EXPERT RACING TIPS: ASCOT

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Find a range of betting tips and expert advice available on Western Australia thoroughbred racing from Betfair analyst Terry Leighton. Racing tips are online now.


ASCOT | 28 JANUARY

Rail Position: +6m | Track Condition: Good 4

Another Saturday, another scorcher. At the time of writing, the forecast max is 39 degrees, which is a few ticks below where we were for last weekends transferred meeting. Confident we’ll get some twilight racing out West.

After racing at the TRUE position on Monday and copping an absolutely bog-hole of a fence, the rail skips the 3-metre pad and goes straight to 6 metres. That would suggest that certain parts of this track are absolutely brown bread. In fact, around about 40% of the Ascot meetings this season have had big queries on the strength of that rail. I sound like a broken record week in, week out – but assess the pattern and bet accordingly, especially late.

My prices will be in brackets next to each runner, with the below selections not purely in market order, but also with some thought (but not exclusively) to the value comparing my price v current market.


BEST BACK OF THE DAY: Race 6 | #5 Miss Conteki

The Miss Conteki ($2.25) show rolls on. She’s now 9 from 13 and still looks some way off her mark. Scary for her opposition. Settles rearward, but with normal luck in running should be sailing past them again. Can we see some $3+ late?


Race 1 | KEY RUNNERS

6. My Baby Blue Jean
3. Policiere
2. Beads
1. He’s A Sizzler

My Baby Blue Jean ($2.95) is the new kid on the block, in what’s become a regular clash between Beads ($3.60) and He’s A Sizzler ($8).

Happy to side with the exciting Adam Durrant trained filly after breaking her maiden status in style, winning by a tick under 3L under a strangehold. The second horse, Civvy Street came out midweek knocking off some reasonable types (Arcadia Grace, Probity, Forever Dreaming) to give that form a bit more oomph.

Despite Beads & He’s A Sizzler having the runs on the board, it can be advantageous to be the up and comer as you are yet to earn the weight, you no doubt will end up lugging. Gets 5.5kg’s on two horses deep into their prep’s.

Policiere ($5) is a rare William Pike mount missed by the market. Forget she went around second and third up last prep. Not impossible she leads them up, but I will be hoping CJP can find the rail and dictate from there.

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) — My Baby Blue Jean


Race 2 | KEY RUNNERS

2. Alien From Mars
4. Halatorion
1. Express Time
3. Requisition

Bob Turrell could not have hoped for a better fresh assignment for Alien From Mars ($3.55) and if she’s anywhere near her best, she’s going to be awfully hard to hold out. Racing first up in September off a 7 month break, she carried 60 kegs when knocking off a few reasonable types who went on to make that form look OK (Savage One, Excelestial). This isn’t any harder and she carries 2.5kg’s less. Bit of guess work/trust on the trainer’s behalf, but she’s worth a ticket in a thin race.

Halatorion ($5.40) has gone from strength to strength this campaign, which can only really be attributed to the impact of the new ownership group #growupbrad. The drop back to 1000 is a major negative as he really is racing like he wants every inch of the 1200m. Hard to knock Otheroneson & Captain Sharmane form in a race of this nature however.

Express Time ($3.55) is the obvious, who should appreciate the drop back to 1000m and be afforded a soft lead. Just get the feeling he might be putting in some short ones late with the 61 on his back.


Race 3 | KEY RUNNERS

1. Galaxy Affair
6. Playhouse Patron
4. Hang Glider
2. Cruise To Victory

It’s difficult to analyse the 2yo races at the best of times, but when links to the trials are down for weeks, it becomes a near impossibility.

Do your job, fix the website and I’ll try tip a winner.


Race 4 | KEY RUNNERS

3. Trade War
2. Phanta
1. Kendel’s Mee Dad
5. Brother Paddy

A race where the integrity of the rail will be key, as will the plethora of roadblocks between the horse likely first – Phanta ($2.90) and last – Trade War ($2.90).

The only thing Trade War has done wrong this campaign, is an inability to draw a gate. Has run into a red hot Cheval De Vaga at his last two, when unable to get the back of anything meaningful to bring him right into the race. He’s ended up doing the bullocking work from well before the turn on both occasions. Connections will be hoping for a change of fortune in that sense, but this does look like a race full of walkers.

The money came HARD for Phanta second up, in a huge front running performance behind Eeyore Wayz. As long as Jay Dee ($71) doesn’t go mad on his outside, he should get an easier time of it and be in front for a long way.

Kendel’s Mee Dad ($7.30) is low flying. I’ve been waiting for him to get up to the 1400m – unfortunately, he just runs into two sharp ones. Keep following.


Race 5 | KEY RUNNERS

1. Sentimental Queen
5. Sluice Box
3. Allez Allez
4. Fashion Queen

From a good draw, Sentimental Queen ($3.20) would have been a ~$2.20 type standout on the program, but the gate does make things interesting. She was huge first up behind Billy Ain’t Silly and with the well utilised claim only goes up 3.5kg’s, dropping from a 72+ to a 60+. In a race devoid of speed, do they roll the dice and send her forward?

