Expected Weather: Mostly Sunny and 33 degrees
Expected Track Rating: Good 4
Rail position: 14m position
Race 1: 11.30am - Sterling Handicap (1200m) - Bet with TABtouch
1 THE ESCORT three of four runs through the winter from this boy were quite good. He beat home Debellatio and Danes Maree in his most recent run, back in August. Wasn’t asked to do a lot in his sole trial. He can return well here.
2 COLOURFUL CHARADE thought it was a really tough win at Bunbury - had State Attorney sweating on him the whole way up the straight and was good enough to kick and win. He’s been jumping the gates really well and at his second straight 1200m run, I think he can figure.
3 BODEGA BEAU has begun well in both trials which is a good sign for a horse coming to the races for the first time. I’m not with him, but hopefully he can show some good signs on debut.
4 BRENHAYRON scratched.
5 PORTALIAN I liked the way he lengthened in his trial. Met some good ones in Danes Maree and Arcadia Prince in the winter. Could certainly be one to look for later in his prep, but for now I’m content just to observe.
6 AMBER GLOW ignoring the fact that she went around on debut. From a wide gate she went back, on what became a moderate tempo. William Pike stuck to rail in the straight, but eased when it became apparent she’d be squeezed out of a run. At run number two here, her fortunes can change from good draw.
7 COOL DYNAMITE was a really solid effort when chased home Soundcheck and Danes Maree last start. Has improved in both career runs so far, and expect her to do so again third-up.
8 GINGERBREAD HEART trialled eight times all-up before her first run in August. Her two career starts were like trials as well, in that they were very much a learning experience. I’m much keener on the stablemate.
9 SHANIA STYLE thought she ran well at big odds behind Soundcheck and Danes Maree. She had to check-off heels at about the 200m mark, but really finished off nicely. Her last 600m was the second quickest of the race, and quicker than that of Cool Dynamite. I think she has each-way claims.
Race 2: 12.45pm - Salinger Handicap (1200m) - Bet with TABtouch
1 HODGE PODGE the step up to the mile didn’t work at Northam, but he certainly produced something close to his best at the 1400m last start at Belmont. Back to the 1200m here - I prefer him at 14, but I’m expecting this will be the best run of his campaign to date.
2 KENTOO over-raced for a portion of that first-up run, hence the Blinkers going on. This is arguably his easiest assignment since his debut which he won back in February. But I still don’t have him placing.
3 BROTHER’S KEEPER ever seen that film My Sister’s Keeper? Yeah don’t, you’ll cry like a baby. Was a bit of a sad winter for Brother’s Keeper, particularly in the city, where he didn’t run well at all. Happy to see this 4yo return well here without wagering.
4 ST BEL sat on Sophia’s Secret’s hind quarters on a moderate tempo and found her and three others just too good when they had to click into top gear. Is just going okay the moment, the draw helps as does Fred Kersley’s claim again, but I think he’ll be outgunned again.
5 ANOTHER STORY comes out of the same Sophia’s Secret race as St Bel. Was also no match for the winner, but was running away from St Bel late in the race, so certainly favour her over that runner here. Tricky draw but at peak fitness now and can figure.
6 IMAGINARY ridden for luck at Geraldton and didn’t get any. Was held up for a good 200m in the straight. I think she would have won with clear running. She draws awkwardly in eight, but she’s third-up now and I think she can win.
7 EARTH former Chris Waller runner having his first start with Brent Albuino. He’s a half-brother to Awesome Rock, and was sold for $450,000 at the Magic Millions 2015 sale on the Gold Coast. Expect the 1200m will be too short, but ran third in a Listed Dulcify at Randwick and has trialled well, so can figure.
8 DEMERITORIOUS loved the way he chased after the leader and then went past him at Geraldton. Was still a touch green, but for a debut run, it was a beauty. Should box seat again from barrier two, and can make it two from two.
9 MORE BXAAR very green first-up, but your lead-in form could be worse than 5L off Showcase and La Mouline. Sticky gate, should improve though.
10 UNIVERSAL SCENE hasn’t placed since February 2015, and has had 26 starts since… nothing more needs to be said really.
Race 3: 1.29pm - TABtouch Maiden (1500m) - Bet with TABtouch
1 AMROURER a 20-start maiden that’s been up since May. Luck probably beat him last start - he was wide with cover for a fair portion of the race, was let off the bridle a long way out and still only went down by a half length. I don’t think he breaks the duck here, but I think he can figure.
