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EXPERT RACING TIPS: ASCOT

Ascot Overview

Rail Position: 3m | Expected Track Condition: Good 4

Best Bets

Terry Leighton

BACK: #7 Sowar (WIN) for 2.5 units

Recent seconds to Bonjoy & Tin Chooks stand out for Sowar and should get a lovely run from the gate. May even get each way.

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5. Fortune’s Luck
2. Shaka Zulu
1. Mack Mack
3. Play With Desire

TERRY LEIGHTON’S PREVIEW

Thin old start to the day, but it should be an interesting speed battle. 11.19am with the easterly blowing at Ascot and no standout leader, there may be some reward on offer for the connections willing to take up the running. To me, Shaka Zulu is the obvious one to show some intent. One of his best wins was in front with at Pinjarra when he was super tough, knocking off the smart Pompey. From the awkward alley its either right back or forward for Jarrad Noske. Very hard to slot in, in races devoid of speed. If he goes forward I want to be on, if he goes back, I wouldn’t back him with your money. Somebody let me know.

Fortune’s Luck is ready to win.  The Yarralea form is good at the moment, and they cleared out from third in a recent Westspeed Platinum. Worry is the lack of tempo and her inability to step. Traffic? Mack Mack is one I suspect they wouldn’t mind showing some intent with, but both trial and race start for Tom Wolfe, he hasn’t got out cleanly. Despite running last, his effort was brilliant (one of 36 horses to be held up behind Exceltrain) and he looked a happy horse in the trial too. Steps cleanly and goes very close. Play With Desire improves up in trip.

Betting Strategy

No bet.

3. Yarralea
2. Rogues Point
4. My Mate
6. Celebrity Witness

TERRY LEIGHTON’S PREVIEW

The big grey enigma will once again roll to the top here (presuming CJP is happy letting him cross with Only Eyes For Him) and if this was your ‘old-school’ Ascot deck, where leaders with great maps and easterly’s simply won, then you’d be loading up. Problem is, it isn’t all that easy for leaders at the moment, especially when we are racing at the TRUE or 3m pads. Like the mile for him and, like the fact he will have a maiden winner on his back. In front a long way.

Yarralea will be popular (moreso if Fortune’s Luck wins the previous). Looks like 3 the fence which is always a bit sticky at Ascot. If you are considering Rogues Point, then you simply have to look at My Mate and Celebrity Witness who are both going far better than numerical form suggests for their new trainers. Is this the start My Mate rolls forward? Wins one soon, but needs to land closer.

Betting Strategy

No bet.

4. Count The Sessions
3. Above The Peg
8. Cerridwyn
2. Knot Secret

TERRY LEIGHTON’S PREVIEW

Gift Of The Heart and Tinsnip should ensure a good even tempo and with neither of those runners overly enthusing me, I think we can look for one midfield. Count The Sessions is the standout for me. He is no superstar, but since Holly Taylor has got him relaxing in his races, (use to be a tearaway leader), he is as consistent as they come. Ran 2nd to Yonga Lass, second up last prep and the first up run suggests he’s on a similar trajectory. Easy to mark him favourite.

Money keeps coming for Above The Peg and he keeps letting his supporters down. Has been afforded some near 10/10 rides, but just doesn’t let down. Has dropped points, gets Blake Shinn in the saddle so this really is his last chance. Money probably comes again. Knot Secret was a complete forget run. Not sure if dropping back 200m and the wide gate suit however – would love to see him stay at the mile. Hesket won a very funny old race after an avalanche of money. The form has actually stacked up, but that was a real career PB and this is a month later. Not for me, but respect. Bleecker Street fell in, in a weak Abrolohos Plate at Gero and draws awkward. Favourite at the time of writing, but nowhere near it in my market. Cerridwyn the real X factor for team Lane Not sure what to expect off an ordinary run 5 weeks ago.

Betting Strategy

BACK: #4 Count the Sessions (WIN) for 2 units

Her run second up last prep would win this, and she profiles to be on a near identical trajectory. Never overly fashionable with punters, so we always get a backable price.

