The spotlight of Australian thoroughbred racing is focused on Ascot today with the running of the second day of The Masters series.
Last Saturday saw the $1 million Railway Stakes (1600m), won in a barnstorming finish by local sprinter Great Shot.
Today will see the running of the $1m Winterbottom Stakes (1200m), at weight-for-age, where the market is dominated by the outstanding sprinter State Solicitor.
The Country Championship and the Crystal Slipper Stakes for the two-year-olds are the support features on the eight-race card at Ascot.
The weather will be fine and warm with a maximum expected to be in the low 30s after a balmy night.
The track has been irrigated with no rain and mild weather in Perth over the past week and is predicted to race as a Good 4. The false rail will be shifted out an extra three metres on last Saturday to six metres.
QUADDIES (races 5,6,7,8)
Skinny Play: 5,7 – 1,6 – 8 -5,10
Wide Play: 3,5,7,8 – 1,3,6,13 – 2,8,9 – 1,5,7,10
BEST BET: R7 – 8. STATE SOLICITOR
Next Best Bet: R8 – 5. STAR VALUE
Best Roughie: R2 – 1. PROCEEDWITHCAUTION
No2 TOUCH OF SILVER was affected by the slow pace in a small field in the Group 3 Peters (1500m) here on November 18. Ran a steady race after going a bit hot early to finish seventh. He is back down in class today and with apprentice’s 1.5kg claim will drop to a comfortable 57.5kg. Strong chance.
No1 SEE ME SIZZLE with apprentice Maddison Brown’s 3kg claim will have his impost reduced to 57kg and has a good draw in gate three. He is on the quick back up after finishing third as a $4.60 favourite over 1600m last Saturday. William Pike rode that day and back to a 3kg apprentice. A good chance.
No8 NO SAY IN IT is going to take benefit from his first start back here from a 20-week spell when finishing a sound seventh over 1200m here last Saturday. He is on the quick back up but the stable often does this successfully. He gets top Victorian jockey dean Yendall to ride here on 54kg.
No9 RULING ANGEL is a five-year-old gelding who is absolutely flying at the moment with successive Ascot wins. Latest he bore home to score a half-length win over 18000m here on November 22. He carried 57kg that day and he drops to 54kg for his rise in class. Top jockey Shaun O’Donnell stays on board.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 NO SAY IN IT
No2 ROYAL STAR was somewhat unlucky not to win last start when finishing second to Properantes in the Group 3 Peters (1500m) here on November 18. The four-year-old mare comes down in class today in a restricted handicap and will sport blinkers for the first time. Premier jockey William Pike rides.
No6 LA MOULINE she has won at five of her eight starts and been placed three times. She looks the obvious danger to stablemate Royal Star with her last start win over1400m here on November 18. She has won at her past four appearances and gets new jockey Chris Parnham today.
No1 PROCEEDWITHCAUTION (BEST ROUGHIE) has looked good at his preparatory trials with a third and a win over 1000m at Belmont Park last month. Has a fair first-up record of a win and a second at seven starts and has a tongue-tie going back on for his first start in 21 weeks. Would not overlook here.
No5 NEW TIME is a veteran sprinter who has been most reliable through out his career. He won at Belmont three starts ago. Last start he ran a top race to finish a close second to King Of Wu over 1400m here on November 22. He gets in on 53.5kg with Talya Stone’s 3kg claim today.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 PROCEEDWITHCAUTION
No6 BOLD SUCCESS wears the famous cerise and white colours of Bob and Sandra Peters, who dominate racing in WA. He was plunged from $3.10 into $2.80 when finishing a luckless fourth over 1100m here on November 22. The son of Echoes Of Heaven got too far back. Can redeem here.
No10 JUST LIKE THAT ran home well when capturing second to Duck Feet over 1500m here November 22. He drops from 57kg to 54kg for his rise in class and astute jockey Alan Kennedy again rides from a great draw in six. He has the pace to lead or be up in the leading division.
No4 RAGAZZO D’ORO has won and been placed at this track. Makes his return to Ascot following a second to Vital Silver over 1400m at Bunbury on November 15. That was the four-year-old gelding’s second start back from a long spell and expect him to be ready for this.
No2 LORENTINIO finished inside the first two placings at his four starts before finishing seventh to Mantime over 1100m here on November 22. The field was strung out that day and he could not make up ground. Drops to 54kg with Tayla Stone’s 3kg claim and is a light-weight chance.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 LORENTINIO
No3 THE RIVER was an outstanding two-year-old and bounced back into peak form with a brilliant half-length win over Rhi’s Rocket over 1100m here a fortnight ago. He romped home in a soft trial over 1000m at Belmont on November 27when ridden by race jockey William Pike. The son of Magnus was resuming from a 27-week spell when he won last start and will be stripping far fitter.
