Rail – 3m
Track – Good 4
Forecast – Max 20 degrees, partly cloudy
Race 1 – Amelia Park Initial Plate – 1000m – 11:58pm
3 – Kosta’s Crown
6 – Bronte’s Dream
8 – Pot Shot
7 – Cosmopolitan Girl
Comment: Kosta’s Crown has won two trials leading into this race. I particularly like that one of those wins was over 850m too, suggesting that 1000m should be ideal for him. Hopefully, he gets an ideal run from barrier 1 and that his trial form holds up. Bronte’s Dream has won three trials leading into this race, so she should well and truly be ready to go here. She’s drawn beautifully in barrier 5 and there’s no reason for her to run a bad race. Pot Shot has also won two trials, but her times were ever so slightly slower than my top two picks. Jade also looks to have picked Bronte’s Dream over this horse but having Pike on is always a positive. Cosmopolitan Girl finished second at her second trial (after winning her first one), but the first two horses put 6.7 lengths on the rest of the trial field. She rounds out an incredibly even race, where we see the two-year-olds stepping out for the first time.
Suggested bet: Don’t
Race 2 – TABtouch Westspeed Platinum Handicap – 1600m – 12:36pm
2 – Ginger Flyer
1 – Call Again
3 – Beat The Bell
7 – Nick Of Time
Comment: Ginger Flyer has been racing really well this preparation. She steps up in distance but has previously placed at this track/distance (2:0-1-1) and only has to carry 56.5kg due to Holly’s claim, which makes her competitive. From barrier 7 she should easily find the front and give them something to run down. Call Again has been really consistent this preparation. The form surrounding his races is good and he has placed at this track/distance (1:0-1-0). I just worry that the 60.5kg may get the better of him. Beat The Bell comes out of the same race as Call Again and gets 0.5kg on him here. I question whether she’s more a 1400m horse and her record at this distance kind of confirms that (10:0-0-0). From barrier 8 I suspect she’ll go back and while this race is weaker on paper, that distance record turns me off. Nick Of Time really doesn’t seem to appreciate getting back in his race, so hopefully, from barrier 6, he can settle a little bit further forward. He’s yet to place at this track/distance (2:0-0-0) and he probably would have preferred a soft track, but these factors lead to him being good value.
Suggested bet: Ginger Flyer and Call Again – each way
Race 3 – Crown Perth Handicap – 1800m – 1:16pm
4 – Axel ‘R’ Eight
2 – Roman Flirt
5 – Olde
7 – Alimentaria
Comment: Axel ‘R’ Eight has been racing well in a lower class, recording a second and a win this preparation. He drops back in distance and while he’s never official place over 1800 (1:0-0-0), everything suggests that he should handle it. My biggest concern is that I’m not sure he likes Ascot (6:0-0-0). Hopefully, that changes here. Roman Flirt looks to be crying out for a step up in distance, though she ran well three starts ago over 1400m. Her track record (2:0-2-0) and barrier 5 are all in her favour. She can win without surprising. Olde seems to finally be hitting his stride. The form surrounding his last start was good and he should appreciate a race that has a slower tempo, with not many horses wanting to go forward. The good track will also be in his favour. He’s one to watch. Alimentaria didn’t finish that far off the winner last start. She steps up to 1800m for the first time, but she has previously won over 2000m, so it shouldn’t be too far for her. Her track record could be better (6:0-1-1), but she could surprise.
Suggested bet: Axel ‘R’ Eight, Roman Flirt, Olde and Alimentaria – each way
Race 4 – Drummond Golf Handicap – 1600m – 1:56pm
9 – Reliable Star
2 – Mr Delegator
4 – Rebel Knight
5 – Miss Marietta
Comment: Reliable Star improved greatly off her trial, winning first up. She steps up in distance here, which looks to suit given that she placed third in the Listed Natasha last preparation. She’s also placed second up before (1:0-0-1). Barrier 11 does raise a few concerns and I would be much more confident if she was racing on a soft track. She should run a good race though. Mr Delegator is coming off a win and is really consistent this preparation. He does rise 4.5kg off last start, but the form surrounding that run was good. He’s also unbeaten at this track/distance (1:1-0-0). Everything looks to suit him here and he’s probably a safer bet than my top tip. Rebel Knight just keeps ticking along since his first up run. Brad rides this horse for the first time, replacing Mitchell who has been suspended. This race is more open on paper than his previous assignments and he’s placed at this track/distance before (3:0-1-1). He could surprise. Miss Marietta is just a horse that I keep getting drawn back to. Returning to Ascot will be in her favour, especially as she’s won at this track/distance before (3:1-1-0). From barrier 3, hopefully, she settles in the first few, as I feel like that’s where she does her best work. She’ll need to be on her best behaviour here, but she’s good value.
