Rail – 4m
Track – Good 4
Forecast – Max 29 degrees, partly cloudy
Race 1 – Schweppes Handicap – 1100m – 12:19pm
Cliffs of Comfort is unbeaten in his career being two for two. Last starts win was extra impressive, beating Laverrod (a very good horse) in the process. Connections make good use of Chris’ claim and as long as he jumps well, he should find the front easily. Tommy Blue is a very good horse in her own right, proving this by running second in the 3-year-old Magic Millions. She finished last at her previous start with no real excuses, especially given it was a small field of four. However, that was over 1400m, so the drop in distance should benefit, as well as Pike jumping on board. Express Time has a good career record (2:1-0-1) with her trials also being exceptional. She’s second up here after finishing third last start, so should have improved fitness and race day experience. She’s no stranger to a wide barrier so that shouldn’t be a problem here. Semigel has been racing ultra-consistently, having placed in the top three in his past five starts, including winner last start. He rises in class and Pike jumps off in favour of Tommy Blue. However, he’ll bring confidence from those runs and is great value.
1 – Cliffs of Comfort
2 – Tommy Blue
9 – Express Time
3 – Semigel
Race 2 – Crown Perth Handicap – 1400m – 12:59pm
Last of the Line won impressively last week! He is on the one-week backup but gets a better barrier and weight this time. He should only improve with one race under his belt now too. Eurasia is in career-best form, winning last start but also running second to horses like Talladega and Tommy Blue. The wide barrier is a slight concern but given that he’s had more races than my top pick, I’m worried this may see him winning. Comes a Time is yet to win this preparation but stepping up in distance could help change this. He also has form behind good horses including thirds to Tommy Blue, Laverrod and Cliffs of Comfort in his previous three starts. He may be another victim to a wide barrier, but definitely one to include in your first four. Snippy Miss is also on the one-week backup but does come out of a different race to Last of the Line. She’s very consistent at placing third and fourth and there’s no reason why this would change today.
9 – Last of the Line
3 – Eurasia
7 – Comes a Time
12 – Snippy Miss
Race 3 – TabTouch Westspeed Platinum Handicap – 1400m – 1:39pm
Gates of Babylon had just over a month off racing before coming out and winning. His second up record certainly isn’t the best (3:0-0-1), but I think he’s a better horse this year. The inside barrier should make it easy to get to the front if he jumps well. Chris’ claim means he just has to carry 57.5kg, 1kg more than last start. Sakarya couldn’t hold them off last start over 1600m on a soft track, after leading all the way. Therefore, stepping back to 1400m and a good track should definitely benefit. She’s drawn outside Gates of Babylon and I expect them to be leading the field together. Luke’s Choice finished third to Gates of Babylon last start and gets 2kg on him here. He’s third up here, so should be fitter, especially as he came into this preparation without a trial. He’s a consistent horse that will appreciate the extra distance. Rewrite The Stars is a hit and miss horse who has had about six weeks off racing and comes into this race without a trial. She steps up to 1400m for the first time and gets Pike on board, so gets every chance to win.
2 – Gates of Babylon
5 – Sakarya
4 – Luke’s Choice
12 – Rewrite The Stars
Race 4 – Amelia Park Beef Handicap – 1000m – 2:19pm
Bedouin Belle won two starts ago and has been placing consistently third or fourth outside of that. She can get back and run on, but my only concern is that she might get stuck in traffic from the wide barrier or caught out wide. Warfish won first up over 1100m. He also has a wide barrier to contend with, but his second up record is good (1:0-0-1). My biggest worry is that he may appreciate 100m more than 100m less compared to last start. Double Jeopardy has won two trials leading into this race in a nice fashion. He hasn’t really hit his straps since arriving in WA but gets every chance here. Route Eighty Eight has finished either first or second in her past three runs last preparation. She’s had three months off and comes into this race without a trial. She’s also shown a good turn of foot, which may be needed if she gets too far back. The only reason she’s not up higher on my list is that the form surrounding her races isn’t the strongest and she’s yet to win first up (6:0-1-2).
5 – Bedouin Belle
7 – Warfish
2 – Double Jeopardy
4 – Route Eighty Eight
Race 5 – Amelia Park Lamb Handicap – 2400m – 2:54pm
Picture Perfect steps up massively in distance, after winning last start over 1800m, however, he did win over 2200m last preparation. He does like to get back and run on, so I’m hoping Pike can keep him out of trouble. He’s one from the Peters/Pike/Williams camp that must be respected. Black Shadow won last start over 2200m, so this distance shouldn’t be a problem. He showed a nice turn of foot two starts ago too. He’s drawn extremely wide though! Volkswagon Frank is a good each-way bet at good odds if that’s what you like. He rises in class after performing well in the country, however, he does possess a turn of foot. Throwdown also won last start, coming from the back to win. The extra distance here should only give him more time to catch them if he gets back again.
