This week I’ll be taking a look at two meetings. I’ll obviously be taking the usual look at Doomben. I will also be running my eye over Ascot.
I’m heading over to Perth for Super Saturday and am quite excited to not only experience Western Australia’s premier race meeting but to also see one of my favourite horses in the flesh, The Cleaner.
I’m flying over Friday morning so it’s doubtful that I will be able to do any updates for scratchings on Saturday.
The track is rated on Thursday a Good 3 with the rail in the inside position. There is a chance of showers Friday and Saturday but I doubt they will have an effect on the track. I would imagine the worst case scenario would be a dead track but good looks the go.
I’m going with the very well bred Ningbo (11) in the opening event for 2 year olds over 1000m. This filly is out of a group 1 winning sire and a listed winning mare. She debuts here on the back of a 4.8 length trial win. It’s time that day was slightly better than most of the older horses over the same trip. She draws barrier 6 for William “Pikey” Pike which should see her get a good run. Other hopes to Snatch ‘N’ Grab (2), Lord Conrad (1) and Chanzig (4).
Arcadia Rose (5) was a forget run 1st up. Pikey gave her a beautiful run in transit before trying to take the rails run at the cutaway in the straight. As can be the case at Ascot, the leader moved over blocking Arcadia Rose’s run when she appeared to be looming large. All hope was gone at that point and she dropped out to finish 2.6 lengths back in 8th. Once again she’ll get a great run here. Pikey will be able to position her just behind the leaders in the box seat. The blinkers go on for the 1st time which suggests she’ll be raring to go. Her 2nd up record is very good with a win and 2nd from 2 2nd up efforts. Other hopes to Gigante (9), Nardini (10) and High Limit (6).
There should be reasonable speed in this 1200m race with a number of these liking to race forward. I’m going with one of those that likes to do it from the front in Fuld’s Bet (7). This lightly raced filly has looked a nice type in her 4 starts. She’s had a freshen up after finishing 2nd in the Belgravia Stakes over 1200m and 5th in the Burgess Queen Stakes over 1400m. On each occasion she led the field up and did really well to keep fighting to the line. From barrier 2 Peter “Knuckles” Knuckey will be able to take up the lead or box seat. I get the feeling that many of these may be able to go with her early but she has the ability to sustain that speed for much longer. Other hopes to Hobart Jones (1), Liberty’s Gem (6) and Django (2).
The Carbine Club of W.A. Stakes looks a very good race. I’m going with Real Love (11). The way she finished off last start over 1500m was sensational. Pikey settled her towards the back before circling 8 wide on the turn and sprinting with gusto. Last campaign she placed in the Oaks and Derby proving that she is a class animal. She’s drawn wide in barrier 10 but will settle back so that won’t be a massive problem. Other hopes to Black Heart Bart (7), Miss Rose De Lago (10) and Express Service (3).
Cool Trade (2) was on fire last campaign, winning all 5 starts. She resumed recently for a 1.5 length 4th over this trip. She had a slightly elevated heart rate that day. She’s drawn barrier 11 but there doesn’t look to be too many horses that will go forward so I think Patrick Carbery can slot her in 3rd or 4th. She has a super record at the journey and likes the track. Other hopes to Hussy By Choice (1), My Sister Lil (7) and Vampi Lass (11).
Disposition (1) has done nothing wrong in his 4 career starts and has the W.A. Guineas at his mercy. He’s won all 4 in emphatic style. Last start over 1400m here he settled back before unwinding with a strong run in the straight to fly past his rivals. The way he finished that race suggests the 1600m here will be right up his alley. He draws barrier 2 for Pikey which gives him options. Other hopes to Say Geronimo (8), Delicacy (11) and Tonto (4).
Our first Group 1 of the day – The Winterbottom Stakes. Damian Oliver can give Angelic Light (13) the best ride here from barrier 5. He can possie up just behind the leaders before unloading in the straight. She is in excellent and has been close up behind the nation’s best sprinters. Last start she went within a whisker of beating Terravista in the Manikato. Lankan Rupee, Buffering and others were behind her. She was less than a length behind them the start prior and 3 starts back she defeated Lankan Rupee. Solid form for this. Other hopes to Moment Of Change (1), Sidestep (2) and Eclair Big Bang (8).
The Group 1 Railway Stakes is the race I’m really looking forward to. I’ve been a fan of The Cleaner (1) for some time and can’t wait to see him do his thing in the flesh. Besides the fact he’s one of my favourites, I think he’s up to his eyeballs in this. He’s been racing in some top quality races in Melbourne which should place him in tremendous stead here. Last start he went down by a bit over a length to Hucklebuck, a horse flying. Two starts back he led the Cox Plate field up and despite getting overtaken in the straight he still fought on to only go down by 3.4 lengths. That was a high pressure race so to hang in there is a top sign. The 1600m is his pet trip. He’s won 8 of 14 and placed in 3 others. He has won up to 2150m so you know he’ll be strong at the end. The only concern is the fact that he apparently didn’t travel well. Word is he settled well though. Can any of these match motors with him for the full race? Other hopes to Alma’s Fury (4), Smokin’ Joey (3) and Respondent (16).
The final race of the day is over 2100m. Our starting point is the Ascot Gold Cup run here 2 weeks ago over 1800m. I don’t think I’ve seen a situation before where the same field goes around again the following start. 15 of the 18 nominated here met in the Ascot Gold Cup. I’m going with my old mate Pikey in the last and his ride Rebelson (7). He was enormous in the Ascot Gold Cup when finishing 2nd by 3/4 of a length. He took up the running at a pretty strong pace. To still be right in the finish was a credit to his toughness. Besides Pop Culture, he beat the rest of these by close to 3 lengths. With a quieter ride from Pikey he’ll be charging home once again. Other hopes to Son Of Something (14), Bedamijo (8) and Pop Culture (2).
