Back to Feed

Ascot Preview, 20th October news

Ascot Preview, 20th October

Terry Leighton | Metropolitan Racing | Fri 19 October, 2018

Race 1 - Let The Carnival Begin

A wet and windy Thursday morning cannot deflate the spirits of this Western Australian racing enthusiast as the carnival is officially upon us.

There is a lot of guesswork with how a track will play on opening day, and while Ascot has a history of being very leader bias, we did have a very fair track for the 2017 opening, so I will back the ground staff and allow for a fair track.

Speaking of guesswork, the early two year old races are just that. In the opening two year old event a fortnight ago, there was not one runner under $20 in the quartet, with the Simon Miller trained Niccovi $11 to $2 on the back of a reasonable but not brilliant trial. When a horse has 7,000 owners, it tends to start slightly under the odds…

Prim And Proper was the standout run from that event and is hard to go past here. 400m trial was sharp before settling back from the wide gate on debut and running the eye catcher of the race. Should settle handier from barrier 4 and now has race experience.

Tinsnip was the small suggested bet a fortnight ago, but like many of the fancies was never in the race. After settling rearward, he never settled and Knuckey never tried to put him to sleep. Wasn’t the educational (or punting) experience anybody was after. Love the way this son of Snippetson hit the line in his trial before his debut and with Pike on from the good draw he can give this a shake.

Problematic is a Paul Jordan two year old and they always have to be respected. With a smaller budget than the likes of Simon Miller, has a brilliant record with the youngsters.

We’ve got the benefit of the Tabtouch markets being out (whoever did them completely shat the bed on a few later) and it’s hard to get too excited about Prim And Proper at the $2.20. Tinsnip at $7 and Problematic at $11 do look the value.

Think we’ll get stuck into a nice cold ale while we nestle in for the day at Ascot and watch the youngsters go round.


8 Prim And Proper
5 Tinsnip
2 Problematic

Suggested Bet: No bet.

Race 2 - Pike v Parnham

William Pike v Chris Parnham will be a battle we see countless times over the next couple of months.

True Attraction and Pagan Image look to have panels on this field and only an extreme track bias should see them not running the quinella. True Attraction won well enough on debut (at a big price for a cerise and white runner in a maiden) before having a couple of months off and running a very slick last 200m over 1200m. It was something of a concern to see him struggle to tack onto the field early, but the rise to 1500m, smaller field and less pace in this event should allow him to be within striking distance.

I am happy plumping for the race hardened Pagan Image however. The betting move and ride last time out did raise a few eyebrows, when he was a moral beaten (2.5 to 6). I don’t think Knuckey did a huge amount wrong in following Leading Girl into the event, but there probably was an opportunity or two to push out. Love the Chris Parnham appointment here and having drawn underneath the tardy True Attraction, expect to see him have a small head start on that Bob Peters gelding on straightening. Blackwood River will run them along and give some cheek.

$3.60 is the current quote, and I’ll take that every day of the week about a coin flip.


1 Pagan Image
4 True Attraction
3 Blackwood River

Suggested Bet: 60 wins Pagan Image (1).

Race 3 - Singing The Blues

I found Mississippi Delta the hardest animal to place and market all day. My initial assessment was to completely take her on. Last campaign she progressed from a Bunbury maiden victory and ended up taking out a reasonable strong staying event on at Ascot. She has never met a field of this nature and couple that with the fact she is first up at the mile while most of these are rock hard fit, makes this such an intriguing race. The one thing in her favour is that she is still relatively untapped, gets in here on the minimum and could be something special. There is no doubt this is the beginning of a Perth Cup campaign for her.

Rockon Tommy is likely to find the top here with Red Paddy potentially kicking up underneath him. Will Mississippi Delta, who without doubt will be last in running, make up the 5+ lengths required on Rockon Tommy and co to win this event? Time will tell.

Very hard to split the likes of Cappo D’Oro, Dark Prospect and Rockon Tommy. Rockon Tommy will appreciate the smaller field and likely subsequent slower tempo. Dark Prospect and Cappo D’Oro take the sits just off them and will be extremely hard to hold out. With the 59kg’s and extra weight (Brodie Kirby rode him a treat last time out, so the weight swing is telling), I am surprised Cappo D’Oro has been priced as your early favourite. Suspect it’ll be third or fourth in line by the time they jump, in a very evenly contested betting medium.

While I won’t have him in my top 3, if Ascot does play leader orientated then there are worst bets than Red Paddy at $101/19. More aggressive tactics have been employed since the change of stable, but at his last two outings he’s made a mess of the start. No doubt there will be a strong message to lead at all costs and his previous efforts when doing so were full of merit.

A race it is probably best to stay out of. Could have any of 4 on top.


4 Dark Prospect
5 Rockon Tommy
7 Mississippi Delta

Suggested Bet: No bet.