2 MASKED VIRTUE just battled away behind Bollinger Boy at Northam. In fact has just battled away pretty much all prep since running a place first-up back in mid-August. I think he’ll be tested here again.
3 FONTAINE’S WAR thirty starts for no wins and one placing. Expect that will become 31 starts for no wins and one placing. Not for me.
4 STONEY BRIDGE stats read like a reserves footballer who trains the house down but can’t get a kick on the weekend. He’s placed in five of eight trials Stoney Bridge, but hasn’t finished any better than fifth in 11 career runs to date. Going with others.
5 WARBOSS beaten by an aggregate of 33 lengths in his two career starts to date. Trialled okay, but prefer to see come back before laying down the dollars.
6 ZON ZOL it was just an even performance when a fair way off Sally’s Realm last start. Not much to get excited about in his three runs back, and I don’t think those excitement levels will rise here.
7 POND ZERO keen to cut this fella some slack, he met what turned out to be a pretty sharp maiden at Northam first-up, and has drawn horror gates in his two runs since. Unfortunately the nightmare continues here in barrier 13. I don’t think he’s the worst, but I think he’ll need a stack of luck.
8 CITY STAR was luckless behind Sally’s Realm when trapped wide without cover for most of the trip. Still worked home okay though and I think third-up from a better draw can see a better result. One to consider for anyone playing the multiples.
9 NICCONI’S BOY had no luck on debut at Northam and then was interfered with 100m from the winning post. Would have finished in the placings with clear running. Hard to get a gauge on his ability off that run, but suspect he’s good enough to figure here.
10 MY KIWI DREAM two midfield finishes in the winter. Expect he’ll need the run so happy to watch.
11 SPECIAL ALERT (lugging bit) liked the run behind Sophia’s Secret - produced good late splits off a slow tempo - in fact her last 600m time wise was almost identical to Sophia’s Secret. She did lay in a couple of times in the straight, hence the lugging bit going on. She’s drawn ideally in three… she’s the one to beat.
12 ROSSANA scratched from last Wednesday’s meeting. She was back and wide last start and I thought she finished off well considering, particularly as she was a 90-1 shot. She draws better here and I think she can improve enough to finish in the first four.
13 MAKE MINE CHAMPERS another that was in behind Sally’s Realm, was better than Zon Zol but probably broke even with City Star all things considered. Expect little will separate the two of them again, but think Make Mine Champers is a better place chance than winning chance.
14 SHOWIE GIRL connections have had to be patient as she first trialled almost 12 months ago. I’m not with her, but I’ll be happy to see her begin her career in nice fashion today.
Race 4: 2.08pm - Iron Jack Handicap (2200m) - Bet with TABtouch
1 OUT OF LINE don’t want to knock such a lightly raced galloper but his last start before the spell - which was at this track and distance - was poor with no explanation. First trial was average, second trial was better, but prefer to watch here.
2 DUDEMANBRO first step up to the 2200m at Northam was good. Looked gone early in the straight but really found again. Tricky draw, but should sit on speed and can go close.
3 POWERCRAFT (blinkers on) another one I liked the run of last start. He improved sharply first-up to second-up when 2L off Jazari last time around. Took the corner here at Ascot though like a car being driven by a toddler. The gate is a plus, the jockey booking is a plus, and being third-up now is certainly a plus. Can win.
4 COME ON JOURNEY a month between runs but that is generally the case with this 5yo. Was a good maiden win that was aided by a super ride by Ryan Hill at York. It was Shane Dye-esque, taking off at the 800m. I think Come On Journey can go on with it here, and be in the finish.
5 MUSICAL ART has been really competitive for almost three months now. Finished off really well behind behind Master Magician and Caralabek who we saw run well on Saturday. Draws well in gate two, has the miles in the legs, and I think he’ll get the right tempo.
6 JAFFHINATOR beaten for speed over the mile at Northam. Up to 2200m for the first time here, and draws the outside gate, so I’m going with others.
7 NO PLACE TO HIDE broke her maiden nicely over the 2000m at Bunbury, the best part about it was that she looked like she had more to give at the winning post. The draw is a little sticky, but I think she’s a good each-way play here.
