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Ascot Preview, 16th March news

Ascot Preview, 16th March

Perth Turf Talk | Metropolitan Racing | Thu 14 March, 2019

We saw a very leader and Mitch Pateman bias Ascot a week ago, with the weather conditions likely playing a part in that. I often find when a track gets toward the end of the season that they tend to play a little ‘boggy’ and strong slashing ground is hard to make. Whether or not this is something I’ve created in my own head, I cannot be sure. They don’t seem to have much trouble making ground midweek, but that is about 18-22m off the rail which has been rarely utilised.

This preview is being written with only the benefit of Tabtouch odds available (Thursday morning), so the odds quoted may not be entirely accurate once the other ‘bookmakers’ produce their books.

Race 1 - Second Stringers

The second string bunch of two year olds do battle in this very weak $70,000 event, with all of the Karrakatta hopefuls remaining on ice until the Perth Stakes and Gimcrack are run in 7 days time.

Downforce ticks all the boxes here and really picks himself. Debuted back in October when third behind Amarillo Rose and Prim And Proper, who would both be standouts in this field. Has recently trialled in brilliant fashion where this son of Snippetson appeared to be getting stronger on the line. Ran time too. The way he trialled, the 1200m of this event looks a great option.

Amelia’s Contraire was backed as if unbeatable in a reasonably strong Bunbury maiden, when Damien Oliver handed up the front early. She never looked comfortable in the run, but did come again late to find trouble in the final 50m. Expecting a very aggressive ride from Shaun McGruddy with no thoughts of doing anything but leading. Her previous trial form was OK, without being outstanding. Simon Miller does know how to produce a two year old.

Tinsnip is arguably the most talented entrant in this event, though two year olds rarely win from wide gates unless they possess a stack of early speed. There is no way I can have him here. Powderbelle and Marcee A Lady hit the line nicely in their last outings, while I would be willing to forgive the first up run of Native Chimes. Really liked her trial before that and oddly she has moved stables after only the one career run.

Downforce is $5 early and despite it not being the most glamorous of each way bets, it looks a pretty safe each way ticket at even money the drum. Should settle just behind the speed and be strong late.


2 Downforce
13 Amelia’s Contraire
10 Native Chimes
7 Powderbelle

Suggested Bet: 30 wins and 30 place Downforce (2).


Race 2 - Bernie’s Best

A very even bunch of three year olds do battle in the second event of the day, with Bernie Miller’s Cup Night the class runner of this field. Contested much harder than this last campaign when consistently running good final sectionals on tracks which really favoured those settling forward. There are no Dance Music’s or Velvet King’s in this and if Carbery can navigate a path from a potentially tricky inside draw, he should be really hard to hold out. The 55.5kgs is a luxury weight for a horse who should have won 2 or 3 more races.

I tipped Fairview a week ago and it was a really nothing effort. Willing to forgive horses who failed to run on in last weeks unique conditions and the step up to 1200m is a positive. If she can hold a spot (which is not her strength) or find the right cart into it, she can excel back on top of the ground.
Caerhelan has the blinkers on for the first time and William Pike hops back in the saddle. Has been a model of consistency in her short career, with only one aberration. Does need luck in running, but will be there late. A big watch on Megachino who trials like Kohli but plays like Quiney and don’t completely discount the chances of Dani Bella. Won at cricket score odds three and a half weeks ago when defeating Uni Time and Caerhelan. Both have made that form look very good, and is capable of settling on the back of the speed. Did get the favours in winning last time out, but won with a degree of ease and those favours should present again. Dani Bella is $21 (from barrier 3), Caerhelan is $3.30 (from 8). Purely on their last meeting that the disparity in the price gap seems wrong.

Kelly’s Callisto, Zetorio, Henty Gal and even Minika who should find the top pretty comfortably are not impossible here.

The opening quote of $7.50 for Cup Night was an abject failure by the folks at Tabtouch, with $4.80 currently on offer still well over my marked price. With his racing pattern you’d love to shop each way, but that may not be a possibility.


5 Cup Night
6 Dani Bella
2 Fairview
4 Caerhelan

Suggested Bet: 30 wins and 30 places Cup Night (5).


