Specialism completely picks itself on what it has shown at the races to date, though she was uncharacteristically unprofessional at her most recent outing, which cost her victory behind a smart one.

Really liked the trial of Red Warrior who showed good early speed and also the ability to fight back once challenged by another runner. May be a mature filly to keep an eye on.

With Specialism at $1.90, there will be no bets here.

Selections

Specialism
Red Warrior
Beethoven
Major Mitchell

Suggested Bet: No bet

 

Race 2 - McGruddy’s Sabbath

Speed Map - Fair bit of exposed speed in this event, but I suspect that Lord Greystoke (barrier 2) will be desperate to hold the front and run them along. Lacevinsky (7) should come across and sit on his outside. Dawn Armada (5) could end up being awkwardly placed for apprentice Stent, though also may have the pace to cross Lord Greystoke who is more of a musterer than a 'ping the lids' type runner. The first 100m will be interesting. All the stronger runners will park in behind. Black Sabbath (3) should be just off the speed with Kelly's Callisto (1) and Truly Great (5) not far from him. Angelic Ruler (8) likely goes back with Kakadu (6).

Race Overview - This is a tremendous horse race. Contrasting form lines, returning two year olds (off the back of hot trials) and one horse we know very little about.

This is a race which could have a potential top liner hidden away but for similar reasons to tipping the big class dropper Market Ruler last week, I have a clear lean to Black Sabbath. Absolutely toyed with his opposition as a two year old before not having a great deal of luck with barriers or the cleanest of rides this time in. Probably wasn’t suited stepping up in distance and after drawing the river in the Guineas he was no hope. Reunited with Shaun McGruddy, who he shared success with as a two year old, he should be able to lob into the perfect spot here and be really hard to reel in late.

There is always the worry that some two year old’s simply don’t return to racing with the same zest in there second and third campaigns. The trials of Kelly’s Callisto and Angelic Ruler would have done a lot to allay connections fears of that happening. Angelic Ruler in particular was super impressive. Having drawn barrier eight, she will likely need to come from last. Struggle to see her giving an on song Black Sabbath a few length head start and reeling him in however.

Kakadu should have gone closer to winning first up while Truly Great only won a maiden, Pike never pulled the whip. His trials prior to that were sharp and you can never discount a Bob Peters runner. It’s unlikely they would throw him in the deep end unless they had a high opinion of him.

Keen on Black Sabbath and I am more than happy with the $4.20 currently on offer. Can see support coming for Angelic Ruler on the day, but the current quote of $4 for Truly Great should only continue to drift, despite the Pike/Peters combination. This is a massive step up in class.

Selections

Black Sabbath
Angelic Ruler
Kakadu
Truly Great

Suggested Bet: 80 wins Black Sabbath (2)

 

Race 3 - Retosona, It Won’t Let You Down

Speed Map - Flower Of Scotland (barrier 3) and Retosona (5) are the two obvious pace horses here. Retosona is a far better horse when able to find the front and roll along and Takahide Ikenushi may be willing to let Azzopardi cross and find the rail. Akiko (1) has a new lease of life as a sit and sprinter and will relish in the inside marble to sit on the back of one of these two leaders. Vital Silver (9) is a horse who prefers to race near the pace, but the alley makes it awkward. Noske is a very astute jockey early so he will back himself in to come across and find a spot. Chance of being caught deep. Neurological (8) has been ridden forward recently, but I suggest with the month between runs and awkward draw, Pike will go back along with Denim Pack (7) and Danefin (4).

Race Overview - The best smelling horse in Perth; Rexona, should give this a shout at somewhere near double figure odds. Little bit of a speculative selection based on past performances but her efforts against last Saturday winner, Lucky Roar now have a solid line through them. First up was a really nice effort when racing against her usual pattern and hitting the line strongly. Prior to her victories last campaign she put in a similar effort at York. She should find the top here, or at worst the outside of Flower Of Scotland and is a really light weighted ‘point of difference’ in this event.

