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Ascot Preview, 23rd March news

Ascot Preview, 23rd March

Terry Leighton | Metropolitan Racing | Thu 21 March, 2019

The rail pops back into the true position for an action packed Ascot card with three competitive listed races. The track has pretty consistently been dominated by on pace/rail runners when the rail is in this position (especially when there has been a gap between racing at that spot), so I will be allowing for that bias.

Similar to last week, I only have the Tabtouch odds to refer to, so prices quoted may not be entirely accurate once other corporates release their books.

Race 1 - Simon v Lou

Not much depth to this $70,000 three year old event, with Excise Free being the only runner with some proper runs on the board, with a Saturday victory last campaign. Does have to deal with a sticky looking speed map and an apprentice taking the mount for the first time in her short career. Expecting to see Pink ‘N’ Gray hold the rail here which should leave Excise Free outside of him. The stablemate, Party Night only knows one way and you’d expect Jason Brown will have him rolling forward. I cannot understand the stable entering two on pace horses for the same race, defies sense. Would not be surprised to see one of them scratched or one of them ridden against pattern. Just hope they do the right thing and announce it or scratch early enough.

Banking on that extra pace and Excise Free not finding the fence, I expect the winner to come from Bedouin Belle or Deacalda. Bedouin Belle was a terrific winner down the straight fresh this campaign, beating City Circle (who won her next start by 4.3) and Fair Joy (also won at his next outing). Proved that was no fluke second up when $2.20 to $1.60 in betting when sitting three deep the trip and still winning relatively comfortably, albeit against a pretty weak bunch. Drawn to sit in about 5th or 6th here or potentially even utilise a three wide line lead by Party Night.

I am going to very narrowly put Deacalda on top. Has drawn inside Bedouin Belle, appears to possess more tactical speed than that galloper and I have her mapped to have the back of Excise Free, which should be the exact spot you’d want to be. Smashed Soy Tan Rapido on debut (when backed as if unbeatable) before Patrick Carbery gave her an absolute torrid time in a seven horse field very similar to this one. Was by far and away the best run of the race. The blinkers go on - Simon Miller is serious.

Cristal Dane will run the quickest final splits, but from barrier 9 back to the 1000m (from the 1200m he won over last start) and on a track which I don’t feel will be overly conducive to making heavy ground, Alan Kennedy would want to be astute with his use of the shillelagh. City Circle’s last win was hard to ignore, but it is hard to see it turning the tables on Bedouin Belle from their clash a month ago.

Was hoping to suggest an each way bet on Deacalda, but the current place dividend is a bit thin. Happy having something on the win at around the $5 mark.


7 Deacalda
4 Bedouin Belle
1 Excise Free
2 Cristal Dane

Suggested Bet: 40 wins Deacalda (7).


Race 2 - Don’t Burst My Bubble

Double Bubble looks to have a couple of lengths on this field and with even luck in running should be winning. Beat a stronger field than this a fortnight ago, when leading early before being challenged, sitting and then coming away again late. With Pasajero and Woomera drawn wide, it’s likely we might see a very similar situation with those speedsters eventually working their way to the top. A 7 out of 10 ride from Patty gets the job done here.

The rest of the field look an extremely even bunch. Comparative is drawn to get a nice run just off the speed and be there late, while besides Double Bubble, Supreme Force has the most upside of this lot. Expecting the Pearce stable to see the likely speed involved and ride him with a sit. One we’ll be looking at closely second up.

The Fernie/Pateman team is flying in town at the moment, but unfortunately I don’t think Truth And Lies is at the same level as Little Fish or Pym’s Royale. Has drawn the right part of the track for an in form jockey however.

Anything over even money Double Bubble is enough for me.


8 Double Bubble
7 Supreme Force
13 Comparative
6 Plutocracy

Suggested Bet: 80 wins Double Bubble (8).


Race 3 - No Secret

I promised last time out that Three Secrets was on his final chance, but it’s fallen into a very weak field, with a good draw and has gone up (just) an each way price. So I’ll say the exact same thing again - last chance.

I don’t think he was suited to sitting in the breeze last time out and from barrier five, with two speed horses drawn underneath him, I suspect McGruddy should be able to find the one out, one back position. From there it should just be a matter of holding out the fast finishing Midnight Sky. The winner really should come from those two.

