The spotlight of Australian thoroughbred racing is focused on Ascot today with the running of the final day of The Masters series.
Last Saturday saw Adelaide mare Viddora win the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in a surging finish.
Today a crack field has been assembled of interstate and local gallopers to contest the time-honoured Group 1 Kingston Town Classic
The 1800m race is run at weight-for-age and looks to suit WA pin-up boy Black Heart Bart, who was narrowly beaten by Great Shot in the Railway Stakes here a fortnight ago.
Black Heart Bart is a five times Group 1 winner but he has yet to win at the elite level at home and he is still WA-owned.
The running of the Lee-Steere Classic for the three-year-old sprinters and the Towton Cup are two good features on this nine-race card. The track has been irrigated with no rain since last Sunday and will be at a Good 3. The rail has been shifted right back to the True Position and the weather will be hot and sultry with a forecast of 35C.
QUADDIES (races 6,7,8,9)
Skinny Play: 4,14 – 8 – 1,4 – 5,8
Wide Play: 4,14,15 – 2,5,8 – 1,2,4,15 - 1,5,8,11
BEST BET: R3 – 1. CELEBRITY DREAM
Next Best Bet: R8 – 1. BLACK HEART BART
Best Roughie: R9 – 11. ROGANELLA
No10 STREET FURY is a Street Boss filly who is absolutely flying but she does strike a competitive field of three-year-olds here. She returned from a spell to smash her opposition by .75 length over 1000m here on November 22. She drops 4kg to 55kg today. Top jockey William Pike rides again.
No11 IDIOSYNCRASY gets a critical gear change with blinkers going on and a tongue-tie going on. The winkers are coming off. Her win was at a non-TAB meeting but it was impressive on the dirt and she did win very well over 1000m in a trial at Belmont on November 27. That was on the grass.
No5 DAINTY PAT gets Chris Parnham who last week rode a double on the Winterbottom Stakes card. She has been right up there with a win and two thirds at her four starts. She was solid in her third to Money Maher over 1200m at Belmont on September 9. Has a good first-up record and watch.
No2 HARD OF HEART has won and been placed twice at his five starts. Latest he ran a sound fourth in the Listed Placid Ark (1200m) here on November 25. He hit the line hard that time and expect him to take further improvement as that was his second start back from a spell.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 IDIOSYNCRASY
No6 MOSSERATTI gets Troy Turner replacing Damien Oliver who was visiting when he rode this fellow to run a good second over 1600m here on November 25. Has won up to 2000m so the extra distance today won’t hurt and is primed now having his fourth start from a spell.
No2 PUSHIN’ SHAPES has been a consistent type throughout his career and looms with good prospects today on his solid fourth over 1600m here on November 25. With apprentice Tayla Stone’s 3kg claim will have his impost reduced to 57.5kg. Sure to be surging home at the end.
No1 BOLLYWOOD BLITZ was the star of Kalgoorlie over the winter and has won well at this track. Down in class on his fourth in the list Carbine Stakes (1400m) here on November 25. Gets Kate Witten’s 3kg claim to reduce his big weight to 58.5kg today. He likes this trip and would respect.
No4 FIRST AFFAIR hails from the top stable of Adam Durrant and will be in the firing line with a win and three placings from his past five starts. May pay to forgive his last-start ninth over 1600m here on November 25 as he was plunged from $10 into $7.50 and pulled up distressed.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 BOLLYWOOD BLITZ
No1 CELEBRITY DREAM (BEST BET) looks to have a mortgage on this feature with little opposition here. She brilliantly won the first leg of the mares’ summer series in the Jungle Dawn (1200m) here two weeks ago. Ace jockey William Pike rides again and she will jump from barrier one against very moderate opposition in this mares’ only race. Disappointing such a poor field for such a feature.
No4 TOP OF THE CLASS has a powerful finishing burst and will be improved on her first-up performance.
No6 AWESOME AS was a clear cut winner over 1415m at Bunbury last start and is a chance in a mild field.
No5 PATAPUS the addition of winkers could help as she has pace but will need to be stronger at the finish.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 PATAPUS
No8 TRULY BELONG is a classy filly from the top stable of Adam Durrant and will get the favours from gate one and the brilliant William Pike to ride. She was a a close second to the talented Ocean Jewel in the Placid Ark (1200m) here two weeks ago and that should have her cherry ripe for this assault.
No6 WAR ROOM cannot do much better than win two from two starts. He is on the hunt for his first trophy here after posting a great win over 1208m at Bunbury on November 30. He was a warm $2.35 favourite that time and the in-form Lee Newman sticks at his biggest test.
No1 GAULOIS is one of two Godolphin-trained three-year-olds running in this feature. He was winding up slowly on the line when finishing fourth to Perfect Jewel in the WA Guineas (1600m) here two weeks ago. He is back 200m here but should take benefit from having his first start at Ascot.
No5 IN LOVE WITH PARIS will have taken benefit from her first start in listed class when finishing fifth to Ocean Jewel in the Placid Ark (1200m) here two weeks ago. She had won her maiden here impressively two starts ago so she is only new to racing and will flourish home. Keep safe today.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 IN LOVE WITH PARIS
No6 GET OVER IT faces moderate opposition today and he did win well when digging very deep to nail Red Publisher over 1200m here a fortnight ago. He jumps 3.5kg to 57.5kg but ace jockey Daniel Staeck stays as pilot and he is again nicely drawn in gate five. This is not a strong race.