7. Sowar
10. Odinaka
5. Pray Again
2. Media Baron

TERRY LEIGHTON’S PREVIEW

The fact that I’m making Sowar one of my better bets on the Quokka program, is a real testament to the training efforts of Mitchell Pateman.  He arrived at the stable as a 7 year old, with 61 runs under his belt and a 10.1L last at Albany, at his most recent effort.  15 days later and he’s arguably in career best form.  Incredible.  2nd to Bonjoy (cleared out from third).  3rd to Knot Secret/Cosmic Crusader.  2nd to Tin Chooks.  It’s proper form in a race devoid of proper form.  On the surface his effort off 3 days in the apprentices challenge wasn’t his best, but using those apprentice only races as a form reference will not serve you well.  Forget he went around.  Regular hoop Holly Watson is back in the saddle, he should land midfield and from there get every.

Also want to have something small on Odinaka.  He’s had a completely luckless prep and while the map does look ugly and he’ll need something to cart him up into it, he has been crying out for the 1800.  His 3rd behind Russian To The Bar & A Lot Of Good Men is a truer reflection of his ability than his last couple where he’s never been in the race.

Pray Again looks suited, but simply doesn’t win at Ascot.  His third behind Rokanori/Sisu Warrior two starts ago is a great form reference, but I’ve got far more trust in Sowar over the 1800 from similar spots in running.  Bondi’s Future is progressive, but has beaten nothing while Media Baron is turning back the clock a bit this prep.

Betting Strategy

BACK: #7 Sowar (WIN) for 2.5 units

Recent seconds to Bonjoy & Tin Chooks stand out for Sowar and should get a lovely run from the gate. May even get each way.

BACK: #10 Odinaka (WIN) for 0.5 units

Small spec Odinaka at a price. He is a far better horse than he’s been given the chance to show.

2. Generosity
8. Barney’s World
6. Capre Omnia
4. Krysanova

TERRY LEIGHTON’S SELECTIONS

Generosity will be super popular with punters.  This is a moderate 60+ sprint with a stack of ordinary speed and not only is she coming off one of the more impressive trial wins you’ll see, but she has the scalp of Ripcord under 12 months ago. This purely comes down to a case of what is an acceptable price for a get back runner at Ascot over the 1000m and for me that number is $2.5+. Not listed as a suggested bet below as we are currently short of that, but we’ll be watching.

Barney’s World was OK first up. Maps nicely here to stalk the plethora of speed and if the favourite finds trouble, looks most likely to take advantage. Capre Omnia was the target of wild money down the wrong side of the Pinjarra chute. Went super considering. Reckon they might have donated a good chunk of their Hesket money back. You do however simply have to respect the weight of that money and the form of the yard. Maps great and the 3 likely favourites are all only C1’s. Does the money come again?

Betting Strategy

No bet.

6. Twain’s Angel
2. Rope Them In
5. Playing Games
8. Brave Spirit

TERRY LEIGHTON’S SELECTIONS

Twain’s Angel will be extremely popular.  Has looked to have something in the shed at both race starts to date and the two recent trials suggest she certainly hasn’t gone backwards in her time out.  While it was interesting to see her step a little scratchy at her most recent trial, that appears to an anomaly rather than the norm.  There is bugger all speed in this and Madi Derrick should be able to pop out to lead or park on a horse like Playing Games, who likely spears over from the outside alley.  53kg’s just looks a gift weight.

Rope Them In isn’t that far behind the favourite in my market (they take up ~70% of my book).  I think he’s sort of got under the guard a bit with what he has done in his career to date.  A win on debut from last, a fourth to Super Smink/Almighty Class when deep the trip in the Belgrava, a 2nd to Investmentstrategy in a Fairetha.  He’s a proper horse.  Almighty Class and Super Smink head to a $5 million Quokka, this bloke heads to an 80k, 3yo sprint lacking depth.  Recent trial was significantly better from an aesthetic point of view to Super Smink, he could be as good as them?  The draw is horrific, though he did cop a similar alley with weight as a 2yo, worked like buggery to breeze and won fairly comfortably.  Giving Twain’s Angel 6kg’s looks a lot, but he could be really, really good.  Marked them 2.35 v 3.75 and won’t be losing on either.

Playing Games may lead and could be a better horse from that spot, Blue Lagoon was nommed for a Joey which may be a sign of how well he’s been going at home for Sue Olive, while Brave Spirit has returned in really good order.  Just maps horrible.

Betting Strategy

BACK: #6 Twain’s Angel (WIN) for 3.5 units

With Twains Angel and Rope Them In taking up ~70% of my book, I’m happy to back both for a result.