Going to throw one out, who I suspect will drift from the current $26 quote and hope connections instruct Jade to ride this gelding the only way it has ever had success in the past, and that is with aggression. Geiger Gem does not possess a turn of foot or the ability to run huge final splits, but he can hop on speed, do it tough and get the field off the bit before the bend. The Jade McNaught claim gets him in with a winnable weight and you’d hope the instructions would be to let him roll. With Rose’s Shadow and Lord Ludlow drawn underneath him, Jade may be forced to take a sit on speed, but I’d hope she is instructed to roll from the 600 or even the 800.

Classic Pro is absolutely flying, but is hard to tip from the gate.

$5 is available for Three Secrets, which looks a safe each way bet in a race devoid of many winning hopes. Small spec Geiger Gem.


9 Three Secrets
2 Midnight Sky
6 Geiger Gem
13 Classic Pro

Suggested Bet: 25 wins and 25 places Three Secrets (9). 10 wins Geiger Gem (6).


Race 4 - Lids Off

It’s been a very muddling two year old season with no youngster yet to really take the mantle as a clear standout for the Karrakatta Plate. The blokes do battle first in a race which the top 5 in racebook order look to be the only realistic winning chances.

Jericho Missile faces his biggest test to date. Despite having the two listed victories to his name in his two career runs, there is some question marks over him in this event. His initial victory in the Crystal Slipper was by a long neck over Specialism who did everything wrong in the run. Staples had that filly under the whip early and she had no interest in racing til late. At the 300m mark, it appeared as though Jericho Missile would win by 5. Every other runner in that event needs a walker to get around - I think it was simply a matter of being the last man standing. His subsequent victory in the Listed Magic Millions event was a lot more authoritative, after William Pike gave him a peach of a run on the back of Niccovi. When it came down to riding a young horse out, there was no way Patrick Carbery was going to outride William Pike. That was the difference. The loss of Pike here cannot be underestimated and it is likely he’ll be giving the four other chances a head start. You’d be brave taking the $1.70.

Beethoven is likely to race more prominently in this event and park up outside of likely leader Warfish. Was strong to the line behind Prim And Proper and Rio Del Mar a fortnight ago and I suspect he’ll be better suited on speed. The $11 on offer looks double the quote he should be and a fairly safe each way bet.

Bubaroochy has a stack of talent and the states form jockey on top, though will want to improve his barrier manners to win here. Struggles to show early toe and was ridden with the whip over a recent 400m barrier trial, in an attempt to sharpen up that aspect of his game. If able to utilise the barrier and settle in the first 4 or 6, he’ll be there or thereabouts.

Divide The Sea took it up to Specialism in his final trial before a comfortable win on race debut. The barrier does look sticky here, with McGruddy potentially being caught out deep. Find it hard to fathom how Bubaroochy & Beethoven are $11, while Divide The Sea is $4.20. The form is inferior and the draw is worse. Two year olds need to be very special to sit three deep the trip with success.

There will be a few thirsty owners of Dig Deep on track going hoarse for their horse when Joey Azzopardi finds the back of Warfish and pushes out underneath CJP’s neck on Beethoven on straightening (that's how my dream went anyway). His maiden Bunbury victory was ultra impressive, when Noske had an absolute lap full of horse underneath him meaning he made his move earlier than anticipated. The form hasn’t stacked up from that event, but it was won with a fair amount of authority from a horse on debut. Barrier one will either make or break his chances, with luck being a key factor.

Beethoven and to a lesser extent Bubaroochy clearly appeal as the early each way value. I’m hoping I’ve got this race wrong and we’ve all got out shovels out for Dig Deep post race.


2 Beethoven
1 Jericho Missile
3 Bubaroochy
5 Dig Deep

Suggested Bet: 25 wins and 25 places Beethoven (2).


Race 5 - The Girls

There is no doubt there is a lot more depth in the two year old ranks for the fillies than the blokes. This looks an absolute cracker and a tremendous prelude to the Karrakatta in a fortnights time.