Race 3 - Pike v Pateman

The two (current) big guns of the WA riding ranks do battle here, in what looks like a complete two horse war.

Express Flirt is two very impressive victories from two starts with William Pike in the saddle and it won’t find an easier opportunity to make it three from three. Not the cleanest of beginners, he was probably something beaten a fortnight ago by Bella’s Idol who made that form look very good a week ago. Pike won’t want to let him get too far back here.

Rebel Knight is the one standing in the way of a Pike hat-trick, with a couple of very impressive midweek victories. Besides running into Express Flirt, this is no harder than those. The awkward gate does make things a little bit sticky, though this is a pretty aggressive and astute jockey/training combo and I would suggest they’ll look to take luck out of the equation by muscling their way forward and potentially finding the rail. There doesn’t appear to be a stack of speed in this.

The winner comes from one of those two. A slight lean to Express Flirt gunning down Rebel Knight late, but unless one of the two get out to an over the top quote, I think I’ll just watch these two form jockeys do battle.


1 Express Flirt
3 Rebel Knight
2 The Escort
7 Plead The Fifth

Suggested Bet: No bet.


Race 4 - Form Frenzy

Without doubt the most difficult race of the day to assess. This 9 horse field sees 5 strong differing form lines clash.

Saracino trialled in brilliant order (when $81 to $21 in early Winterbottom markets) before an abject failure on WA debut. Trialled again recently under a hold from Jarrad Noske when running time. All three career wins have been group victories, but it is a worry how long it has been since it’s produced a strong performance at a race track. There is bugger all speed in this and if reproducing that trial form on race day, they might not see him once they straighten.

Dam Ready, Seeker and Dutch Spy come out of the current ratings races with residual fitness and exposed form which is quite easy to line up. Dam Ready was a nice winner a fortnight ago but was penalised 5 ratings points rather than the standard 4. I can’t fully understand why. From barrier 1, it will be aiming to hold Saracino’s back if sharp enough early, though may end up three back the fence. From the barriers he looks to have an edge on Seeker while Dutch Spy will improve markedly from the better draw. Really savaged the line last time out after winning with 62kg’s at it’s previous outing.

River Dance comes out of a very weak listed race won by Rebel King. In saying that he did beat home Celebrity Dream and First Among Equals - both of whom would be considered awfully hard to beat in a field like this. Settles handy from the good draw.

Electric Light has won 7 of 9 career starts and with full respect, has never looked like a superstar. Drew barriers 4, 1, 3, 3, 3 at her final five runs last campaign and Pike or Chris Parnham gave her the absolutely peach run on every occasion. Rebel King and her owe the RWWA staff who conduct the barrier draws a couple of frothies. From barrier 5 against this sharper field and with a month between trial and race, I’m going to call her the lay of the day.

Epic Grey comes out of a strong Pinjarra Classic when racing without cover. From the wide gate, he’ll probably be forced to do the same. Not sure if the 1300 to 1100m distance drop is ideal and the jury is still out exactly where this Wicked Style gelding is at as a racehorse.

Long story short - I don’t know. Dam Ready is $9, each way that looks a reasonable quote, but he may be severely outclassed if I’ve under rated these potentially stronger form lines. Betting with Saracino will be key. A good race to watch.


3 Dam Ready
10 Dutch Spy
5 River Dance
7 Epic Grey

Suggested Bet: No bet.


Race 5 - Lottery

Another event I’ve got a fairly low degree of confidence with. There are a stack of variables in this event, with a lot of horses down in distance and a very sticky looking speed map.

Expecting Bonnie Palise to be given the very clear instructions to lead at all costs on More Aces. Is now fourth up from a spell and does look ready to win after not being able to control from the front at it’s last couple of outings. Whether it can hold out the charge from the likes of Khan, Dazzling Poet & Get The Vibe is the big question mark. Would be a timely win for the Taylor yard after losing Let’s Rock in tragic circumstances on Wednesday.

Resistance and Diablerie are two of the form runners of the event who are dropping from the 1400m back to the 1200m. Expecting both to be semi aggressive from their gates and look to find spots forward of midifield. For William Pike on Diablerie, this may be a bit of an ask. In saying that, the current $7.50 quote for a horse who clearly has his hoof on the til, does look the standout early price for this event. Pike will find a spot in the likely three wide line more often than not.