Race 4 - Berg’s Best

A race devoid of a great deal of depth with Bergio looking a standout selection. Stepped up to the 2000m two starts ago when just missing Five Degrees who got the run on the ‘hot lane’ on the inside pad on that day. Pike opted to jump ship at his next outing when Knuckey gave it absolutely none while he appeared to be travelling a dream. This race looks tailor made for him and I am confident he can turn the tables on Five Degrees who has to contend with the 35 day gap between runs, extra weight and a sticky barrier draw. Will have to lead them up here.

Young Thor and Toppa Dawozza are both racing well and from barriers 1 and 2 should be the biggest dangers to Bergio.

Happy with the $3.50 or so currently on offer for one of the better bets on the card.


4 Bergio
2 Toppa Dawozza
3 Young Thor

Suggested Bet: 100 wins Bergio (4).

Race 5 - Pipped

A race with an absolute stack of top end speed. It is interesting how these races can pan out, with the connections of natural speedsters making pre race decisions to opt out of speed battles and take a sit. This is usually detrimental to their chances as it neutralises the horses biggest strength. There was a race midweek where 4 speed horses opted to take a sit and allow Chinetti to wander across and have a soft lead. I would love to have a chat to the brains trust who come up with those tactics. Absolutely baffles me.

This should be a different story with The Nicconian, Agent Pippa, Just A Fluke, Thunderstrut and Get The Vibe all very quick early. I suspect Agent Pippa will cross and find the rail with Just A Fluke working to her outside. The Nicconian will take the sit in position A, while I’m going to put a line through Thunderstrut and Get The Vibe as I just can’t map them to win this.

Agent Pippa is on the quick back-up from a quality three year old sprint where she lead the field up and was far from embarrassed. Her previous start was in a 72+ event where she was the sandwich between Khan and Mantime in the run and was entitled to be giving up halfway down the straight. To her credit, she fought between the two of them and the only one to beat her home was the perfectly ridden How To Fly. She beat home Salorsci and Lockroy in the process. This race is a stack easier than that event, and while the speed map looks sticky she has shown she is tough.

Masquerade is clearly the one who will relish the top end speed in this. Was a nice effort fresh when second to Electric Light, but despite a little mid race blunder, was aided by a perfect ground saving William Pike ride. Has not drawn wider than three at his last six starts (he has drawn barrier one at his last three starts) and carries a career high weight here, so there are some definite question marks over a horse who’s record probably embellishes his quality.

Night Voyage is comfortably going better than any horse in this race, though from barrier 10 with the young apprentice on, there is a high probability he sits wide in a race they are likely to fly along in.

Agent Pippa is currently around the $5 mark and I am happy being on board.


3 Agent Pippa
2 Masquerade
1 Night Voyage

Suggested Bet: 80 wins Agent Pippa (3).

Race 6 - James Crawford

The race named after the ex Perth Wildcats power forward, is the first lead-up to the Viddora v Enticing Star show (also known as the Winterbottom).

State Solicitor is the somewhat forgotten horse of Perth racing. 9 victories from 14 career starts with two of those losses coming in Winterbottom Stakes (one of those he arguably wins with a bit more luck in transit). He is the real deal. Recent trial didn’t fill me with a huge amount of confidence, though he hails from a very astute stable who wouldn’t have been aiming him at a Belmont trial.

The peoples horse, Dainty Tess boasts a group victory over Viddora last campaign and will vie for favouritism with State Solicitor. Resumes without a trial and again will be aimed at a Winterbottom assault. Could hold State Solicitor’s back in the run, though may also be 2 lengths off him on straightening which could be a task too great.

Super Maxi is the Gangemi runner who looks most suited here and will be afforded a pretty soft lead over his preferred 1000m. Won and was placed in a couple of pretty ordinary looking listed races last campaign, but his ability to jump, rail and run will suit Ascot down to the ground. He is one who could go to another level.

Durendal is a group one placegetter and should get the run of the race on his stablemates back. Unfortunately he is from the same stock as Tom Melbourne, Sigil and more famously Street Bandit who just love coming second.

Not a race I see as an attractive betting medium, but should be a cracker to watch.


1 State Solicitor
3 Dainty Tess
2 Super Maxi

Suggested Bet: No bet.

Race 7 - Happiness

Just looking at this field makes me happy. I don’t want this race to run, because then it’ll be over.

I’m wary of spruiking gallopers making big steps up in class, but it is impossible to go past the lightly weighted Galaxy Star here. Recent trials suggest he may have gone to another level and also showed a propensity to be a little sharper out of the barriers, which is a necessity when racing against this type of opposition. The genius who did the Tabtouch markets lobbed up $3.40. A quote which very obviously did not last long. From barrier 3, it’ll be interesting to see if Pike can go with them early and perhaps settle in the first 6. He doesn’t want to be giving Great Shot and Man Booker too much of a head start despite the weight difference.