Going to semi-confidently put the Simon Miller trained Amelia’s On Fire on top. While she has only had the one race start, I felt there was a real degree of arrogance and maturity about her win. After winning a trial by nearly 10 lengths, the plan was clearly to lead and run them along at her race debut. Unfortunately she was trapped wide early, before being snagged in behind the speed, settling with maturity beyond her years, before taking off before the bend (she was travelling that well) and winning without the whip being shown. There was some arrogance about the win. The form line from that race is questionable, but it does need to be noted that the second place horse, Amarillo Rose was flying at the time. McGruddy has options tactically here.

Prim And Proper looks the obvious danger from the good draw. Got a ten out of ten from Whiting at her most recent outing when knocking off Rio Del Mar, who also got a peach of a ride and should get a similar run in transit here. Miss West Coast, Specialism and Rio Del Mar (who I suspect could improve being ridden colder and finishing off as she did in her trials) are all live hopes in a really intriguing race.

Current favourite Niccovi is grossly under the odds at $3.80. Fraser Anning is a better chance of being named Australian Of The Year, than her winning this.

Amelia’s On Fire is currently $5 and $2. Again, not the most exciting of betting but the each way appeals in a race with a few variables. Will make her the best of the day.


6 Amelia’s On Fire
1 Prim And Proper
8 Rio Del Mar
3 Specialism

Suggested Bet: 50 wins and 50 places Amelia’s On Fire (6).


Race 6 - Grandstand Finish

An interesting edition of the Grandstand Cup, with the speed map and track pattern likely to be the most important factors. Most of these runners did battle in the recent Bunbury Stakes, when Achernar Star was victorious after a Damien Oliver pearler. While Oliver has received all the plaudits for the victory, nothing can be taken away from the effort of the gelding. After being involved in a speed battle for the first third of the event, he was jagged in behind the speed where he managed to settle for a short period, before making his second run. Not many horses can make two runs in one race. To hit the line as well as he did showed he is absolutely flying and he fully deserves the 60.5kg’s he gets here.

Shaun McGruddy resumes in the saddle and should get a far easier time of it from the better draw. Abdicator and My Greek Boy are likely to come across and take up the running, which should leave Achernar Star right on their hammer. McGruddy can pull the trigger as early or late as he likes.

I have no doubt that Tellem We’re Comin will be a very popular selection here. Was probably a good thing beaten in the Bunbury Stakes when Chris Parnham found traffic right at the wrong time. The worry here is the fact this race doesn’t appear to have the same type of top end pressure and could well be run on a track suiting horses nearer to the speed. I’d be determining any track patterns before launching with your welfare cheques.

If Mizlecki had drawn a gate here, I’d have her comfortably on top and despite the draw I am still tempted to do so. In a lower grade of race first and second up, she has been beyond huge and she is clearly flying. She is an 80 rater in a 90+ event which is always a concern, but she should have won 2 or 3 more races in a luckless career to date. If Staeck can settle her midfield with cover or find the right cart into the race, she’ll rattle late.

A watch on Variation who is drawn to get the plum run on the leaders back. Will it have the second up blues after such a long absence? Pushin’ Shapes to improve with a more aggressive ride. Always starts over the odds.

With the way I see the track playing, I’ll stick with Achernar Star on top, but if ground is being made freely throughout the day, I’ll be having something each way on Mizlecki.


1 Achernar Star
8 Mizlecki
10 Tellem We’re Comin
3 Variation

Suggested Bet: No bet.


Race 7 - Market Madness

Mr. Tabtouch market man had a bit of a nightmare with this staying race. Brother’s Keeper was $101 to $9 in pretty quick time, with Upwards Others $17, Not Again Ken $51 and Mycroft $5.50 all appearing well over their correct prices.

New Age is your current favourite and you’d be a braver man than me taking the $3.50 from barrier 16. Suspect he jumps closer to the $10 mark, with a lot of the above shortening as a result.

This is going to be another of those ‘Beaucount’ races where it is simply a matter of who can sustain the tempo set by the freewheeling gelding and then put in at the end. Mycroft is clearly the one who ticks that box after racing against him two starts ago and absolutely demolishing a stronger field than this. He then stepped out in a Bunbury Cup when I am sure Kate Witten would have preferred to race with his usual pattern midfield, but he was unfortunately left without cover on speed. He looked completely gone at the top of the straight when they all started charging, but amazingly he came again to run 5th. It was a huge effort. There is always going to be a few heart in mouth moments with the young apprentice on a sit and sprinter, but Kate does ride these types of horses well and if she can stay out of trouble and put Mycroft into the race before the bend I suspect he’ll be too good for these.

