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Ascot Preview, 23rd February news

Ascot Preview, 23rd February

Terry Leighton | Metropolitan Racing | Fri 22 February, 2019

Race 1 - King Of The Castle

After a couple of quiet weeks in tipping land, I can smell something special brewing. If not, there is a big chance I’ll drop myself to the magoo’s.

Just the six horse field to kick off the day, with quite the obvious speed map to analyse. You’d suspect Wildonbrook will hold the rail from Minika who will plonk on her outside with these small fields tending to allow for some pretty soft sectionals. Even with this being the case, I don’t think either have the class to hold out the two likely to be parked on their backs in Seven Castles or Fairview.

A clear lean to Seven Castle’s here after a big debut run against Flirtini, who made that form look very strong over the carnival. His recent trial was soft as butter and Lindsey Smith makes the William Pike engagements a rarity - a sign they might really like this bloke. He is clearly the on top selection.

Fairview is the only danger I can see and if this race was over 1200m, I would have her on top. Her win over Lacevinsky a month ago was the run of the day by some distance and she was afforded absolutely no luck last time out behind Cryptic Love. That horse franked that form with a belting run in the listed three year old classic at Pinjarra.

Metro Boy is weighted out of this.

Seven Castles at $1.80 v Fairview at $5.5/2.35 (top 2 finish only). If I was a betting man, the latter would definitely be the more appealing of the two as an each way betting proposition.


5 Seven Castles
2 Fairview
1 Metro Boy
3 Minika

Suggested Bet: No bet.


Race 2 - Carbery’s Karrakatta

Niccovi stands out head and shoulders above this field and with even luck should be winning. Was a gallant second in the $250,000 Magic Millions event at Pinjarra when it simply came down to William Pike being a stronger and more fluent jockey than Patty Carbery. You swap the jockeys and you swap the result. Pat retains the mount here and will probably end up on the back of the leader with a few of these likely to be desperate to jump and roll. Some danger if that leader stops on top of him.

In a very similar situation to the first event, my second selection appears well over the odds and probably represents the better each way betting medium and that’s Prim And Proper. All three runs in her debut campaign were full of merit and her recent 400m trial (as is becoming customary for the Luciani’s with their youngsters) was easy on the eye.

It is a big step up in grade for impressive midweek winner Sanabreanna. It’ll be interesting to see if she has improved or if she just ran into a very weak bunch of midweek youngsters.

$1.65 Niccovi v $8/2.3 Prim And Proper. Niccovi is on top, but the latter represents the each way value and would be the way I’d go if investing your hard earned.


5 Niccovi
1 Prim And Proper
7 Sanabreanna
12 Native Chimes

Suggested Bet: No bet.


Race 3 - Blowout

Burning Pride and Upward Others look the clear standout selections in this glorified midweek staying event, though both have their potential knocks. I do feel as if we are a chance of seeing a Lance Whitnall post-season style blowout here.

Purely on a replay basis, Upward Others is impossible to go past on his last two outings. Still only a class one galloper (after 21 starts), he is eligible for far easier but has done the majority of his racing out of his grade. His last two efforts behind Crystal Valley (favourite in a 70+ staying event later in the day), on paper just about make him unbeatable. Not only are those efforts meritorious on paper, the actual viewing of them makes them even more so. He should have won both. There are obvious worries with the barrier and whether he can find some cover midfield, but if he reproduces his last two efforts he simply should just win this. Some concerns that he might be a ‘Lucy’ horse however, with Carbery taking the ride in her Material Man absence.

Burning Pride is likely to start the public elect. Barrier three, William Pike and coming off an unlucky midfield finish behind Avidus. Previous form around San Crispino has been further franked by that gallopers midweek win and you’d suspect Pike will have her on the back of the two leaders. She will do less work than a public servant. I have some doubts on her ability to stay, with the 1600 to 2200m being a real test.

There will be no doubting the tactics on Rayarnie this week, though expect Cool Witness to give him no peace out in front. Press The Petal and Dealing are both more than capable in this grade, but neither map to advantage.

A strong lean to Upward Others.


5 Upward Others
8 Burning Pride
1 Press The Petal
9 Oriental Rose

Suggested Bet: 40 wins Upward Others (5).


Race 4 - He’s An Improver

The improvement of He’s A Parker over his last three outings has been quite phenomenal. With a better draw in the Albany Cup, he just about wins it. His ability to make a sustained run two starts back when defeating American Joy, and then his ability to sharply sprint up the inside of horse in the Albany Cup, show he’s not a one trick pony. Jarrad Noske replaces the Melbourne bound Chris Parnham and he should be able to hold a spot one or two back the fence. He will be looking to extricate at around the 600m mark.

