Ascot Race 6 | Ted Van Heemst Stakes | 2100m G2 WFA  | 7.25pm

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 with the rail out 3m. With warm sunny weather forecast for Friday (33c) and Saturday (32c), the meeting should be run on a genuine Good 3 surface.

Expect the track to race very evenly and give all horses a chance.

Speed and Tactics

Trap For Fools (6) is the designated leader here and all Alan Kennedy needs to do early and work across Material Man (5), with a distinct lack of any other pressure in the race.

Given the small field, it shouldn’t take long for runners to find their positions and that should see the pace back off and end up in the slow to moderate range, with a much faster sprint home.

Early Pace Rating: Slow to moderate

Late Pace Rating: Solid to fast

Best Suited: Lead to 2 lengths of the lead.

WFA Performance Ratings - Winning Benchmark

The 1800m Kingston Town is the strongest lead up form to this race, which could put the winning mark for this race in the 99-100.5 range, consistent with the last start peak runs of Pounamu and Material Man.

It is possible that they regress a little off that race though, so taking a broader view of the more common level of form in this race, we could see the winner rate somewhere around the 97 level.

Race Assessment

1. Pounamu: Forecast 97 - 100.5. Assessed $2.60

His WFA win in the G1 Kingston Town had a stack of merit, stamped by fast time and strong sustained sectional speed. His last start 100.5 is the best form leading into this race and he has a number of other ratings around the 97 level to support that. The slow to moderate expected pace is an entirely different scenario here, but he’s excelled under those conditions before. One of Pounamu’s big assets is the ability to sprint a very fast last 600m rating, which will be one of the keys to victory in this race. From Barrier 4 in the small field I expect him to be no more than three lengths away in the run, which is much closer than the 6-7 lengths he has been off them at the 600m in big fields from wide draws in his last two starts. The strength of his finishing effort last start and his other career start at 1800m suggests that 2100m will be no problem at all and combined with his overall consistency and ratings quality, he looks the horse to beat.

2. Material Man: Forecast 97 - 99.5. Assessed $3.30

He’s been building nicely this preparation and was only 0.5L behind Pounamu in the Kingston Town last start, earning a new peak 99.6 rating. He’s proven at this longer trip and should race more forward here, potentially sitting just off Trap For Fools all the way. He’s a top winning chance.

6. Trap For Fools: Forecast 94.5 - 97. Assessed $6.50

He’s now won six in a row after his win in the 2200m ATA Stakes on Wednesday. His ratings have been remarkably consistent under hcp conditions, but we perhaps started to see some limitation to those figures when he carried 57kg on Wednesday and was almost run down. Here he steps up to a stronger class race and under WFA conditions must carry 59kg. His best ratings around the 95 level at WFA are very unlikely to be good enough to win this race, so he faces the task of needing a new peak. The quick three day back up and the fact that he’s likely to control the race in front create a scenario that could see him reach new heights, but his price also has to reflect the fact that his form at WFA is not as strong as the top two chances. He’s currently $3.80 in the market, but I can’t possibly get him any shorter than $6.50.

7. Cosmic Storm: Forecast 92.5 - 97. Assessed $12.00

His form reads poorly, but he has been getting a mile back in the strongest lead up races and running okay with ratings in the 92.5 to 94.5 range. Prior to that he’s been a consistent performer in the 96-97.5 range and with the prospect of not getting so far back here due to the smaller field size, he could make improvement and run a competitive race. He’s certainly not hopeless in this.

3. Zarantz: Forecast 93 - 96.5. Assessed $13.00

He’s had a weird prep starting off at 1600m, then back to 1400m and up to 2200m last start when he was 3.8L behind Trap For Fools. His 92.4 rating from that run is well off the standard at WFA here, but he does have a number of higher ratings in the past and with the benefit of that last start run, could make good improvement.

4. Dark Musket: 89.5 - 92.5. Assessed $101.00

His last start rating of 89.5 and even his 12-month peaks of 91.5 to 92.5 are a number of lengths below the minimum winning standard in this. It would be a massive surprise if he could be anywhere in the finish.

5. Sunset Superman: Forecast 85 - 90. Assessed $751.00

His ratings are consistently around the 85 level at WFA, with a 12-month peak of 88. He’s 6-8 lengths off the winning standard here and totally outclassed.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Pounamu WIN at >$2.60 – Stake 1.6% of your total bank.

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