These type of messy races with no definitive speed, can often lead to bunched fields on the bend, with a last man standing/short-sharp sprint capable of getting the job done. A little bit left of centre, but Sluice Box ($9.50) could well be that runner. Forget he went around first up, he’s a far better horse with the senior booked. Brad Rawiller will just look to keep him out of trouble rearward and have the final say. Finished second to Sentimental Queen and Notorious One with seniors on last campaign. Not impossible at around the $20 mark.

You could make a case for the majority of these, but it’s hard to get overly enthused about a race without a defined leader/speed map. I do want to be on Sentimental Queen, but feel I need to see $4+ to have a bet with the queries on the map. If we don’t see that, then a little Sluice Box spec will probably get me.


Race 6 | KEY RUNNERS

8. Cheval De Vaga
2. Ginger Baker
3. Bruce Almighty
6. Chili Is Hot

How long until the Cheval De Vaga ($3) bubble finally pops? He’s arguably getting better with each run and while is a big step up in class, he could not have been any more impressive with how he held off Trade War over the final 100m a fortnight ago. Maps to follow Bruce Almighty ($5) across and while this is harder, he gets 5.5kg’s less on his back to make up for the rise in class and loss of William Pike. Hard to bet against.

Bruce Almighty should rail and run and is an honest gelding who tends to hold form when he finds it, while Ginger Baker ($5) looks to have come back even better. The map looks great for both. The market’s got this race right.


Race 7 | KEY RUNNERS

2. Brooklyn Pier
7. Strathmore Rose
8. King’s Authority
5. Sassy Trader

Your three likely front runners – Acromantula ($14), Sassy Trader ($7.25) & Mood Swings ($8.50) all come into this assignment with protective footwear, making it hard to dive into any of them with confidence. While Acromantula DID wear his for his last start victory, he won’t cross and find the fence here which makes this an awfully tough assignment. Were Sassy Trader’s pads on in a recent impressive trial? Don’t know. If so, they become less of an issue here. Always fun when us punters have to guess.

Brooklyn Pier ($4.80) is harder to catch than Covid in North Korea, but this looks his setup. Big three back when deep v Island Charm, before never giving up the ghost behind Acromantula (almost impossible to catch when finding rail) and This’ll Testya (since franked form). Most recent outing was at the unsuitable 1200m, when never getting cover. Gets cover here, weight and gate swing on Acromantula. Suspect he’ll be a backable price throughout.

Strathmore Rose ($4.80) is the other price worth monitoring. Was well backed first up when she never got running room in the straight. Has the pace to off-set an awkward gate and land forward of midfield.

With the queries on the speed horses, we’ll focus on two who should be stalking and ready take advantage of any weakness.


Race 8 | KEY RUNNERS

5. Miss Conteki
10. Iseered Iseered
12. Jericho Missile
3. Floyd

The Miss Conteki ($2.25) show rolls on. She’s now 9 from 13 and still looks some way off her mark. Scary for her opposition.

There should be no shortage of speed in this, with Kenyluck ($71) and Clairvoyance ($9.50) rolling them along and she doesn’t need to beat anything new. With her style of racing, she always requires luck in running, but Chris Parnham continues to handle her perfectly. The last time she raced at the 1200m, she raced forward, out of her comfort zone and got the job done with ease. I’ve got no issues with the rise to 1200m.

If she does strike some bother in running, Iseered Iseered ($5.70) looks the most obvious to take advantage. Lands closer to the speed, has a small weight swing on her and is fresher in his prep. The main danger in my market.

Felt the run of Clairvoyance first up was super. Gave a huge kick from the top of the straight, after doing all the work early and was entitled to pop like she did. Doesn’t look to be jumping all that well, so likely does some work to get to the breeze and from there it’s such a hard assignment. If Kenyluck wasn’t in this, I’d have her marked her considerably shorter.

My price for Miss Conteki is bare bones, and I’ll be hoping we’re the beneficiary of another Clairvoyance move late on the exchange. Can we see $3+?

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) — Miss Conteki


Race 9 | KEY RUNNERS

2. The Fugazi
3. Double Spice
5. Keep Your Feet
1. Some Sort

The Fugazi ($3.80) was stiff not to jag one last campaign when running into some sharp ones. This is a huge drop in grade with no Graceful Girl, Magical Dream or Secret Plan’s engaged here. If the Gangemi’s have him wound up and he isn’t too far off them on straightening, he’ll take a stack of holding out.

Neil Dellar has done a serious job with Double Spice ($4.90). Winning like a horse that could have win 10 more at Esperance, he deserves his chance in town. Is beginning well, so should be able to land right on the back of Cristal Dane ($7) and Some Sort ($8). If he brings his country form to town and they’ll find him hard to catch.


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