Come Play With Me is clearly the class of this field and if Jade give him a pearler, he probably wins this race. Always some worries on an apprentice handling a pure sit and sprint horse, couple that with the weight and first go at the journey this preparation - I think we can wait one more start before hopping into one of the states most exciting stayers.

Crystal Valley steps up in grade, but is low flying at the moment. He’s the third and final winning hope in this event.

Just shy of $4 is on offer for He’s A Parker, which is enough for me to have a small investment. Should be a cracking staying event.


3 He’s A Parker
7 Crystal Valley
1 Come Play With Me
4 American Joy

Suggested Bet: 50 wins He’s A Parker (3).


Race 5 - Fabulous Fab

All eyes will be on Fabergino, in the days most anticipated comeback. Looked like an absolute world beater when kicking her career off with four consecutive victories, before a big step up in grade, alongside a change in tactics, saw her suffer her first and only defeat.

She’s fallen into a weak field here, though she could not have found a more horrid looking speed map. More Aces, Dia De La Raza and Just A Fluke are all drawn inside of her and none like to give up the front. Suspecting More Aces will find the top, with Just A Fluke on his outside and Fabergino tramping three deep, unless Knuckey can slot her in. This is a real possibility with the sparks that will be flying early; there should be plenty of holes. Add to this, Another Demon who is arguably the quickest of the lot over the first 100m, drawn outside her. There could be four runners in a line going to the bend.

Naturally, you look for a sit and sprinter capable of running over the top and it really is only Night Voyage who jumps off the page. Kate Witten continues to excel riding sit and sprinters with victories on Macroy and then an absolute peach of Mycroft seven days ago.

Saturia is the only one other runner I could make any realistic winning case for and even that is at a stretch. Fabergino has the ability to sit three deep the trip here and still win with the 60kg’s, but I wouldn’t back her with your money at the $1.55 on offer with some agencies. You’d want evens. A bit like the first two events, Night Voyage appeals as the better each way betting proposition here at around the $7 mark. If any horse has earnt a victory it’s him.


1 Night Voyage
4 Fabergino
10 Saturia
2 More Aces

Suggested Bet: 20 wins and 20 places Night Voyage (1).


Race 6 - Wake Up Al

“If the horse is in the same position, I don’t think the mistakes will happen that happened the other day”; Trainer Sharon Miller put that a lot more eloquently than I suggest she may have at the time of the Albany Cup. There is bad rides and then there is a jockey just completely falling asleep at the wheel. That’s exactly what we saw from Killer Kennedy in the Albany Cup. He could not have ridden this son of Black Tom any better to the bend, until he just simply forgot to push the button. It reminded me of Glenn Maxwell dancing down the wicket and leaving the pill - stumps everywhere. All he had to do was swing! A horrow show for Prying Tom backers with The Big Show backers rejoicing. How the stewards did not ask more questions, I do not know. The worst part is, Prying Tom is capable of making a sustained run. There would have been no instructions to hold him up for a 250m sprint.

Moving on. While the likes of Star Exhibit, Cappo D’Oro and Elegant Blast will all be racing fresh from the Perth Cup into this 1800m event, Sharon Miller has kept Prying Tom ticking over and with the way he travelled in the Albany Cup, he should be absolutely peaking. You can put a line through his run in the Perth Cup when Ihtsahymn opted to retire from racing at the 1600m mark and shunted him back through the field. Randy did well to stay on.

If you go back to his run on this track, at this distance in the Group One Kingston Town Classic only two months ago, it was only bettered by Arcadia Queen. There was not much between the runs of Galaxy Star, Material Man, Gatting and itself. Good company for this type of event. Star Exhibit was not in the same stratosphere in that event and meets him 4.5kg’s worse at the weights on that run. You’d suspect that galloper is mainly focussed on a pre Adelaide Cup blowout. Expect him to drift heavily from his current $2.50 quote - at this stage of his career he looks like an out and out 2400m+ horse.

Cappo D’Oro and Elegant Blast are clearly more than capable of winning this type of event, but it would require a terrific training effort to get them up over 1800m here.

Prying Tom is currently $11 and over $3 the drum. If we can set Alan’s alarm for the 500m mark, he’s most definitely worth an each way ticket. Red Army could well be the biggest danger - this is a target rather than an afterthought like many of the others.


4 Prying Tom
5 Red Army
8 Elegant Blast
1 Star Exhibit

Suggested Bet: 40 wins and 40 places Prying Tom (4).