Suggested bet: Reliable Star, Mr Delegator and Rebel Knight – each way
Race 5 – Crown Sports Bar Handicap – 1400m – 2:33pm
5 – Kissonallforcheeks
4 – Kaptain Kaos
6 – Bad Wolf
2 – Excellent Dream
Comment: Kissonallforcheeks is incredibly hard to fault. She went into last start without a trial and narrowly tasted defeat, so she’ll take great improvement off that run. The form surrounding her races is amazing and she’s proven second up (2:1-1-0) and at this track/distance (2:1-1-0). She’s also shown that she has the turn of foot to overcome the wide barrier. Chris jumps off in favour of Kaptain Kaos, but this mare is going to make her mark here and in the feature races this carnival. Kaptain Kaos is looking to make it four wins in a row and he’s unbeaten this preparation. He’s only placed at this track/distance (1:0-0-1), but I don’t think that’s a fair reflection of where he’s at now. As I previously said, Chris picked him over Kissonallforcheeks and this horse as a turn of foot. He doesn’t have the class record like Kissonallforcheeks but every horse must make their way through the grades. Connections would be more confident if he was racing on a soft track, but there’s a lot to love about this horse. Bad Wolf has really appreciated the step up to 1600 lately. His form is actually pretty good, and he’s won at this track/distance (4:1-0-1). It’s just unfortunate for him that he runs into some listed/group grade horses here. Excellent Dream returns to a track he loves in Ascot (7:3-2-2-). Stepping up in distance and racing on a good track for the first time this preparation all look to suit him too. Combine that with the fact that he only has to carry 55.5kg due to Holly’s claim and he could surprise at great odds.
Suggested bet: Kissonallforcheeks and Kaptain Kaos – quinella
Race 6 – Schweppes Handicap – 1400m – 3:10pm
6 – Pure Devotion
8 – Big Screen
7 – Secret Statue
14 – Probity
Comment: Pure Devotion had a quiet trial leading into this race. She’s down in class so is up in the weights and she’s only placed first up before (1:0-1-0). While I thought she’d definitely be looking for more distance, she’s actually unbeaten over 1400m (1:1-0-0). She’s also placed at Ascot before (3:0-2-1). Big Screen has really improved at his last two starts and he’s looking to make it three wins in a row here. His Ascot record could be better (5:1-0-0) but he’s unbeaten at this distance (2:2-0-0). Barrier 11 would also normally cause a few problems, but it should allow him to get to the front easily. He’s up in class but he can win this. Secret Statue has also had a quiet trial like his stablemate. Unlike his stablemate, his form isn’t as strong, and he’s only placed at this distance (3:0-1-1). However, he does have a better first up record (2:1-1-0). Don’t rule him out. Probity is probably flying under the radar a bit in this race. He’s yet to finish outside of the top 3 in his career (4:1-1-2) and he’s placed at this distance (1:0-0-1). He would have preferred a soft track but he’s a cheeky chance.
Suggested bet: Pure Devotion, Big Screen, Secret Statue and Probity – each way
Race 7 – Crown Metropol Handicap – 1200m – 3:45pm
4 – Graceful Girl
8 – Come Magic
5 – Mystical View
1 – Charleton Eddie
Comment: Graceful Girl placed second in a trial leading into this race. She’s never won first up before (2:0-1-1) but she is unbeaten at this distance (3:3-0-0) and track/distance (1:1-0-0). She’s drawn beautifully in barrier 6 and can run on to some extent. She’s yet to finish outside of the top three in her career (7:4-1-2) and it’s hard to see that changing here. Come Magic is looking to make it three wins in a row. Pike does jump off in favour of Graceful Girl and this horse has only placed at Ascot (3:0-0-1) and not at this track/distance (1:0-0-0). However, she’s a better horse this preparation and with not a lot of speed in the race, she’ll give them something to chase. Mystical View has been a better horse since transferring to Susan Olive’s stable. She drops down in class, so does rise 5kg off last start’s run. Whether she’s better suited to a soft track, we’re about to find out, but I really like the turn of foot she showed two starts ago. Charleton Eddie also drops in class but thanks to Laqdar’s claim, he only has to carry 60kg. The form surrounding his races is great and he’s proven at this track/distance (4:1-1-1). Returning to Ascot will benefit him, but I do worry whether 60kg is too much.
