Ascot Race 4 | Sir Ernest Lee-Steere  | 1400m Open SWP LR  | 6.00pm

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 with 36c forecast for Friday and 34c for Saturday. There is a 50% chance of some rain 1-5mm on Saturday morning, but I wouldn’t expect it to affect the track too much.

Expect the track to race well, with ground from the fence to five horses off suitable in the straight. On pace / handy runners will have a natural racing advantage.


WFA Performance Ratings - Winning Benchmark

Based on the lead up form of contenders, a rating in the 91-94 range at the weights will be required to win this race.


Speed and Tactics

Salubrious (3) should lead from an inside draw with War Room (5) also pressing forward.

The pressure / speed in the race will be largely influenced by tactics on In Love With Paris (8).  If jockey Staeck presses forward with intent then the speed is likely to be genuine. If he looks to slot in behind then Salubrious  can control at a below average speed.

Early Pace Rating: Below average to genuine

Late Pace Rating: Below average to above average

Best Suited: Lead to 3 lengths of the lead.


Race Assessment

1. Gaulois: Forecast 90 - 93. Assessed $3.20

He’s been caught wide in his last two starts at Flemington and then the WA Guineas a fortnight ago and still battled on admirably. His ratings are right up to the winning standard of this race and the big key is that from barrier two he looks to get a much more favourable trip just off the lead. That sets him up nicely to run a new peak here.

8. Truly Belong: Forecast 90 - 92. Assessed $3.50

She’s certainly the flashing light horse here, coming off three 1200m runs this preparation where she has finished powerfully with excellent late sectionals, which suggest she’s crying out for 1400m.  A new peak looks very likely in this race and she’ll definitely need that to win… at least +2L on her previous best. The problem is that the market has priced her like she’s guaranteed to make even more improvement than that. She’s definitely a top chance, but $2.20 in current markets is incredibly short.

2. Salubrious: Forecast 88 - 94. Assessed $5.00

He was plain in the WA Guineas last start, but he did have to lead at a strong speed over the mile and the combination of those two factors proved too much for him. His two prior ratings, including one at this track and distance when 0.5L fourth against older horses at WFA are capable of winning this race and the potential of getting a comfortable lead gives him the right scenario to bounce back to somewhere near that level. I can’t be confident he will bounce back, but if he does then he’s definitely going to be in the finish and the market is offering the right price to gamble.

6. War Room: Forecast 89 - 91. Assessed $10.00

Comes off two stylish wins out of town with figures that are certainly competitive here. Another step of improvement could put him somewhere in the finish.

4. Reykjavik: Forecast 88 - 90. Assessed $14.00

He was held up most of the straight in the WA Guineas last start. His best is just below the winning standard needed here, but it’s certainly competitive and a new peak is not out of the question.

7. Portalian: 80 - 88. Assessed $51.00

His best is well below the standard needed here and even allowing for a new peak, he’s still a significant longshot.

5. In Love With Paris: Forecast 84 - 87. Assessed $101.00

Ratings are well below the standard needed here and he looks some risk at 1400m.

3. Turbo Power: Forecast 79 - 89. Assessed $201.00

Two runs this preparation have been poor at big odds. He looks outclassed.

9. Haya: Forecast 80 - 85. Assessed $201.00

Won a York Maiden last start but would need to improve 5+ lengths to get into the competitive zone here.


Betting Strategy

On current prices it’s hard to see any edge in the top two chances, Gaulois and Truly Belong. The value looks to be gambling on Salubrious to rebound to somewhere near his best, dropping back to 1400m with the prospect of an easier lead than he had in the WA Guineas.

 BACK (WIN) Salubrious at >$5.00 – Stake 0.8% of your total bank.


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