I’ve really liked the runs of Flower Of Scotland this time in. She has raced without luck this entire campaign and the step up to her pet distance, along with the good draw should see her in this up to her eyeballs. Ikenushi doesn’t ride too many Saturday winners since the Talk To The Wall glory days, but this is a tremendous opportunity.

Vital Silver is probably the most talented animal in this field, but could be a little soft first up at the 1400m. Jarrad Noske will no doubt try to roll forward and find a spot just off the speed, but there is no guarantee he will get in. A lot of question marks on the grey with 59.5kg’s from the awkward draw fresh. Akiko is going really well, but the 59.5kg’s over 1400m is a major question mark, while Denim Pack is the big class dropper. If this was over 1200m, he would be my on top pick. I just don’t know if he runs out a strong 1400m.

Small bet each way Retosona.

Selections

Retosona
Flower Of Scotland
Denim Pack
Vital Silver

Suggested Bet: 20 wins and 20 places Retosona (10)

 

Race 4 - King Of The North

Speed Map - Looks a relatively easy race to map. Tayla Stone should take Belter (barrier 1) straight to the top after he lead them up in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes a fortnight ago. Expecting Fiona Bell to work across with Gee Boss (3) to Belter’s outside with Snow Lord (2) getting the gun run on Belter’s back. If The Celt (5) can cross Our Finest Moment early then the one by one is on offer. Jingtang (7) prefers to race closer to the speed, but I can only see him sitting deep unless more patient tactics are employed here. Get Over It (6), How To Fly (9) and Zuccheros (8) are all out the back.

Race Overview - Snow Lord is a very particular horse who needs a certain set of circumstances to succeed. I think we’ve found them here. Struggles much past 1000m, so the 1100m is a slight query, though the fact he will be tucked up on the rail til he pulls out in the straight should counter that issue. Belter will give a big kick here and Chris Parnham should be able to push out underneath Fiona Bell on Gee Boss. The only other time Chris Parnham has ridden Snow Lord he was successful at a similar quote.

Gee Boss is a bit of a watch horse here as I am still not certain exactly how good he is. Really good pick up ride for Fiona Bell.

For most punters The Celt has been about as popular as the ebola virus at his last two runs knocking off the well supported Misty Metal and How To Fly. He is racing in career best form and there is no reason he can’t win again, though weight must be catching up with him.

Happy knocking How To Fly here. I really thought he should have got past The Celt from the run he had last week. This is harder and he is drawn worse.

Snow Lord around $7 each way is a no brainer.

Selections

Snow Lord
The Celt
Belter
Gee Boss

Suggested Bet: 50 wins and 50 places Snow Lord (7)

 

Race 5 - Second Time’s A Charm

Speed Map - No prizes for guessing who will lead here, with Beaucount (barrier 5) having no reason not to adopt the same ‘catch me if you can’ tactics once again. Those legs will be getting fitter and he will win one soon - probably by five lengths. Brother’s Keeper (9), Boomnbust (12) and My Fair Beauty (1) are all in the mix to lead up the ‘second field’ with Magical Charm (3) likely to be parked just in behind them. Pike will be very selective with which horse’s back he takes here. I would say he’ll be keeping a keen eye on where Brother’s Keeper is and want to be following him every step of the way.

Race Overview - Both Magical Charm and Brother’s Keeper were held up at key moments in their pursuit of Beaucount, when they met a fortnight ago and it ultimately cost both victory. Despite the troubles in transit, they still got to within a length and a half of Beaucount, so I would expect they’d be able to reel him in without any such issues. I’m going to stick with Magical Charm, while prefixing that selection with the fact I would not be investing at the current $2.60 quote. The way Beaucount ensures these races are run, you don’t want to be taking anything too thin. Expect Pike to take chance out of the equation here and perhaps race without cover from further out than we would usually see him do. Magical Charm is a strong stayer.

Brother’s Keeper can easily win a race of this nature and looks the main danger. Burger Time was a huge effort when circling the field from a long way out to run fourth.