No10 UNIVERSAL MOON is a six-year-old mare who has been most competitive and she ran a cracker when finishing second to Glimmer Girl over 1000m here on November 11. She will be fresh for her encounter here and drops a kilo to the limit on 54kg. Each-way.
No5 TENTERDEN has been a reliable sort over the years. The six-year-old bounced back to his prime with a good win over 1000m here on November 11. He carried 56kg that day and drops to 55kg here today and Peter Hall keeps the ride. The stable is running red hot.
No7 GEE BOSS has an important gear change with the blinkers going on for the first time. He has been given a solid build up for his return with two trials at his home track at Bunbury. Latest he blasted his opposition by 4.5 length over 1000m on November 17. He can be a force first-up.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 UNIVERSAL MOON
No5 NOCELLE has the equal best record of any of her opposition with a win at her sole start. That day the daughter of More Than Ready dashed home a great winner by 1.25 lengths over 1000m here on November 18. Shaun O’Donnell rode her that day but stable No. 1 Chris Parnham rides today.
No7 FAIRTRUSIVE scored a very smart win at her debut over 1100m here on November 22. She was well fancied in the betting at a $3.40 favourite. She stalked the leaders and ran home to win buy a comfortable one length. She is the stablemate to Nocelle and William Pike rides.
No3 NEMIROFF is a son of Universal Ruler who has shown good form at his two barrier trials. He hails from an astute stable and bolted home by 3.5 lengths to win over 950m at Lark Hill on November 20 at his last hit-out. He ran a fair time of 57.60 seconds for a two-year-old.
No1 KING OF THE PLANETS has been in the firing line at both of his starts. Latest he ran a good third to Nocelle over 1000m here on November 18. He was beaten by 1.75 lengths that day and has to overcome a wide alley in gate nine. He makes each-way appeal here.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 KING OF THE PLANETS
No1 RIVER DANCE faces a diverse field here with winners and place-getters coming from all around the great State of WA. The five-year-old gets the advantage of top Melbourne jockey Damien Oliver to ride and he has strung together a hat-trick of wins at his hometown of Geraldton.
No6 MANTIME struck back to show his best foot when running away to a smart win over 1100m at Ascot on November 22. He won by .75 lengths and it was another 1.5 lengths back to the third horse. He is from the leading city stable of Simon Miller, but needs luck from a wide alley in 18.
No13 FINANCE gets a nice gate in six and has no weight on his back dropping to 54kg. He ran a good third to You Watching Me over 1200m at Bunbury on November 15. He won his maiden over 1208m at the same track two starts ago. This is his fourth start back and is primed.
No7 CAPTIVATED POINT is capable of bobbing up at long odds if he puts his best hoof forward. Latest he found the winner too good when finishing second 1230m at his home track at Albany on November 19. He was placed second at this track four starts ago and is not the worst here.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 CAPTIVATED POINT
No8 STATE SOLICITOR (BEST BET) is a half-brother to former Australian three-year-old of the year and has inherited the good gene pool. He has been on a winning spree stringing together three good wins. His last win was outstanding when he came from what appeared a hopeless position to down a class field in the Colonel Reeves (1100m) here on November 18. With William Pike to steer looks the best bet on the card.
No1 ROCK MAGIC has shown excellent form in a Group 1 campaign on the Eastern seaboard. Loves Ascot.
No9 VIDDORA is an Adelaide mare who has performed very well at the elite level in Melbourne this spring.
No11 DAINTY TESS is one of the home town favourites with a fantastic record for consistency. She deserves her chance.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 DAINTY TESS
No5 STAR VALUE (NEXT BEST BET) won two in a row at Belmont Park in the early spring. The four-year-old is lightly raced and has room for potential growth and was a good effort to run third to Not Again Ken over 1800m here on November 18. That was his first step back up in distance and with the experienced Lee Newman on top will be in capable hands and well weighted on 56.5kg.
No1 ENTRECHAT is a veteran staying mare who continues to give a good account and will be in the money on her last start second to the smart Trap Of Fools over 2200m here on November 11.
No10 DUDEMANBRO has won twice and been placed three times at seven starts. Still on the way up and has room to improve on last start win over 2200m here on November 22.
No7 JUICING CARROTS is now ready for an assault on the longer distances following a solid third to Not Again Ken over 1800m here last start on November 18.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 DUDEMANBRO