Macroy is going from strength to strength this campaign and deserves favouritism, while Checkers last effort can be totally forgiven with issues in the run. All previous efforts were huge under Monica Tyson and is really enjoying life in his new yard. My Laina to flood late, though the 1200m is right on her limit Her last effort was huge on a track which didn’t suit.

Finding it near impossible to land on a top selection here. More Aces if finding the rail and rolling in front can land Bonnie what I believe would be her first Saturday city winner, though I will stick with Diablerie. It is a rarity a William Pike mount is priced above a rated quote. If finding a spot midfield in the three wide line, will be hard to hold out late. My Laina stiff to miss the top 4 selections.


5 Diablerie
1 More Aces
8 Checkers
4 Macroy

Suggested Bet: No bet.


Race 6 - Durrant’s Jedi

The barrier draw for the listed Natasha Stakes has certainly made this an intriguing affair. Adornment is all the rage for the WA Oaks and rightly so, but after coming up with the widest alley here, it’ll require a serious effort and/or a Willy Pike special in the saddle, for her to salute. The majority of this field come out of the 1000 Guineas a fortnight ago, which was run at a farcical tempo. It allowed the likes of Breletta Five and Ping Me Another to hang on for third and fourth placings in a listed event. That form needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

I thought Assetro was the run of that race, reeling off the quickest final 200m split from an impossible position at the top of the straight. Draws inside Adornment here and has always given the impression she’ll run out a journey. Gets a two kilo weight swing on the favourite.

I’m going to look a little further afield with my on top selection and opt for the in form Jedaffair. Disappointed at first three starts from a spell, but has found form as she has risen in distance. Comfortably beat Zaratite to break her maiden status, who subsequently came out to canter in at it’s next outing. The third horse Our Girl Marli won it’s next start, with the fourth horse Cinnamon Run only narrowly defeated next time it raced. The form is strong. She then came out against Pure Magnus, who looks a reasonably sharp type (and has been specced for the WA Derby) when doing all the bollocking work, but still being far too strong for him late despite having the camp on her. Sophie’s Song was a further five and a half lengths away in third spot. Like a lot of these fillies, the big question mark will be how well she handles the step up to the 2200m. Pretty confident she’ll see out the trip and from the good gate, she should get a more economical run than most of the fancies.

Dark Choice is likely to be well supported, but I think she lacks race experience. Despite the slow tempo, she needed to be ridden along to stick with the field before finishing well last time out. Might be a campaign away from showing her best.

Adornment clearly is a smart animal, but the barrier coupled with the fact absolutely nothing can be taken from it’s recent listed win, when she just had to win on the run she had, make her extremely risky at $2.30. To put that form into context, Breletta Five ran third (beaten 1.3 lengths), when that galloper faced Vinaceous ($13 in this) at it’s previous start it was defeated by 2.5 lengths after getting a favourable run throughout. Vinaceous then failed badly in a Pinjarra class three, being beaten by over 8 lengths.

Very happy speculating on Jedaffair at the $15 currently on offer. May the force be with us.


6 Jedaffair
2 Assetro
1 Adornment
11 Dark Choice

Suggested Bet: 30 wins and 30 places Jedaffair (6).


Race 7 - Jed Into Fred

Pretty keen on the Jed into Fred double here at $90.

The Lex Piper was a complete two horse affair between Regal Power and Fred Dag, with the former just holding off the late charge from the flying Bruce Watkins stable. It’s hard to see anything from that event turning the table on these two and I don’t think the extra additions have a huge amount to offer.

Fred Dag drew the widest on that day and was forced back to last, with the gap Regal Power had on this Patronize gelding, proving to be the difference. Fred Dag draws the inside hole here and gets a 2kg swing on Regal Power, which is enough to have him on top. It takes a brave (stupid) bloke to tip against a couple of Bob Peters hot pot’s in the three year old feature races, but I think there is some value around them.

There should be a reasonable tempo engaged here with Tayla Stone on Hyperspace and the likes of Cockney Crew, Utgard Loki and Blackwood River involved. Expect Cockney Crew to try and pinch this on the bend. He’s the blowout.