Not one horse in this field beat Beacount home at his last outing. Is this his race?

Selections

Magical Charm
Beaucount
Brother’s Keeper
My Fair Beauty

Suggested Bet: No bet

 

Race 6 - A Long Road

Speed Map - Great Shot (barrier 9) will once again be forced to bowl into the breeze with serial pest Wrinkly (8) engaged. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Rhys Radford sneaking through the Parnham stables at 1am with a Phar Lap-esque nobbling on his mind. Valour Road (1) should hold the back of Wrinkly with Pike having Arcadia Prince (3) likely two back one off the fence on the rump of Red Publisher (5) or even stablemate State Solicitor (2) who could settle closer to them over the 1400m. Profit Street (7) comes from near last and will attempt to save as much ground as possible with the 1400m being somewhat of a question mark.

Race Overview - Happy narrowing this down to the three favourites in Valour Road, Great Shot and Arcadia Prince. With the exclusion of Wrinkly from this race I would quite comfortably put Great Shot on top, the horse clearly best in at the WFA conditions. His effort in last weeks Kingston Classic was tremendous considering the pressure applied and the fact his pet journey is 1400 to 1600m. Is really well suited here and if he can run his own race behind Wrinkly, will be really hard for the others to get past.

Arcadia Prince is clearly flying in lesser races and Bobby P would have loved for this to be a handicap. At the weights he should be getting 10.5kg’s off Great Shot, but instead they go in at level pegging. Is clearly flying, but I just cannot tip a horse who is so poorly in at the conditions.

This leaves Valour Road. Appears to have a lot in his favour with the appointment of Damian Lane, ability to sit on the back of Wrinkly (or if given room get straight to the back of Great Shot in the death) and recent run in the Winterbottom all point to him being really hard to beat.

The current market looks spot on to me. Unless something drastic happens in betting late, this won’t be a betting race.

Selections

Valour Road
Great Shot
Arcadia Prince
Profit Street

Suggested Bet: No bet

 

Race 7 - Double Trouble

Speed Map - Spillinova (barrier 2) SHOULD lead them up, but this recent spate of handing up on horses which clearly do their best work leading has me questioning mindsets. After a brilliant all the way victory there looked a clear plan to hand up to Mrs Brown’s Boy (9) who is again entered here. I think Alan Kennedy would have been more happy sitting on Spillinova’s outside, but when he saw clear restraint from Jason Brown he made the obvious move to go to the top. You’d suspect there will be clear instructions to ‘let him run’ here.

In Love With Paris (6) is likely to work across to sit in behind the speed with One Short (1), Jeraft (4) and Double Digit (3) all wanting similar spots. The map looks a little sticky for Mad Brad (8) again, while Reveille (7), Final Salute (10) and Broker (11) are likely to be restrained from their awkward alleys.

Race Overview - With any type of track bias or pattern to horses on speed, Spillinova becomes extremely hard to get past. A horse who is destined to skip through the grades with front running rides, he should be in front for a long way here. In Love With Paris is the current fixed odds favourite, but I am not completely convinced he warrants the $3.20 quote in such a competitive field with 59kg’s. He couldn’t outsprint The Nicconian with that weight and I struggle to see him being able to out grind Spillinova with a 3.5kg weight swing.

Jeraft will appreciate Chris Parnham going back on top from a good draw, while Reveille will be running the quickest last 600m here, he might be giving them too much of a head start though. Final Salute looks like a knock after a somewhat lacklustre trial and the bar shoe going on.

I am going to look a little further afield with my on top selection and tip the first leg of a McGruddy double at around $500. Double Digit is a really nice little horse who is suited to a mile and no further. You can completely put a line through his last three runs where he was engaged over unsuitable journeys from horrid gates (with tearaway leaders engaged making it even more of a staying test) and with big weights. The positive to take from those runs (crossing our fingers they haven’t broken his heart this campaign) is that he drops a few rating points and the 72 rated Demerit gelding lands in right on the minimum. With 54kg’s and a good draw he should land in 3rd to 6th and is capable of letting down over this journey.