8 PERSISTENCE TIME I think she forgot she was racing for a few seconds at Bunbury, as she didn’t quicken when the rest did. When she did pick up, she hit the line well. I am keener on others here though.
9 BOUTIQUE raced wide throughout when a length off Ruling Angel. Hit the line like a horse wanting more ground and she certainly gets it here - being 1500m up to 2200m. I’m wary, but not super confident she’ll be in the finish.
10 I’M A LOVE MAN liked the run behind Master Magician. Was only a length off Musical Art by the finish, and did a lot more work in leading the whole way round. Don’t think much will separate the pair again, and think the ‘love man’ can finish in the money.
11 SALVAGED sixth of eight behind Jazari last Wednesday doesn’t read great, but I thought he finished off well from the back. Draws the inside gate and should be peaking now fourth-up.
Race 5: 2.48pm - Devil’s Lair Handicap (1600m) - Bet with TABtouch
1 NEXT CONTESTANT freshened back to the 1400m and was caught wide behind New Time, so was urged forward and then faded. That was a month ago, and I didn’t see enough there to have him here.
2 A BIT SKETCHY looking for four wins on the trot. Pace being injected into the race last start made all the difference as he was able to swallow up the leading horses late. Up to the 1600m, but won at the mile two and three starts back at Kalgoorlie. Claim assists, can go close.
3 SKY ATLAS by that dynamite broodmare in Arcadia, who’s also foaled Arcadia Rose, Arcadia Dream, and Arcadia Prince. He benefitted from a good ride by Chris Parnham at Geraldton; was headed in the straight but really dug deep to score. Should take real benefit from that first-up run, is drawn well in four and can make his presence felt.
4 PRENTICE just touched off at Collie in late October. 2000m back to the mile, Prentice always likes a bit of give in the ground, and doesn’t get that here. I’m going with others.
5 SOLAR SKY another horse given a ripper of a ride by Chris Parnham last start. He’ll probably have to reproduce that - Chris that is - as Solar Sky’s drawn awkwardly in 10. Up in grade Solar Sky but should come on from that now third-up. I think he can give this a shake.
6 THE BLUE NIPPER beaten by luck here last Wednesday. Record at the mile isn’t flash, but handled the trip well two starts back, in this grade at Northam. I think he maps well from gate five on a moderate tempo with no standout leader, and is now fit enough to figure here.
7 DUSHA ZACHISTKI (Blinkers off) a much-improved performance behind A Bit Sketchy and Bachelor’s Prospect last start. Difficult to see him getting the better of either of those two in this though, so place claims are best.
8 BACHELOR’S PROSPECT great run behind A Bit Sketchy last start. Second-up now and was a winner second-up over this distance last campaign. Also ran really well over the mile here at Ascot in March. My issue is the tempo. Ominous Warning coming out sees the speed drop out of this race, for a horse that is certain to go back. Each-way claims nonetheless.
9 CALIBRA led last start and was only swamped in the last 80m by Solar Sky and co. I think she’ll go forward from the inside gate but I think she’ll find Solar Sky and a few others a bit too good.
10 DAISY EXPRESS raced without luck at Collie. Hasn’t placed in last ten outings, and finding it difficult to see her place here.
11 OMINOUS WARNING scratched.
Race 6: 3.28pm - PSC Insurance Brokers Handicap (1000m) - Bet with TABtouch
1 KRAMDEN produced some good runs in the autumn and the winter- a third to Dainty Tess and Salorsci was probably the pick of the performances. Is unbeaten first-up and Tayla Stone’s claim is a plus. I think he can return a winner here.
2 BANGALORE led and fought on well behind Stageman last start. Like the fact he’s back to 1000m. Expect he’ll go forward from gate five and be tough to the line.
3 CHIN STRAP scratched.
4 YOUNG JOHN two runs in the summer were full of class. His second to Pounamu was a ripper, but his first-up run over 1200m is more relevant here - in that he let down really well when fresh over the concluding stages. Looked effortless in a 1000m trial and is one of the main chances.
5 DENIM PACK thought it was a really game effort last start in harder grade. Two runs at the 1000m prior that were very impressive as well. Fred Kersley’s claim brings his weight down to 54.5kg and should get a neat run from the inside alley.