4 – Picture Perfect
3 – Black Shadow
16 – Volkswagon Frank
5 – Throwdown
Race 6 – Amelia Park Lodge Handicap – 1400m – 3:30pm
Sherpa Lass is unbeaten in four starts, including three in a row this preparation. She carries 59kg for the first time and steps up to the 1400m. These obviously raise some questions, but you can’t knock that winning form. Sliced Bread is another horse that showed a great turn of foot last start, overcoming a wide barrier too. He’s second up here and has a great second up record (2:1-0-1), so combined with last starts effort and the better barrier, he should certainly go close. I tossed about for ages between my top two, but I’m just not convinced he likes Ascot. He probably should have won last start though. Utgard Loki won last start, coming from last to win. While the distance is the same here, he does have to carry a 1kg more and has drawn the car park. His ability can see him overcoming this in a tougher race. It looks to be a fantastic battle between my top three tips. Smarty has been very disappointing this preparation and is yet to show anything of her previous self (which was fantastic). She was simply too far back last start, so had excuses there. Her distance record is good (5:3-0-1) so gets one last chance here.
7 – Sherpa Lass
3 – Sliced Bread
2 – Utgard Loki
5 – Smarty
Race 7 – Old Comrade Stakes – 1600m – 4:05pm
Media Baron is literally going from strength to strength this preparation. He rises in class but deserves to after winning the past four out of five starts (coming second in that other start). This is definitely the toughest race he’s faced, but he’ll give them a run for their money. Western Temple finished mid-field first up in a listed race but has shown he’s better than that in both his trials leading into this preparation and races last preparation. Pike jumps back on board and his second up record is fantastic (6:1-3-2), so he’s a serious threat. Platoon has finished third in two listed races this preparation. He finished an eye-catching third in the Railway last preparation, so if he can bring that performance he can definitely be winning. Harry Thomas is just a horse you’d love to own, being very consistent. He finally got a win two starts ago and followed that up with a second in a listed race last start. Nothing really to fault about him and he should go well once again. He rounds out a very even top four.
6 – Media Baron
8 – Western Temple
2 – Platoon
5 – Harry Thomas
Race 8 – Amelia Park – Karrakatta Plate – 1200m – 4:45pm
Gemma’s Son is unbeaten in four starts and things don’t look to be changing here. He isn’t penalised in the weights due to the conditions of the race and he’s shown that barriers doesn’t matter. The only thing getting in the way is bad luck. Watch Me Dance is a horse I’ve supported for a long time. She finished third to Gemma’s Son in the 2-year-old Magic Millions but unfortunately, it’s hard to see her turning the tables here. I was very tempted to put her on top though just because Gemma’s Son’s odds are incredibly short. Watch her to be storming home with that turn of foot though. Starfield Impact beat Watch Me Dance last in a group 3 race and gets 2kg on her here. However, she gets the widest barrier so might not be able to get into an ideal position. She also steps up to the 1200m for the first time. Not without her fair share of ability though. Dom To Shoot finished second to Watch Me Dance two starts ago and has won another two races on top of that (4:2-1-0). He brings slightly different form lines to this race but still has a chance.
1 – Gemma’s Son
7 – Watch Me Dance
6 – Starfield Impact
2 – Dom To Shoot
Race 9 – Amelia Park Wines Handicap – 1100m – 5:20pm
Wow, this is a cracking race to end the day on! Laverrod was the beaten favourite last start, with the 61kg taking its toll. He drops back to 55kg with the rise in class, though he has a tonne of ability and came third in a listed race last preparation. Look for him to bounce back to winning ways. Red Can Man is an incredible horse and is two for two this preparation. He overcame a wide barrier last start so that shouldn’t be a problem. What could be a small issue in the step down in distance, especially as he came third in the group 2 guineas over 1600m last preparation. Floyd finally won last start after consistently placing. That race was over 1400m, so he’s another horse that drops down in distance. The one-week backup, as well as the 61kg, could take its toll, particularly in this very strong field. Chix Pic is a horse that is familiar with the shorter distance. He’s placing consistently, with nothing really to fault. Just might find a few better in this race.
9 – Laverrod
5 – Red Can Man
1 – Floyd
4 – Chix Pic
Race 5 – Picture Perfect
Wow there are some incredible races today, with great horses who are evenly matched! This results in a very low confidence level, especially as I think there could be some value to find.