While I am content with the current $20 quote, I am not too sure how many will be following me in. With six other really strong chances engaged here, there is a chance he could start a longer price. I’d be betting half early, half late. The $5.50 Spillinova looks the other nice quote in the race.

Selections

Double Digit
Spillinova
Jeraft
In Love With Paris

Suggested Bet: 20 wins and 20 places Double Digit (11). Save, Spillinova (8) 20 wins.

 

Race 8 - Onwards And Upwards

Speed Map - There is a real distinct lack of speed engaged here with roughie Noble King (barrier 1) likely to hold the fence and run them along. First Growth (5) and Mr Alby (7) are horses who prefer to race near the speed while Reef Keeper (6) is the one I expect a tactical change on here and it would be no surprise to see him find the outside of Noble King. Last start I suggested the possibility that Royal Command (11) would look to come across and race a little handier. This didn’t eventuate, but he did run an absolute bolter. It’ll be interesting if Pike considers finding spot closer to the speed and risk being caught deep.

Upward Others (2) parks in right behind what should be a pedestrian tempo. Trump This (12) will be out the back, possibly with Royal Command.

Race Overview - I’ve already let the cat out of the bag, with Upward Other’s being my clear on top selection. I tipped this horse at his most recent outing after putting in a superior effort to Royal Command two starts ago, when he was trodden on by Sasso’s Circus who according to the stewards report; ‘jumped at a section of the track for no apparent reason’. Alan Kennedy had no interest from there on, but if you watch his final 100m he still really found the line.

Going back to previous campaigns he has raced in the top company or without luck continuously. His career record does not do him a great deal of justice. Stepping up to the 1800m puts a big question mark next to a lot of these runners, but his effort over 2150m last campaign when running third to Mississippi Delta and At The Ready suggests the further the better. The opportunity given to him here to take a sit just off the speed, with no weight in a race without a huge amount of depth is one he has not been afforded too often. With some much overdue luck in running I think he’ll go very close.

Royal Command was huge at his most recent outing behind Rising Sea. Got a mile out of his ground but savaged the line. The step up to the 1800m is an interesting one. Clearly the stable see some ability as a stayer as he is also nominated for The Perth Cup. Pike will need to be at his sharpest to navigate the big weight, wide gate and step up in trip.

Trump This is a horse who should go through the grades quickly. His win in a pretty weak Northam Class Three doesn’t have great lines running through it, but there was a degree of arrogance in the win. Expecting Chris Parnham to take him back and savage the line alongside Royal Command. Born Blue is probably a run or two away, but despite finishing last ran terrific late sectionals first up. Mr Alby will improve back to 1800m.

Currently at $26, I’m happy hopping into Upward Others with a degree of passion.

Selections

Upward Others
Royal Command
Trump This
Mr Alby

Suggested Bet: 50 wins and 50 places Upward Others (14)

 

Race 9 - Dan’s Diamond

Speed Map - Rare you see a field of 14 over 1200m in Perth which has such a distinct lack of noted speed in the event. Disruptive (barrier 10) looks the obvious leader and is a different horse when finding the rail. The likes of Delicate Miss (3), Debellatio (9), Fine Scent (14), Resistance (5) and Checkers (8) have all raced on speed at various times in their careers, but none are noted front runners.

Dam Ready (6) who has been given consecutive pearlers by Mitch Pateman is drawn to get another gun run alongside Arrum Boy (1), Star Glitter (4) and Orange Strudel (2). The map looks sticky for those drawn wide and the lack of speed in this event may force a tactical re-think from a few of those camps. A race which on the surface has no speed, could end up having a stack.

Race Overview - Disruptive nearly picks himself, purely on a speed map point of view. Completely dominant when leading in races, Paul Harvey is the perfect hard riding jockey to get him rolling fresh. The lack of trial does leave a bit of guess work for us mortal punters, but Lindsey Smith probably wouldn’t have chucked the Pontiff on unless he was ready to go.