6 DANCE MINDY DANCE first-up run was okay behind Oliver’s Travels. Tricky draw in 10 and I think will find this assignment a little too tough.
7 ORANGE STRUDEL (blinkers on) beat Dance Mindy Dance home in that race behind Oliver’s Travels and then went to another level again when 2L off Mikimoto last start. Better at the 1200m than the 1000m it seems and gate eight stings, but has each-way claims.
8 MEGA MINX first-up run was full of positives behind Blitzem Someday as was her second-go when she led and was nabbed by My Grace at Bunbury. Work to be done from the wide gate but has the right man aboard to do it, and can finish in the money.
9 RIPPER RED liked the first-up run behind Puck Shapeshifter here last week. Was held up at a vital stage in the straight but then ducked back to the rail and hit the line well. I think he’ll find 3-4 a little too sharp here again, but still think he’ll run well.
10 STORMY PLANET pretty tough first-up assignment and normally takes 2-3 runs to get going anyway. Happy to observe.
11 EXCELLENT JERRY Jerry, Jerry, Jerry came back down to earth last start after a nice maiden win two starts back. Think Jerry will be tested here.
Race 7: 4.05pm - Yellowglen Handicap (1200m) - Bet with TABtouch
1 NEW TIME the heat came on early from Ominous Warning last start, which was always going to make things tougher, but I thought New Time still battled away admirably. 1400m back to 1200m, but should lead and give a sight as always.
2 PHANTOM CHOICE scratched.
3 SENSO fitness, or lack thereof, showed over the last 100m when first-up behind Oliver’s Travels last start. Second-up record is okay and draws well in four but I’ve got a handful of others ahead of him.
4 BIG CAROLINE 2L off Vital Dancer and Cruachan was a good effort at Bunbury. Raises the bat at start number 50 here, but I think place claims are best.
5 TRAVELLIN’ form around Oliver’s Travels and Star Value the start prior reads well. Has been building towards a win, and should get the gun run from barrier two. Right in the game here.
6 GREAT AGAIN one of the stories of the winter this boy was. Debuted as a 5yo in August, was luckless and still won like a good thing. Then broke the clock in winning two weeks later at Northam. 33.63 was the last 600m that day. Has trialled well and will be hard to hold out despite the draw.
7 COUNT TOMOZ OFF been respectable at the very least in all six runs this preparation, and was so again when 1.5L off Stageman and Denim Pack last start. Maps well from barrier six, and can be amongst the money here.
8 ZEFIRO made good ground from the back, off a moderate tempo behind Sir Snugalot in early September. History says he takes a run or two to really get going, so happy to watch him go around here.
9 GRECO sat outside Mega Minx at Bunbury and they just went too fast. William Pike is back aboard and rode him to victory earlier this campaign. Is another one I can’t discount.
10 NUTHERBOTTLEGONSKI the omen bet of the day, being late afternoon on Melbourne Cup day. Sadly for those that follow through on omen bets, I think it’ll be “another dollar gonski” as well. Not for mine.
11 RENUMERATOR came across from Sydney to Perth and unfortunately found the going tough in two starts through the winter. Prefer to watch than wager.
12 SCARLET SPEEDSTER plenty to like about this girl last campaign, although things did end rather disappointingly at her last run when she cast a plate back in May. She can run a cheeky race first-up.
Race 8: 4.45pm - Peacock Bros - Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m) - Bet with TABtouch
1 OCEAN JEWEL the strong westerly breeze just didn’t suit on Belgravia Day. Still, I thought she hit the line well - her last 600m was only 0.08 slower than Perfect Jewel. She’s drawn well in barrier three, and I think the step up to 1400m suits - she can finish a lot closer.
2 PERFECT JEWEL brilliant last start, I’d never neglect the A-grade service she received from he who was in the saddle, but she got the gun run and it highly contributed to her win. She’ll have to do more work here from barrier ten, but she’s loaded with ability and I think she’ll be there when the whips are cracking.
3 ART SERIES the quiet achiever this girl is. She might be about to make a whole lot of noise though. Gee she was good in the Belgravia. She was just so tough again. She should get a nice passage from the inside gate today and I think she’ll be really hard to hold out.