Fred Dag is $6 v Regal Power $1.90. A complete no-brainer, with over even money available about Fred the place. Let’s hope Whiting can find a path from the inside alley, bad luck the main obstacle.


5 Fred Dag
1 Regal Power
6 Cockney Crew
3 Platoon

Suggested Bet: 40 wins and 40 places Fred Dag (5).


Race 8 - Familiar Face

Special Delivery is becoming a familiar face in this preview and he really picks himself here. As previously mentioned, I am willing to forgive horses who settled rearward a week ago on a very sluggish Ascot track. The one week back-up, Mitch Pateman returning to the saddle and the favourable barrier draw all look massively in his favour. Again, I will label him the best bet of the day. Hopefully he can do the job for us this time around.

In a pretty thin 70+ rated event, it is hard to show a great deal of enthusiasm for a many of the other runners. Red Publisher has drawn wide and is 1 from 42 at Ascot. Noir De Rue is fresh but doesn’t have regular rider Lucy in the saddle, never a horse I’ve warmed too. Tonkatuff has drawn 15. Touch Of Silver races after a setback and Pike has opted for Arctic Stream. Arctic Stream is a grinder, who’s drawn wide. Turbo Power was afforded a ten out of ten by Jason Brown last time out, it’s hard to see him winning two on the bounce (Special Delivery also gets a 3kg weight swing on him from that meeting).

The emergencies in Grey Enigma, who is nearing a peak performance and excels for Jason Brown and Classic Pro who has been desperately unlucky at his last three outings would be the biggest dangers if getting a run. Pinsson and See Me Sizzle have shown no form in their short campaigns to date but should be able to control the tempo here and are different horses when doing so, while Politics has been handled by 4kg claiming apprentices most of his campaign. It would have been a tough watch for connections. Dark Royalty also shouldn’t be $126.

Really keen on Special Delivery, with $5 currently available. May even see a bigger quote on the day? After him, I wouldn’t be afraid to play pretty wide in your quaddies and further exotics with roughies 4, 9, 10, 12 and the two emergencies (if running) all capable of running races belying their odds.


5 Special Delivery
4 Politics
10 Pinsson
9 Dark Royalty

Suggested Bet: 100 wins Special Delivery (5).

23 Comments | 3 years ago

Recent Comments

User Chelsea

Chelsea 17 Mar | Posts: 1291

Not much chop at all. This is the weakest bunch produced by the Cerise and White for years. That is also confirmed by somebody very close to the stable

User The_Bull

The_Bull 17 Mar | Posts: 884

Dark Choice wins with clear running imo.

User hash

hash 17 Mar | Posts: 7172

bad gates and bad rides... Bob being Bob he'll have them wound up and ready for their grand finale in the Oaks and Derby etc in 2-4 weeks time 

User paraletic

paraletic 17 Mar | Posts: 3721

What do we make of bobs 3yos ? Just a bad day? Dont stay? Or not much chop this year?


SKIDS 17 Mar | Posts: 974

Once again, take Terry's top 4 for the quaddie costing $256 for 100% and boom $7800 I should of listened, missed Jedaffair (had Ping me another >:P )

User hash

hash 16 Mar | Posts: 7172

Once again, take Terry's top 4 for the quaddie costing $256 for 100% and boom $7800 3 of the 4 winners were his top picks too, unreal tipping after a solid effort last weekend  ^:)^

User cisco

cisco 16 Mar | Posts: 762

Sad news falc the buggers are very brittle but what a super run you had with him. Keep your chin up buddy!Cheers cisco

User thefalcon

thefalcon 16 Mar | Posts: 18651

thanks guys, paddy may have badly hurt himself...his racing days may be over...i'll keep you posted.

User spinking

spinking 16 Mar | Posts: 3302

100/ good luck tonight Falc . Jell when I read your post above I had a look to see what race Jagger was in. Noticed another dish licker in tonight someone on here posted a real good but somewhat sad tale about Chips and Trains. Hope he goes well to boot

User Jell

Jell 16 Mar | Posts: 1145

Not thoroughbred related but good luck tonight @thefalcon Let's hope Quick Jagger can have a crack in the Perth Cup final next weekend :D