Rail – 3m
Track – Good 4
Forecast – Max 22, morning showers then sunny
Race 1 – Westspeed Platinum Maiden – 1100m – 12:37pm
Zip Zam Zoom ran well last start coming second. I think he has a bit more to give with an impressive turn of foot last preparation. He should be fitter second up here. Validation also comes out of the same race as Zip Zam Zoom, where she came second, however she gets a 4kg swing here. There are no real black marks against her name and no reason she can’t win, especially with Jade in the saddle. Rapid Transit is having his first start at the races, so he could be needing the experience, but with 3 good trials coming into this race he should go well. Megachino has had just the one trial coming into this race, but he won that and seemed to be improving at the end of last preparation.
1 – Zip Zam Zoom
5 – Validation
4 – Rapid Transit
2 – Megachino
Race 2 – TabTouch – Better Your Bet Maiden – 1600m – 1:17pm
Sublime Image looks to be placed well in this not so challenging race. She’s trialled ok and came second last start. With a combination of 8 months off, I expect her to have matured and improved. Miss Flamboyance ran a nice race last start and seems to travel well over this distance. Son of the Sun hasn’t been racing as well as I expected, but if he can settle further forward he might improve here. Indian Chant looks to be the leader in this race, but I think at least my top pick can run him down.
9 – Sublime Image
8 – Miss Flamboyance
3 – Son of the Sun
2 – Indian Chant
Race 3 – Magic Millions Initial Plate – 1000m – 1:57pm
This is not a race to bet in as anything can happen (literally), with everyone at the races for the first time. Neurologic is a horse that has won a trial over 950 which is a positive to me, as is Pike riding. Starfield Impact has won two trials including one over this distance, so there’s absolutely no reason she can’t win here. Too Spicy has won all of her trials over 400-450m and gets a weight claim with Jade riding. Bumper Humper has won 3 trials over 400m so should be fit going into this.
8 – Neurologic
9 – Starfield Impact
11 – Too Spicy
6 – Bumper Humper
Race 4 – Byron Bay Premium Lager Handicap – 2100m – 2:33pm
Bunker Buster has won every race this preparation, so he’s clearly in form. He also gets in well with the weight claim despite being up in class. Mossseratti came third in his previous two starts behind Bunker Buster. At the Ready has been disappointing lately in my opinion, however, if he can return to his previous form he can bounce back. Here Comes Lenni is another horse that has also been disappointing but again he has the form and he might improve if he settles slightly further forward than usual.
1 – Bunker Buster
8 – Mossseratti
2 – At the Ready
5 – Here Comes Lenni
Race 5 – Amelia Park Handicap – 1200m – 3:10pm
Nerodio is up in class here but he’s just been flying lately, winning all 3 starts this preparation. Creative Hero has good form (5:3-1-0), including winning a listed race last preparation, however, his trial was slightly disappointing. Friar’s Fantasia has trialled nicely, and she was racing well last preparation. Gillespie has only placed outside of the top 3 once in his career (9:1-4-3) and has been racing consistently so I’ll be interested to see what he does.
5 – Nerodio
1 – Creative Hero
8 – Friar’s Fantasia
9 – Gillespie
Race 6 – Crown Courtyard Handicap – 1400m – 3:45pm
I usually tip the races in order, but I left this one to last because The Velvet King (my horse) is in this race. I’m under no illusion that he clearly has the ability, but I was surprised to see him open up as a $2.90 favourite on TAB because this is a fairly evenly matched race. Cup Night has been racing very well, including winning last start from the back. My concern is that The Velvet King will need the run and/or miss the corner and Cup Night will storm home, despite being up in class. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I think The Velvet King can win. His trial was very nice, and the possibility of Melbourne trip is back on the cards. If you follow my personal account on Twitter, you’ll know I’m very excited to have him back and perhaps if he wasn’t my horse, I’d have him on top (this is very much a head vs heart debate). He should be finding the front with Majinika too. Taxagano won last start and has been racing well in this class. Alpha Sky came second last start and should be fitter here, with a good second up record (2:0-1-1).
10 – Cup Night
3 – The Velvet King
4 – Taxagano
1 – Alpha Sky
Race 7 – Crown Towers Handicap – 1600m – 4:15pm
Velago has been racing very well but he is up in class here. I’m not sure if I’m biased because he’s a half-brother to The Velvet King, but I think he can run a cheeky race. Beaucount won last start and has been racing very consistently. The wide barrier would normally be a concern, but he’s placed from out wide before. He looks to be one of the obvious pacesetters in the race. Jedaffair won last start and should be fitter third up here. Missile Launch has been racing well and has a perfect track and distance record (2:2-0-0).
8 – Velago
6 – Beaucount
4 – Jedaffair
2 – Missile Launch
Race 8 – Crown Perth – 3yo Classic – 1000m – 4:50pm
Celebrity Dream has never tasted defeat (including in her trials). The combination of a lightweight, Pike, good barrier and obvious ability can see her winning here. Mini Winnie was racing quite well last preparation and he has won a trial over this distance leading into this race. He’s very good value if that’s what you’re looking for. Dig Deep won the group 2 Karrakatta which is something we all remember. He didn’t perform as well in his trial leading into this race, but it was against some very good horses (The Velvet King won that trial). Jericho Missile won the 2-year-old Magic Millions race but then couldn’t reproduce that run in the Karrakatta, however, he has trialled nicely.
13 – Celebrity Dream
7 – Mini Winnie
1 – Dig Deep
2 – Jericho Missile
Race 9 – Crown Sports Bar Handicap – 1400m – 5:25pm
Lady Sass won last start impressively and she should only improve here second up. Peppijack ran well last start against Cup Night, who is a horse with ability, and he should only improve after going into that race without a trial. Lorentinio has won his previous 2 starts, including beating Velago who I have on top, however, the wide barrier is a concern for me. Go Crying is a good horse but simply got too far back last start and possible blocked (I haven’t watched the replay). He won that start before last however.
7 – Lady Sass
3 – Peppijack
5 – Lorentinio
4 – Go Crying
Race 2 – Sublime Image
If I was having a sentimental bet I’d do The Velvet King (ew/place) into Velago (place)
It’s actually pretty good in what are evenly matched races, though I’m completely torn about whether I’ve made the right decision about not putting The Velvet King on top. One thing I know for sure is that I’m very excited to be back at Ascot.