Race 7 - Fairey’s Flyer

Alongside Star Exhibit at $2.40, Carocapo looks the equal lay of the day at the $2.20 currently on offer. After drawing the inside gate on a heavily leader bias Pinjarra, he was always going to be awfully hard to get past, with the second place horse sitting three deep throughout. It isn’t form that will hold up going forward. It is difficult to see him finding the rail here, with Sir Snugalot draw the pine. If the Wolfe yard have any intentions of handing up on this Oratorio gelding, I would be very surprised. Carocapo sits outside of him.

I think the winner comes from Dam Ready, Seeker or Chesten Flyer and I’m quite happy in siding with the latter. Loved his run at Pinjarra when running the quickest final 200m split for the event, on a track which was not conducive to sharp final sectionals. The Alpha Sky form line is the one you want to be following. The obvious worry is how well he can utilise the gate. He is a horse who is best left to settle and sprint late, but he would not want to get shuffled too far back along the pine. He is not the worst beginner, so should be able to settle in the first 6 or 8 and allow Joey to find some holes late.

Dam Ready is an absolute iron horse for the inform Mark Bairstow and the weight will not bother him. Bairstow has a real knack of keeping horses up and at their peak for lengthy periods of time. Seeker is super consistent and drawn to go very close here.

Chesten Flyer $6, Dam Ready $6 and Seeker $13. You probably can’t go wrong with any of them each way, but I do have a slight lean to the well weighted and drawn Chesten Flyer.


7 Chesten Flyer
2 Dam Ready
3 Seeker
10 Star Glitter

Suggested Bet: 30 wins and 30 places Chesten Flyer (7).


Race 8 - Ball Of The Century

We save the absolute best for last. Starts on middle. Drifts outside leg. Puff of dust as it hits the deck. Straight past the outside edge to take the top of off. It’s a Special Delivery.

Very, very keen on Mark Bairstow continuing his winning run, with Special Delivery looking perfectly placed. A huge first up victory was bettered by his second up performance in what was comfortably the run of the day. After being unable to find a spot early, Mitch was forced to jag him right back to last and forced wide (and distant of the second last horse) on straightening. It was a day when making ground out wide was not easy, but his effort to flood into third place in a race panels superior to this, was phenomenal. The 61.5kg’s does look like a reasonable impost, but the drop in grade he faces here (on the one week back-up, which we like) is worth more than that swing. Carried 60+ a couple of times last campaign with success - can carry weight.

Settled forward in his two trials over 1000m at the start of this prep, and if you watch both efforts this campaign, he has jumped well but due to the wide gates been forced to snag back to near enough last on both occasions. From barrier two, I reckon he can sit one off the fence in sixth or eighth spot here.

Resistance is tracking along nicely, Midnight Sky is a talented conveyance (who will be back last from barrier 15), Three Secrets can be forgiven for a flat second up effort and Lofty Lad is likely to jump and try to string them out here - but none come near the form of Special Delivery.

$7 each way. Howzat?


1 Special Delivery
4 Resistance
7 Three Secrets
13 Classic Pro

Suggested Bet: 50 wins and 50 places Special Delivery (1).

36 Comments | 3 years ago

Recent Comments


SKIDS 23 Feb | Posts: 974

How long have I told you that Falc? It's the get out stakes safe bet... and how often does it pay a price too?!

User thefalcon

thefalcon 23 Feb | Posts: 18651

how many times do we get race #8 won by #8? its uncanny!!


SLIPPERGOLDEN 23 Feb | Posts: 6463

Lofty Lad or Three Secrets will top off a day sent from heaven.Broke the golden rule. Never mention what you have coming up for a result.

User Rodent

Rodent 23 Feb | Posts: 6056

Chhaya, unbeaten at Ascot, unbeaten at the course and distance.....60-1, that'll do me.

User detonator

detonator 23 Feb | Posts: 3964

Would be great to use Jiggers on jockeys! J Whiting has been riding for a 127 years and still doesn’t know when to pull the trigger Maybe someone did !! :-?


SLIPPERGOLDEN 23 Feb | Posts: 6463

thefalcon    you on the wacky bakky slipper?You were saying Falcon........  Seeker \:D/\:D/<:-P <:-P \:D/Lofty Lad or Three Secrets will top off a day sent from heaven.

User piker

piker 23 Feb | Posts: 325

Choc, are you feeling as good as i am after Sekker's win?

User Buddy123

Buddy123 23 Feb | Posts: 136

Star Exhibit a sneaky chance for the Australian cup...

User choc

choc 23 Feb | Posts: 758

Would be great to use Jiggers on jockeys! J Whiting has been riding for a 127 years and still doesn’t know when to pull the trigger


H-BOMBER 23 Feb | Posts: 9606

Star Exhibit, that was a clinic