Best Bets Ascot
Race 6 – Disposition (1)
Race 9 – Rebelson (7)
The track as of Thursday morning was rated a slow 7 with the rail out 3m. Warm weather is again on the cards which opens us up to the chance of late thunderstorms. This was never more evident than Wednesday afternoon with big falls around the place. It’s a tough call on what state the track will be in given the drying effect of hot days and potential for rain in the afternoons. Dead-slow seems the most likely scenario.
I’ll go with the tried and tested 2 year old here in Frequendly (1). You can’t knock her form. She won her trial before winning her 1st 2 race starts. Last start she won by 8.8 lengths if you don’t mind. She’s drawn barrier 7 but again you’d think Brad Stewart will be able to get her across into a forward position relatively easily. Unless 1 of these 1st starters is a world beater, I can’t see her getting rolled. Other hopes to Cookie’s Carioca (2), Meet George Jetson (7) and Patronizing (4).
Shiraz Attack (8) really hit the line last start when winning over 1350m here 2 weeks ago. She steps up to 1600m here which going on the way she finished off last time, won’t be a problem. She’s drawn wide in barrier 9 but her pattern of racing is to settle back so I’m sure Robbie Fradd can find a position without working too hard. She’s always been a horse that promised a lot, maybe she’s turned the corner and is ready to deliver. Other hopes to Bush Aviator (1), Lock’s Legend (5) and Royal Jester (6).
Sporting Page (1) was run down late last start when finishing 3rd to Dream Of Slips. That horse has since won again and in Sporting Page’s favour is that it drops back from 1200m to 1110m. It’s a distance that the horse has won 3 of 5. From barrier 3 James Orman who claims 3kg will be able to lead or box seat. That will give him every possible chance to get the win. Other hopes to Four Strings (3), Glenbawn Dame (7) and Warhogg (9).
Toby Edmonds has a few Segenhoe Thoroughbreds horses transferred to his yard from Sydney going around and I think one of them Lesley’s Choice (5) can win this no metro win race over 1110m. This horse has form around some nice types. Last start she finished just over 2 lengths from Spy Decoder, a horse that finished 2nd on Cup day at Flemington Yes this is short of what she normally races however that could work in her favour. From barrier 5 Jim Byrne can take up the lead and prove very hard to pass. Other hopes to Harmonized Feeling (9), Treatmelikealady (10) and Foretoken (8).
Thankfully there’s 9 races on the card. Otherwise this BM75 over 2200m would be the 1st leg of the quaddie. Thank god for small mercies. Black Ninja (1) put the sword to his rivals last start when winning by 3.3 lengths over this trip. After settling at the back, Chris Munce didn’t like the speed and took off 1000m out. It showed a real contempt for his rivals. This field isn’t that much tougher and he will race with less weight thanks to the claim for Travis Wolfgram. Wolfman will be able to settle the horse around midfield or better from barrier 5. His record at the track and distance is a perfect 3 from 3. He’ll be hard to run down in the straight. Other hopes to Hora Sexta (2), Paraggi (4) and Salerio (3).
I really liked the effort of Flying Riddle (6) last time out. He was resuming and really flew home to win comfortably over this trip. He rises in class but drops massively in weight. With the claim for Cassie Schmidt he’ll go from 58kg to 52.5kg. He has a great 2nd up record never being out of the placings in 3 tries. Barrier 8 could be a little awkward but I think Schmidt will be able to get into a forward position as the speed doesn’t look that great. Other hopes to Seeking More (1), The Storeman (3) and Trail Boss (2).
Freezethemillions (5) has always been a horse that promised something but has rarely delivered. She has only won the 1 race from 11 starts. However she has been placed in listed company and was 4th in a Group 2. Last start she finished off nicely despite racing all over the place like a mad dog shit. The step up to 1200m here will suit in a race where there looks to be plenty of speed. Slick Rik McMahon can settle midfield from barrier 2 and will hopefully storm home for the win. Other hopes to Lush Belle (6), Outback Saga (7) and Yeager (2).
The Keith Noud Quality looks a competitive race over 1200m. I’m a big fan of Love Rocks (3) and that’s the way I’ll be going here. He resumed with an easy win carrying 59.5kg and looked to have come back in great form. He then finished 3rd at the Sunshine Coast over 1000m which wasn’t a bad effort. The 2 that beat him, Rocky King and Adebisi are out and out speedsters and they ran track record time over the unsuitable trip. Back to 1200m here is more to his liking and he’s undefeated in 2 starts at the trip. He gets regular rider Anthony Allen back on and has drawn barrier 2 which will give him a beautiful run. There is plenty of speed in this race but this guy has shown an ability to be able to niggled at and still pull away so that doesn’t worry me. Other hopes to Benny’s Buttons (1), Rocket To Glory (4) and Primal Flight (11).
I’m a little concerned about backing Londehero (2) here given his penchant for settling well back. However the step up to 1350m counters those concerns. Last start he absolutely savaged the line when running on from a clear last to go down by just a half length. An extra 150m and a decent speed should enable him to gobble them up. I would like Travis Wolfgram to settle a little closer than normal but the wide gate probably prevents that. Other hopes to Cracco (3), Southerly (1) and Old Feeling (14).
Best Bets Doomben
Race 4 – Lesley’s Choice (5)
Race 6 – Flying Riddle (6)