BACK: #2 Rope Them Up (WIN) to win 1.5 units

With Twains Angel and Rope Them In taking up ~70% of my book, I’m happy to back both for a result.

7. Golden Kathleen
6. Siren Assault
2. Bustling
8. Blue Rocket

TERRY LEIGHTON’S SELECTIONS

It’s not often the pre-barrier draw favourite plucks the inside alley and it suddenly makes the race a whole lot more interesting.  Bustling is completely deserving of favouritism for the 500k feature, but where does he end up from the inside alley?  His short career to date has all been about jumping and working fairly hard (he’s not overly quick to find his feet) to get himself into a prominent position.  Will he be as effective from 3 back the fence?  Will they try to work too hard to hold the leaders back and leave him susceptible late?  Will the 50/1 stablemate and likely leader take him far enough into the race?  Will I still be able to stand by race 7?  Fascinating aspect to the race and sure to divine opinions.  I’ll reserve my judgement until we see how that contentious inside pad plays in the first 6 races.

Siren Assault and Golden Kathleen are the pick of the girls.  Siren Assault has the scalp of Bustling (albeit Bustling gets 2kgs on her and was parked deep the trip that day) and her run in the Gimcrack was perhaps a little under-rated.  Never on the track, she always travelled the winner and won with a degree of ease.  It’s arguable had Golden Kathleen been afforded a more favourable passage and Michael Poy not opted to relive his youth on the bumper cars, it could have been a different result.  This race looks choc full of speed and William Pike going on Kathy could be worth panels for a horse likely to race second half.  I think she’s the one, but I want to see the track first.

Blue Rocket the blowout for quaddie players.  She beat Siren Assault on debut in real quick time when allowed to jump and roll on the fence.  Hasn’t been afforded that luxury since but should find that position here.  2yo’s and fluency is a thing.

Betting Strategy

No bet.

10. Oscar’s Fortune
1. Overpass
8. Amelia’s Jewel
2. King Of Sparta

TERRY LEIGHTON’S SELECTIONS

At its inception, I thought ‘The Quokka’ was an absolute stinker of a name for a race of this magnitude, but I’ve since come to realise I’m a negative prick and I have nothing but love for the name, the concept and all the fanfare that comes with it.  I don’t even care if I do my ass on the race (that last parts a lie).

The closest W.A. would get to seeing $20 million bucks of collective prize money in one place would be if Bob Peters forgot to empty his trouser pockets before attending the track.

I love this race from a speed map point of view and it’s the aspect I most want to focus on (drinking game; drink every time I use the word ‘map’).  Malkovich will lead, Overpass will breeze and Oscar’s Fortune will have the choice of the back he wants, which we all assume will be Overpass.  It looks a fairly clear cut first three in running.  King Of Sparta and Ripcord both draw super and should be right in behind Oscar’s Fortune (there is some chance we actually don’t have a leaders back runner here).  This is where the map is a little bit more interesting.  Drawn in 8, 11 & 12 are Almighty Class, Wild Belle & Amelia’s Jewel.  I think it is presumed one of those 3 will lead up a 3 wide line, but who?  The Almighty Class team are desperate for cover and have drawn the best of the 3, so should be able to land in the moving line 4 pairs back.  Wild Belle has arguably shown she is a better chaser and isn’t the most fluent stepper, so why would Steve Parnham try to urge her around the field just to cart up a 3 wide line and run near last?  That leaves Damian Lane and Amelia’s Jewel who will be praying one of the above leads up a strong 3 wide line and gives her the cart into it.  I suspect Damian will want to land as close as possible, but the spots look scarce if both Wild Belle & Almighty Class tuck into that moving line.

Amelia’s Jewel is the best horse in this race and if she drew a gate with a favourable map, I’d likely be happy taking sub $3.  But we aren’t betting on the best horse, we are betting on this race and this shape and she will need a few things to go her way post barrier draw (unfortunately for her, they only did one this year).