Man Booker has come back like the horse of old. Carried weight against some moderate opposition in the Idyllic and Farnley Stakes, but ran two absolute bolters. There appears a lack of speed in this event outside of Great Shot, so I would expect Paul Harvey to ride him aggressively early to sit on that gallopers outside. If we wind the clock back to early 2017, Man Booker beat Great Shot on three consecutive occasions - he is up to these at his best. Great Shot has clearly gone to another level since then, but is also paying for it with the extra kilo’s on his back.

Perfect Jewel is the big watch horse here. Only an 85 rater so they will be desperate to win this or perhaps the Asian Beau to qualify for the Railway Stakes.

Unfortunately the $3.40 is long gone for Galaxy Star, but anywhere upwards of $2 is good enough shopping.


9 Galaxy Star
1 Great Shot
2 Man Booker

Suggested Bet: 80 wins Galaxy Star (9).

Race 8 - Parnhams Pick

Chris Parnham has opted to ride Jeraft for his father, over Patrocity in a strong pointer to this gallopers chances. Did not come back at all last campaign, before a pretty ordinary trial suggested he may not have come back again. Those doubts were put to rest when he was a good thing beaten first up. Chris Parnham has ridden this son of Hala Bek 5 times for 3 wins and he arguably should have won the other two. This does look to be a sticky capacity field with a three wide line a certainty and four and five wide runs very likely. From barrier 6, he should be able to find a nice spot just off the speed, but he may be forced to make an early move to avoid the oncoming stampede.

Patrocity’s last effort has not got the credit it deserved. Effectively raced without cover throughout when pushing Arcadia Prince right to the line. Has gone to another level this campaign so I would take no notice of his poor Ascot record. Is jumping extremely well, so I would expect Joey Azzopardi to look for a spot near the speed with the likes of Greco coming across to hopefully give him cover.

Freo and Just Like Fire will be the ones coming late, while Bold Success is always a chance in a race like this. He might be close to his mark now though - Pike has got the best out of him.

I’ll be throwing Greco in my quaddie after he was snagged back to last at his most recent outing. If first emergency Forseen doesn’t get a run, he should take up the running here and when doing so is a completely different animal. An all the way victory against Atlanta Blue 4 months ago (who would start close to favourite here) is testament to that. There are worse $50 pops.

That being said, I am very keen on Jeraft to take us into the Stone Motherless bar a winner.


8 Jeraft
13 Patrocity
15 Greco

Suggested Bet: 100 wins Jeraft (8).

47 Comments | 2 years ago

Recent Comments

User DamienWyer

DamienWyer 21 Oct | Posts: 6870

So which horse do you have a piece of, Viddoro or Dainty Tess ? You just seem upset by my previous comment. You do realise that it's just an observation that not many would agree with but I personally think what a horse does this time in is far more importa...

User therealkramer

therealkramer 21 Oct | Posts: 7932

God bless Dainty Tess <:-P I donít know. Iíve heard it doesnít matter what Winterbottom winners do afterwards. Assigning too much praise to Dainty Tessís win over Viddora in Adelaide would be rewriting history apparently :-\" That argument n...

User Ridersonthestorm33

Ridersonthestorm33 21 Oct | Posts: 10129

SP was 100/1 Ihtsahymn - in the small field of nine elevated the trifecta dividend of $20 to a first four divvy of just on $400. Steven Parnham has the knack of bringing a home a roughie or two.

User choc

choc 21 Oct | Posts: 755

God bless Dainty Tess <:-P I donít know. Iíve heard it doesnít matter what Winterbottom winners do afterwards. Assigning too much praise to Dainty Tessís win over Viddora in Adelaide would be rewriting history apparently :-\" That argument n...


H-BOMBER 21 Oct | Posts: 8389

/div>Chocolateholic my be back to his best after that super run. Bled both nostrils apparently

User carey

carey 20 Oct | Posts: 6047

dainty tess just keeps on giving.she is a great horse, but by gee she has had some massive help on her journey, via those silly swp condition races that are common in wa.assuming both ratings(mb & dt) were right, then both of the swp race yesterday were w...

User piker

piker 20 Oct | Posts: 325

 this is the worst opening day at ascot i have seen in 18 years.  Spot on Para. In recent months my interest in local racing is matched only by Malcolm Turncoat er Turnbull's loyalty to the Liberal Party .... Effin traitor. He should go down in hi...

User therealkramer

therealkramer 20 Oct | Posts: 7932

God bless Dainty Tess <:-P I donít know. Iíve heard it doesnít matter what Winterbottom winners do afterwards. Assigning too much praise to Dainty Tessís win over Viddora in Adelaide would be rewriting history apparently :-\"


H-BOMBER 20 Oct | Posts: 8389

A great return to headquarters B-)

User spinking

spinking 20 Oct | Posts: 2909

Super win the little mare and congrats to the crew in her . Love to have a couple like her. No just one would do. Well done D Morton on the day as well