Suggested bet: Graceful Girl, Come Magic and Mystical View – each way
Race 8 – Heineken 3 Handicap – 1000m – 4:22pm
2 – Miss Conteki
7 – This’ll Testya
3 – Puli
4 – Battle Storm
Comment: Miss Conteki is a clear standout when it comes to statistics. She’s unbeaten first up (3:3-0-0) and at this track/distance (5:5-0-0). Her barrier and form are all positives too. If I was to be nitpicking it’s that she carries 59.5kg for the first time since May in 2020 (though she did win that race). This really is her race to lose. This’ll Testya looks to be in for a good preparation after winning a trial and then first up as well. She’s drawn a bit awkwardly in barrier 11, but she did lead all the way last start, so from this barrier, she should be able to cross them and get to the lead. Her track/distance record is also good (3:0-2-0). Puli improved last start to finish third after not running a very good race first up. He’s yet to place at Ascot (3:0-0-0) and drops down to 1000m for the first time. Seeing as he likes to lead though, this should give them less time to catch him. He’s great value! Battle Storm just hasn’t been himself since he raced in Melbourne. His trial leading into this race was good and he has won first up before (5:2-0-0). He’s also no stranger to this distance (7:5-0-0) and the form surrounding his races is probably some of the strongest. I just need to see an improvement here before I put him on top.
Suggested bet: Miss Conteki – each way
Race 9 – Crown Perth – 3YO Classic – 1000m – 5:00pm
13 – Arcadia Grace
3 – Spin The Knife
7 – Flying Missile
4 – Ruthless Tycoon
Comment: Arcadia Grace jumps up massively in class here. She’s won all of her trials and her first race at Northam last start. She probably had an ideal run in that race, but she still put a good margin on the rest of the field. She’s had 6 weeks since that run, so there’s a slight question mark over that. No matter the result here, watch out for her in the future. Spin The Knife is looking to make it three wins in a row after winning a key lead up race last start. Due to the conditions of this race, despite beating a few of these horses in that key race, he actually gets a weight relief on them here. He’s proven at this distance (3:2-0-0), though not at this track/distance (1:0-0-0). Pike also jumps off in favour of Arcadia Grace. From barrier 1, this horse can find the front and lead all the way to win. Flying Missile finished off last preparation on fire and looks to be ready to continue that form after having two trials leading into this race, including winning her latest one. She’s won first up before (2:1-0-1) and at this track/distance (2:1-1-0). I’ll just be interested to see whether she has to use up too much energy early on to get a forward position. Ruthless Tycoon finished second to Spin The Knife last start, but has to give him 1kg here. He’s unbeaten at Ascot (1:1-0-0) and placed at this distance (1:0-1-0) but hasn’t raced these conditions together. I just worry that he might get a bit lost from barrier 11. He rounds out a race where you can make a case for so many horses!
Suggested bet: Arcadia Grace, Spin The Knife, Flying Missile and Ruthless Tycoon – each way
Race 10 – Seppelt Wines Handicap – 1200m – 5:35pm
10 – Secret Plan
8 – Sassy Trader
15 – Safety Bay
1 – Comfort Me
Comment: Secret Plan will be looking to end the day on a high for the Pike/Peters/William combination. He’s won a trial leading into this race and he’s won first up before (3:1-0-2). His track/distance record could be better (2:0-0-1), but he looks to be very well suited here. Sassy Trader obviously just needed the first up run because he went on to win his next two. He’s placed at this track/distance (3:0-1-1) and fought to the line at his past two starts. From barrier 11, he’ll get to the front and with only 54kg on his back due to Keshaw’s claim, he could be hard to run down. He’s a good each way bet. Safety Bay is looking to make it three wins in a row. Her form is slightly on the weaker side, and she doesn’t seem to like Ascot at all (6:0-0-0). However, with Beaux’s claim, she only has to carry 51kg, which makes her very competitive. She’s amazing value. Comfort Me does his best work when he’s fresh (4:1-2-0) and he looks ready to go here. He races at 1200m for the first time and is probably looking for 1400m. He’s also never placed at Ascot (4:0-0-0). Going off his first few races last preparation, he could surprise.
Suggested bet: Secret Plan – each way
Race 8 – Miss Conteki
R7: 1, 4, 5, 6, 8
R8: 2, 7
R9: 3, 4, 7, 10, 13
R10: 8, 10, 15
My confidence is a bit all over the place today. I’m most confident about races 7, 8 and 10. On the other end of my confidence scale is races 1, 3, 5 and 9. They’re an absolute nightmare to tip. As a racing fan though, it makes me excited for the carnival ahead!
Last Week’s Results
Winners in top 4: 7/9
Top picks: 1st, -, 1st, 3rd, 1st, -, 2nd, 3rd, –
Best bet: 1st
Profit: +3.5 ($1ew on top tips & $2ew on bb)