No7 REMEMBER BERLIN is chasing his first win at his fifth start this campaign. Has been around about the mark and gave a strong effort to finish on the heels of Get Over It over 1200m here a fortnight ago. He goes up 1.5kg to 57.5kg today, but meets Get Over It 2kg better on weight terms. The danger.
No3 KEY TO FAME ran a great fourth in the Listed Hannan’s Handicap four starts ago in September. His recent form has been solid with a fourth over 1500m at York on November 15. He is the stablemate to Remember Berlin and gives trainer Simon Miller a good hand in this event. Will be fresh.
No2 CLASSICAL PRINCE was involved in the three-way photo between Get Over It and Red Publisher when running a tight third over 1200m here a fortnight ago. If he can reinvent that run today second-up he should be right in the frame again. Has an excellent second-up record on paper.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 CLASSICAL PRINCE
No14 REGAL MOON strikes moderate opposition of one metro win or less today. She was heavily backed into a $1.35 favourite when finishing a well beaten second over 1208m at Bunbury on November 26. The winner kicked too strong on the line that day as she was winding up steadily. Chance to appease.
No15 SATURIA is a three-year-old filly who underlined she was primed for a grand first-up showing with a good win in a 950m trial at Lark Hill on November 20. The stable is running quite hot and she has the unblemished record of one start for one win when racing fresh. Looms as the big danger.
No4 SCALPEL is from the leading Ascot stable of Simon Miller and has shown great form with two wins and a third at four starts. Will be looking to cut into these following a smart trial win over 950m at Lark Hill on November 20. He is unbeaten at two starts for two wins when racing fresh.
No10 HALLDORA did enough in trial to finish fourth to be ready for this over 950m at Lark Hill on November 20. Goes very well fresh with a win and a second at three starts. The four-year-old mare is well drawn in gate six and would expect her to be flurrying home at the finish.
No8 TRAP FOR FOOLS looks hard to beat in this listed event with his brilliant win in the Listed Tattersall’s Cup (2100m) here a fortnight ago as a $3.60 favourite. Has been the star stayer of the spring with four straight wins to his credit here and Hong Kong ace Douglas Whyte is traveling down to keep the mount. Looms as the nominal favourite for the Perth Cup on January 1.
No9 VERY TEMPTING peeled out wide and made steady improvement to run eighth over 2100m ion the Tattersall’s Cup here a fortnight ago. She ran second in the WATC Derby (2400m) last autumn and is worth giving another chance today. William Pike sticks and she goes up 100m.
No5 SHINTA MANI is the reigning Kalgoorlie Cup champion and she looks to be back on track with a steady fifth in the Tattersall’s Cup (2100m) here a fortnight ago. She was well backed from $12 into $8.50 that day and gets top Sydney rider Brenton Avdullla to ride for the first time.
No2 FALCON CREST kicked back in style to run a compelling second to Trap For Fools in the Tattersall’s Cup (2100m) here a fortnight ago. He has proven a sturdy type and has visiting jockey Damien Oliver replacing Damian Lane today. He is now fit and ready to push forward again.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 SHINTA MANI
No1 BLACK HEART BART (NEXT BEST BET) is a five times Group 1 winner and is suited here at weight-for-age on level weights. He ran a cracking second to Great Shot in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) here a fortnight ago. Regular rider Brad Rawiller returns from Victoria to ride the gelding at his attempt to land his first home town Group 1 at Ascot today.
No4 TOM MELBOURNE ran a great third in the Railway Stakes and the extra 200m here is to his liking. He is a proven Group 1 performer.
No15 PERFECT JEWEL was a fantastic winner of the Group 2 WA Guineas against three-year-olds. This is her acid test against older Group 1 performed horses.
No2 IT’S SOMEWHAT was third placed in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes last start at Flemington. Did win a 1200m gate trial at Belmont easily.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 DUDEMANBRO
No9 MY GRACE was an impressive winner at first two starts this campaign at Bunbury and York. Then she was elevated to the city where she was a shade disappointing finishing fourth over 1000m here on November 11. Was an expensive defeat to punters at $2. She can rebound today.
No1 SPECIAL DELIVERY has been in stellar form notching city and country wins at Ascot and Northam. Was bought at a reduction sale for $15,000 in June and connections are now reaping the rewards, but the top-weight on 59kg here could be a steadier. Still he carried 60.5kg to win last time at Northam.
No5 CRUACHAN flew the coup to be right in the thick of the action when a close third over 1400m here on November 25. That was fresh from a three-week break and expect he will strip fitter today. He has an excellent record of a win and a second at three starts at Ascot and will be in the finish.
No11 ROGANELLA (BEST ROUGHIE) is a three-year-old who was raised to the top level of his age when finishing 15th in the WA Guineas (1600m) here a fortnight ago. He plummets in class today and was a comprehensive winner over 1600m here in similar opposition two starts ago. Looks to have strong chances.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 ROGANELLA