Despite the map suggesting otherwise, I am going to put ex-juvenile star Debellatio on top. Wasn’t knocked around in his trial, before absolutely climbing over the back of them first up. Was something beaten. Hasn’t quite been the same horse for some time now, but that dip in form has dropped some ratings points and if Kersley has found the key to this son of Smart Missile, he will be awfully hard to beat. Map wise, it is a bit of guesswork but I would suggest Staeck would look to come across with Disruptive drawn directly to his outside and find cover in the first six in running.

Arrum Boy is absolutely flying down in the South West and from barrier one is a major player here while the likes of Father Knick, Fine Scent, Friar’s Gift, Resistance and Truly Belong are all going well enough to win if they can negotiate their sticky draws.

Again I am going to look a little left field with my second selection with Orange Strudel. Placed behind smart three year old Final Hearing (beating home subsequent winner Rising Sea in the process) before racing against her pattern at York and demolishing a field which included a couple of reasonable types. The speed map looks a dream for her here and she should be able to settle in the first four. A lot worse place bets at $13+.

We’ll finish the day with a small play Debellatio and Orange Strudel in a very open race.

Selections

Debellatio
Orange Strudel
Disruptive
Truly Belong

Suggested Bet: 35 wins Debellatio (3). 5 wins and 20 places Orange Strudel (14)
  

15 Comments | 1 month ago

Recent Comments

User detonator

detonator 16 Dec | Posts: 1396

Can't be bothered working it out (would definitely need more than two hands to count) but Harvey was again reminded to ride his horses out fully in the last. I can't work that one out either. :-/

User Ridersonthestorm33

Ridersonthestorm33 15 Dec | Posts: 7185

Not bad tipping by the preview gentleman above...a couple of suggested bets $50ew Snow Lord and $20ew Double Digit. Can't get them right all the time but at odds like that you don't need to. Quite detailed write ups too. Was about the place all day. Snow...

User TheSwooper

TheSwooper 15 Dec | Posts: 1460

Can't be bothered working it out (would definitely need more than two hands to count) but Harvey was again reminded to ride his horses out fully in the last.

User Rodent

Rodent 15 Dec | Posts: 4347

Willie gave every mortal to Magical Charm - It was very disappointing. Willing to forgive its last run and today’s as that ridiculous pace set by a tear away leader can be the reason many good horses come unstuck Can show up a pretender too.

User hash

hash 15 Dec | Posts: 6035

Willie gave every mortal to Magical Charm - It was very disappointing. Willing to forgive its last run and today’s as that ridiculous pace set by a tear away leader can be the reason many good horses come unstuck

User Ridersonthestorm33

Ridersonthestorm33 15 Dec | Posts: 7185

Agree Swooper...in the Scahill not sure if just me, but they looked to be all going up and down on the one spot at the furlong. Profit Street not much room, but he's too costly.

User Ridersonthestorm33

Ridersonthestorm33 15 Dec | Posts: 7185

Did notice last week that Brothers Keeper was in the 100/1 vicinity for the Perth Cup. Guess will be a starter now. Troy Turner good ride.

User TheSwooper

TheSwooper 15 Dec | Posts: 1460

Willie gave every mortal to Magical Charm - It was very disappointing.

User Ridersonthestorm33

Ridersonthestorm33 15 Dec | Posts: 7185

Four races down - 2 to Damian Lane. 1 each to Jarrad Noske & Chris Parnham. Three of the best. Unlikely, but a rough chance of the above three and Willy Pike to ride the card.

User Ridersonthestorm33

Ridersonthestorm33 14 Dec | Posts: 7185

Bomber don't mind the $1.62 available - might do better than that..about either Profit Street or State Solicitor running a place. $3.25 a place both with one of the corps. Of course if both run a place it's a bonanza. If neither run a drum they'll never ...