A great program for Ascot as the Legends series continues in the west. While we are thinking Willie Pike will feature prominently once again in the winner’s circle, he doesn’t feature on our best bet on the card. That privilege goes to Craig Staples who rides this youngster in the second event.
Ascot is racing on a Good 4 with the rail out 3m the entire circuit.
AGENT PIPPA is the one to follow in the opener. The filly put in a huge run in Group 3 company last time out, finishing sixth beaten 2.25 lengths to Dainty Tess after racing on the speed. This is far easier and she gets barrier one. Jockey Joe Azzopardi will have her in the firing line throughout.
1st: No1 AGENT PIPPA; 2nd: No6 Jingtang; 3rd: No5 How To Fly; 4th: No1 The Celt
Cannot go past SPECIALISM (BEST BET) who brings strong form into this. Has won her only two starts, leading on both occasions so chances are she takes up the running again. Gets in well at the conditions of the race. Hard to beat.
1st: No3 SPECIALISM; 2nd: No2 Jericho Missile; 3rd: No6 Rapid Eye Movement; 4th: No1 Sacred King
Who else but Willy Pike?! We’re backing the king of the west to land the cash with ARCADIA PRINCE who is shooting for his sixth win from 12 starts. The son of Pierro came from near last at the 400m mark to overhaul Mrs Brown’s Boy and Mad Brad in an exciting finish last time. Stays at the distance and is drawn three. Currently even money – take the price!
1st: No3 ARCADIA PRINCE; 2nd: No6 Mrs Brown’s Boy; 3rd: No8 Spillinova; 4th: No2 Taxagano
Banking on the fact OUQBA JACK can back up after a hard run last week. Is dropping back in grade but was planted wide the entire trip in the race won by Royal Statue last week, eventually finishing ninth beaten four lengths. Comes up with eight here so hopefully, Chris Parnham can find a decent spot in the run. Hard to toss.
1st: No1 OUQBA JACK; 2nd: No10 Platoon; 3rd: No6 Nordic King; 4th: No5 Song Of Vincent
The Pike factor should be to the fore once again in this race with ROYAL COMMAND. A notable drifter last start, the five-year-old ran accordingly in finishing eighth to Spillinova. Has only been unplaced twice in 10 career starts. Pike takes the ride. Pay to forgive.
1st: No2 ROYAL COMMAND; 2nd: No8 Nicconi’s Boy; 3rd: No3 Rising Sea; 4th: No1 A Bit Sketchy
Take your pick! Such an open race so it makes sense to go for a bit of value here and we think we have found it in FLOWER OF SCOTLAND. Maps to go forward in her races so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her gun out from 19 to try and find a position. Comes into the race third-up and ran second last, beaten just four lengths, behind the talented Pearls And Prawns first-up while she finished a close second to Vermont Lady last start. Eachway all day.
1st: No4 FLOWER OF SCOTLAND 2nd: No2 Vermont Lady; 3rd: No10 Snow Blossom; 4th: *SCRATCHED* No11 Bay Publisher
VIDDORA (NEXT BEST) is aiming for back-to-back Winterbottom’s and we are backing her to become just the seventh horse to do so. The mare won a trial at Cranbourne in preparation for this while her last start was in The Everest where she failed to handle the wet conditions. Won the Moir brilliantly first-up. Drawn five she is will be in the first half of the field and be extremely hard to hold out.
1st: No10 VIDDORA; 2nd: No11 Dainty Tess; 3rd: No13 Enticing Star; 4th: No1 Malaguerra
ILLUSTRIOUS TYCOON is aiming to remain unbeaten in four career starts and we think he will do just that. Has drawn 10 for his return to racing but won a trial at Belmont by three lengths to get ready for this. Jarrad Noske, who has ridden him in all three wins for Trevor Andrews, retains the ride.
1st: No2 ILLUSTRIOUS TYCOON 2nd: No9 Truly Belong; 3rd: No1 Deballatio; 4th: No5 Double Jeopardy
Difficult race to end the day but happy to put a few dollars on *SCRATCHED* PRESS THE PETAL at the each-way quote. Comes into the race fourth-up and should be ready to peak. Raced close to the speed last time out and wound up fourth to Dark Prospect over 1800m. Distance not a problem but barrier 16 will be. Will need some magic from Chris Parnham and some speed up front but can run a good race with luck.
1st: *SCRATCHED* No7 PRESS THE PETAL; 2nd: No10 Magical Charm; 3rd: No3 Arctic Stream; 4th: No8 The Big Show