Oscar’s Fortune is the way I am going.  While he was beaten by Overpass in the Winterbottom, he did have the back of a horse stopping, while Overpass was off and going on the turn.  The race was won and lost between the 400 and 200.  William Pike should have Overpass’ back this time and can even stay on his back for a portion of the straight if he wants to be really cute.  Very little between them, but we get each way and a slightly bigger price Oscar’s which sees me lean that way.  Plenty of respect for King Of Sparta who has a bit of an unknown about him heading West and should get a very similar run to Oscar’s, while Bella Nipotina will have to win from behind Amelia’s Jewel.  There is a world where Amelia’s Jewel gives her the cart into it, in a 3 deep line and effectively wins her the race.

With a 10/10 from D. Lane, Amelia’s Jewel will win the race, but I simply can’t go past the speed map for Oscar’s Fortune.  While I’m not usually an each way player at the low 2’s a hole, considering the map and the reliability of this animal (finished top 2 @ all 8 starts), anything north of even money the place will get me.  Map map map map map.

Betting Strategy

BACK: #10 Oscars Fortune (WIN) for 2 units

On paper, Oscar’s Fortune could not have asked for a better speed map. Should hold the back of Overpass, who will take him a long way to winning this. For a horse yet to finish out of the top 2, we get an each way price.

BACK: #10 Oscars Fortune (PLACE) for 2 units

On paper, Oscar’s Fortune could not have asked for a better speed map. Should hold the back of Overpass, who will take him a long way to winning this. For a horse yet to finish out of the top 2, we get an each way price.

6. Gemma’s Son
15. Searchin’ Roc’s
16. Laced Up Heels
2. Western Empire

TERRY LEIGHTON’S SELECTIONS

I spent about 4 hours on this race and ended up with 5 live chances, which the market basically agrees with. Probably could have looked at a better allocation of time.

Phanta looks your fairly obvious leader. I don’t think Mood Swings will have the speed to cross (or even breeze considering he is 1600 back to 1200) and I don’t see any others with huge intent to own the top. He is known as a 1200-1400 Belmont/wet track horse, but I don’t think he’s copped a map of this simplicity and softness in a race like this at Ascot. Big watch on that inside pad.

Gemma’s Son is simply a different horse at his last 3. Beat Oscar’s Fortune on merit in the Bluff Knoll, before being ridden a little bit quieter in the Rock Magic and Roma Cup. Felt both efforts were still super and love the fact that Bluff Knoll winning hoop, Shaun McGruddy is reunited with him.  Would love to see him land in the breeze here and make it a real test of toughness from the top of the straight – that is how he beat Oscar. From a price POV, I am expecting him to get a little wobbly in betting as he isn’t as fashionable as a lot of these other runners. Won’t be suggesting a bet as the current price doesn’t get me and a drift will dictate my staking, but at $10+ late, I’ll make him my best result.

Western Empire is the great unknown. Grant Williams comments about him not being as smooth as he used to be didn’t exactly fill me with confidence, but his trial behind the super impressive Marj winner, Baby Paris did. If you go back to pre- Western Empire’s all conquering Railway Stakes campaign, he was beating horses like Graceful Girl (that years Winterbottom Stakes winner) comfortably in sprinting trials. 80% of him, might be better than 110% of most of these. Fascinating runner, I don’t know what the market will do with him, but I feel like a $5.50 eq favourite with Gemma’s Son and Laced Up Heels is a fair spot for him in my very loose book.

Laced Up Heels won her most recent, but could almost be considered a little disappointing considering the ride she got/manner of win? Saloon Bar was the better run and he’d be $12+ here. I do think she is better suited with some weight off her back and the lower draw however. Think this map may allow Chris to ride a cute race from the inside alley and pick the gaps as they come. Nobody is riding with more confidence than Chris Parnham.

Searchin’ Roc’s is the fifth of my live chances. Her run in the Pinjarra Classic when deep the trip and never giving up the fight was anything. Can sprint. Has really good gate speed, just needs a steer from the biggest positive this horse gets – Damian Lane. Not completely impossible she can sit 3 deep the trip, outside the speed and win this. Feel is that the money will come hard for her.

Red Can Man has been given none his last couple – maps the back of Phanta which looks position A. Comfort Me and Hot Zed are better than what they showed in the Roma (Hot Zed in fairness, did get knocked over and finishes 1-2L closer if not). Ginger Baker has trialled the house down for the new yard, though may need 1400+, while Magnificent Andy was a big winner at the barrier draw. Cracking race.

Betting Strategy

No bet.