There are a few I’d consider speculating on at longer odds here. My affiliation to Not Again Ken ended for one run, but enough was shown for me to reunite (albeit in a very small manner) with the big grey. After a stack of barrier and soundness issues he won a trial well and then did all the work over the mile when fifth to Bella’s Idol. He loomed as the winner, but understandably his condition showed late. He’s had three weeks between runs and Mark Wright gets his horses very fit. There wouldn’t be a trainer in Perth who trains more long priced staying winners. I don’t know if he’ll be suited by the tempo Beaucount creates here, but at $41 I’m willing to have something small on.

Master Magician is the other I’m going to have something very small on. Expect the money man Pateman to ride him hard out of the gates and look for a spot in the pack chasing Beaucount. Is a complete enigma as a horse with a stretch of results last year reading - first, second last, first, last, last. He doesn’t do things in halves. $26 currently isn’t enough, but he started $40 in an Esperance Cup so we surely see double that quote by jump.

Upwards Others wins one soon and I can see why many would be tempted each way at the double figure quote.

Going to suggest the three win bets here and cross our fingers. Could be a ‘result’ leg for the quaddie players.


3 Mycroft
2 Master Magician
6 Not Again Ken
11 Upward Others

Suggested Bets: 50 wins Mycroft (3). 10 wins Master Magician (2). 10 wins Not Again Ken (6).


Race 8 - In The Gallow’s

We’ll wish Mr. Sandy Gallo all the best with his pending nuptials as I feel the weight of a very thirsty bucks party on my shoulders, in an event named after the great man.

Friaresque moved from the Sigley to Lindsey Smith stables at the start of this campaign and is racing as well as ever. The 1200 and 1400 first and second up are not his ideal distances but he still acquitted himself more than admirably on both occasions. The losing streak now reaches 616 days, though with a change of stable comes a change of mentality and I think the appointment of Dan Staeck is the defining move. Dan isn’t the prettiest of jockeys, preferring long sustained runs to the patient ‘Pike’ type rides, but that is exactly how to ride this son of Blackfriars and horses ridden in that manner really go for him. Expecting him to find cover just worse than midfield and look to make a run around the field from the 600. With Rockon Tommy and Fair Sonari engaged, there should be enough speed to come late. Think the step up to 1800m is really up his alley and suits him more than a lot of others.

Forceful is the obvious pick, though it is interesting to note this gelding never raced beyond 1200m at his first 11 career starts. At start number 12, he did step up to the 1400m and absolutely demolished his rivals. It’s rare that a Peters Investment horse doesn’t get a journey, so the smart money would be on him seeing out a strong 1800m, but there does have to be some doubt with the fact it’s taken this long for him to get to any type of serious ground. Chris Parnham replaces Pike on a horse who has a few tricks. The $2.35 is thin.

Pinzu has finally found the right race and gate and is a must for quaddie players, while the penny looks to have dropped for Bella’s Idol. Was dominant in winning last time out, but won’t get it as soft again here. Should sit on the back of Rockon Tommy and goes close. This is a big step up in class.

Let’s Twist is the value runner at $34. The speed map looks sticky, but on his second to Star Exhibit two starts ago, there is no way that quote is right. If he can work across and find the outside of Rockon Tommy, he’ll fight late. Especially if the track does have some bias.

Keen on Friaresque, place heavy. $8 / $2.50 is currently on offer which I am more than happy with.


5 Friaresque
2 Forceful
9 Let’s Twist
3 Bella’s Idol

Suggested Bet: 30 wins and 70 places Friaresque (5).

3 Comments | 3 years ago

Recent Comments

User Ridersonthestorm33

Ridersonthestorm33 23 Mar | Posts: 10316

See another good priced winner for Steve Parnham - the number of roughies that hoop has got into the placings previous 2 years is amazing. He's the old fashioned "roughie jockey".


H-BOMBER 23 Mar | Posts: 9606

Oh how far Bella's Idol in the last, it was bolting the whole straight. Media Baron just keeps finding trouble and running on like it needs 3200m. I'll stick...for now Should have backed Beethoven for the KK before today, liked the win going forward

User rooboy

rooboy 23 Mar | Posts: 1373

Our man is flying at the moment!