4 RUBIA MISS I really liked her first-up run in the Bunbury Classic. She never really found her rhythm, but still gave plenty in the run home. Barrier eight isn’t all that attractive, but she’s a rough place chance.
5 DEMONS ‘N’ DUST returned with an elevated heart rate last start behind Arcadia Prince. Don’t think her form prior to that was good enough to test these in any case.
6 SOPHIA’S SECRET has not put a foot wrong this campaign. Treated her rivals with contempt first-up and then repeated the dose over 1400m last start. She’ll go forward from the wide gate and be in this a long way. My only small query is how she’ll respond when the heat goes on at around the 400, because unlike her previous two runs, the heat will come here. Certainly a big chance though.
7 SHOWCASE just beaten by two better horses on the day last start. A few things need to go right here from barrier nine, but they can. Suspect she’ll be ridden quieter from the gate, and hope they overdo it in front. With luck, I think she can finish in the money.
8 MIKIMOTO how easy did this girl look to do it last start, despite being wide and onspeed throughout. William Pike was clearly impressed as sticks with her instead of the two stablemates. Should track into the race nicely from gate six, and with that turn of foot, looks the one to beat.
9 NECKLET quick early splits left her vulnerable late and she was just reeled in by Arcadia Prince. Can’t help but think back to that debut run when nosed by Mikimoto, and she’s drawn directly beside that horse here. Another one of about seven now I’m not discounting.
10 LIKE A BUTTERFLY in another postcode to Sophia’s Secret last start. Would probably need to sprout wings to finish in the placings here.
11 I NEEDA CARDY certainly don’t need a cardy in this 33 degree heat. The task, less so the weather, will be too much for this girl to handle.
Race 9: 5.23pm - James Boags Premium Railway Stakes - Nov 25 Handicap (1400m) - Bet with TABtouch
1 PRINCE TURBO signed off last prep with a nice win at Pinjarra. Only run here at Ascot was also promising. Will probably need the gallop, but should run well.
2 FILLE DE MERIT found Flower Of Scotland too sharp first-up at Northam. Was only a half-length off Awesome As though, and that horse jumped out of the ground late to finish second to La Mouline on Saturday. Fille De Merit can be in amongst it.
3 MIDDLE EARTH two wins and two placings from four starts last campaign, until the heavy brought him undone in his last start at Belmont. Will enjoy the 3kg claim from J.R.R Tolkien… sorry Fred Kersley Junior and is drawn well in gate five. Can be there-abouts.
4 SOVEREIGN TRADE going well is this bloke; he chased home Sophia’s Secret with a whole lot of vigour. The clocked back him up too - 34.39 for his last 600m was easily the quickest of the race. Should go very close here.
5 MOUQUET the battle of Mouquet was part of the battle of Pozieres, and this girl’s mum was named Poziere. Bit of trivia for you. As for this race, I think Mouquet will battle.
6 PROCLAMATION 2000+ is this boy’s go so the 1400m on offer will be well short. Will be getting back and running on but not placing for mine.
7 SIRIUS PROSPECT found the 1800m a bridge too far last start when 5L off Slick Talker. Back to 1400m suits as does barrier four, but I think a place chance is best.
8 COSMIC BALLET really liked the last 100m this girl put in when 2L off The Gospel Sin at Bunbury. 1100m to the 1400m looks the way to go. Being only third-up though, she may need the run at the distance. Place claims.
9 IZA LYA … Iza Lya… allow me to be honest then… I can’t have her on her previous run at Belmont. Going with others.
10 MOTORVATOR decent price here for a horse that would have finished a whole lot closer than 3L off Forty Four Red, if he’d stuck to the cutaway at Northam. Not in the numbers, but wouldn’t shock if placed.
11 ONE MORE THAT’S IT a maiden at Leonora to 56 grade at Ascot. I think he’ll find the going difficult.
12 MYAKE MAK here’s one that’s well over the odds. 2.5L behind Mikimoto last start, but ran an equal quickest last 600m home… even quicker than the winner. Strips fitter second-up, you could do worse than have a small place bet.
13 SALLY’S REALM broke maiden in stylish fashion last start. Loved the way she pinned her ears back and chased the leader, and the way she hit the line - the step up to the 1400m looks the right move. She’ll sit close to the speed from barrier three and prove hard to hold out.