10. Wicked Venom
7. The Boss Lady
1. Snow Prince
8. Little Strawberry

TERRY LEIGHTON’S SELECTIONS 

The Boss Lady has copped some pretty good setups to have a career record of 4 wins from 6 outings, but she also had to dig pretty deep from a very tough spot to win fresh. I suspect the 1000 is well short of her best, so the rise to 1100m and soft draw (expect she lands handier), make her an easy on top selection for the father and son combo to leave Quokka day a winner. Purely looking at a direct line through the horse who ran 2nd to The Boss Lady (Close Talker), you can make a case that Wicked Venom may well represent some value. While it is a very simplistic comparison, The Boss Lady carried 3kg’s more than Close Talker and beat her by a lip. Wicked Venom, at Close Talker’s prior run, carried 2.5 more than her and beat her by over a length, going away. It was a really emphatic win, and we continually see these three-year old’s beating up on the older horses at this level. Wicked Venom will be roughly 4 times the price of The Boss Lady. No brainer to make him the better of the two results.

Snow Prince is going super, but doesn’t get the same map he got at his last two. Think the bubble might burst here. I don’t think Thomas Magnum wins with 60. Rupert’s Empire is drawn sticky. Pot Shot is at a career cross-road, but has the right gate/jock to be competitive. Little Strawberry a real POD runner fresh. Likely goes back and will need to finish over them, but no doubt has been set for this.

Wicked Venom & The Boss Lady for me. Could even look at Wicked Venom each way if not seeing 3.5+ The Boss Lady. All about price.

 

Betting Strategy

BACK: #10 Wicked Venom (WIN) for 1 unit

Beat a reasonable one in really emphatic manner at his most recent and I don’t think the market has respected that enough. Always happy speculating on the 3yo’s against the older horses.

BACK: #7 The Boss Lady (WIN) for 1 unit

She’s 4 from 6, drawn well, gets a world leading hoop on and should only be better suited at the 1100. Knows how to win.

Ascot Racecource WA Overview

SUMMARY

Ascot Racecourse is located on the banks of the Swan River on the outskirts of the city of Perth, and has been the home of the Western Australian Turf Club (now operating as Perth Racing) since it hosted its first race meeting back in 1852. Perth Racing is the only metropolitan race club in WA and also operates the city’s other racecourse at Belmont Park, with the two venues hosting a combined 90 meetings per season. A trio of Group 1 races in summer are the headline acts, culminating in the Kingston Town Classic named in honour of the champion racehorse who won 14 times at racing’s highest level, including three Cox Plates in a row from 1980-82. For Ascot race tips on the Kingston Town Classic and all meetings during Perth’s summer and winter carnivals, make sure you bookmark the Betfair Hub.

FAST FACTS

A notable feature of Ascot racecourse is its imposing statue of local hero Northerly, the two-time Cox Plate winner who became known as the ‘Fighting Tiger’ due to his tenacity in races.

KEY EVENTS

The Perth Summer Racing Carnival is the highlight of the year-round action at Ascot. Featuring a trio of Group 1 contests – the Winterbottom Stakes, Railway Stakes and Kingston Town Classic – the eight-week carnival opens with the Group 3 Northerly Stakes in mid-October, and closes with the Group 2 Perth Cup which is traditionally held on New Year’s Day. Ascot hosts every meeting during the summer carnival and also stages all eight fixtures which form the winter carnival, opening with the Group 3 WA Oaks for fillies. Whether it’s a Group race or a regular Saturday metro meeting, you can trust our team of tipsters to deliver their Ascot race tips on the Betfair Hub.

COURSE PROFILE

The circumference of Ascot racecourse is 2022m with a relatively short home straight measuring just 300m, but due to its steep incline it presents a true test of a horse’s stamina particularly in staying races. The triangular course has three distinct turns, including a sweeping curve from the 1600m to the 1000m mark. Depending on the strength and direction of the wind coming in off the river, leaders can be advantaged at Ascot. Betfair’s team of experts stay across the track conditions as they bring you their Ascot best bets throughout the year.

HISTORY

Regarded as the grand old lady of Australian racing, Ascot (originally called Perth Racecourse) has been hosting meetings since the formation of the West Australian Turf Club in 1852. The inaugural edition of the Perth Cup was run in 1887, when it was run over two miles (the race distance was changed to 2400m in 2009).

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