Scott Embry’s tips provided courtesy of TABtouch blog
Saturday 20 January 2024
DESERT WHISPER was extremely sharp in her 400m jump out. As soon as the gates opened she was off and gone and extended her margin throughout the heat to win impressively in good time. Expect that Chris Parnham will be looking to cross them from barrier 6 and if he is able to find the fence she should take beating on debut. 400m jump outs straight to the races are bread and butter for team Fernie. MADHI GIRL was super impressive at trials and well supported at the shorts on debut but got caught deep throughout and was unable to make an impression. 6 weeks later Pike rides and she can bounce back. WOTUGOT has the benefit of a 950m trial and worked through her gears nicely. PLEASE MIZTER (Peter) showed good natural ability over 400m.
Numbers: 4 – 3 – 7 – 1
Suggested Bet – DESERT WHISPER WIN
FINAL SIREN is three from three undefeated and looks untapped. He won his maiden at Albany over 1000m by 5.5L, he then carried an extra kilo winning a C2 by 3.4L before heading to town for his Ascot debut. He sizzled around the 1000m circuit and was never getting beaten. Given a 6 week freshen in Albany by Rebecca Bayliss and he either crosses to lead or parks outside of Ginnivan. Hard to beat from either position. Exciting prospect. LORD SHIVA has always shown huge ability at trials and is starting to put it all together. Tricky gate? GINNIVAN couldn’t lead and looked lost last start. He’s desperate for the fence. ANGEL UNDERCOVER will sit back and look to zap them late.
Numbers: 2 – 7 – 3 – 6
Suggested Bet – FINAL SIREN WIN
THE LADY IS A VAMP is starting to put a few together. She probably should have won three or four races in this Westspeed Platinum / 60+ Graduation level already but has found bad luck on more than one occasion. She’ll sit midfield stalking a spirited tempo (Bisector / Indie Ruler / Silkinize / Make Your Point) and that’s exactly where Pike likes to be in running. She’s a sit and sprint mare and he’s a sit and sprint rider. Match made in heaven. RED INFERNO resumed off 551 days when powering away from a subsequent winner at Mt Barker. Clearly
thriving under the care of Muscles Pateman. Respect. BISECTOR continues to find one or two better than her and likely absorbs pressure here. SILKINIZE is capable in this grade.
Numbers: 3 – 4 – 6 – 2
Suggested Bet – THE LADY IS A VAMP WIN
STATE OF POWER should settle leader’s back following Ain’t No Other Man and from there she’s dangerous. Think she can cross Harmika to take up that spot and it gives her a legitimate chance to return a winner. Better known as a Belmont Park / wet track horse but she’s trialled well, she maps well and she’s got Pike on. HARMIKA has burst through to win her last two outings and they’ve seemingly figured out how to ride her. One of those intangibles when doing form is losing the services of regular rider Clint Johnston-Porter who has clearly formed an intimate understanding of the mare. AIN’T NO OTHER MAN can burn these off and find the fence from the outside gate. REAR ADMIRAL gets in on the minimum and comes back to 1000m.
Numbers: 7 – 8 – 9 – 10
Suggested Bet – STATE OF POWER WIN
CAPTAIN PLUTO and I LOVE YOUR SMILE met last start and there was little between them late in the race. With a 1.5kg weight swing in favour of CAPTAIN PLUTO and Pike drawn in his favourite position in a staying race (3 back the fence) pretty happy to side up with CAPTAIN PLUTO to turn the tables. He’s been building at every run in WA and now that he’s out to the full staying trips can start to go through the grades. Could be a nice Country Cups horse? I LOVE YOUR SMILE was plunged off a 5 day back-up last start and given a 12/10 by Lucy Fiore. She’ll need to pull out another ride out of the top drawer from barrier 10 of 12. ATLANTIS BEACH ran third behind that pair and can easily do so again. GHOBELLA comes into this 28 days between runs after winning over 2100m last start.
Numbers: 5 – 3 – 2 – 1
Suggested Bet – CAPTAIN PLUTO WIN
UPPER LIMITS returned well over 1200m, struck a bit of late interference second-up over 1400m and now 5 weeks later looks to have found a very suitable race over 1500m. From the draw he should settle 1×2 and from there he’s hard to hold out late. Nice race for him. STARRY HEIGHTS was hammered in early betting before being legless in late betting in the Easingwold Stakes last start. Fascinating market moves: $2.40 into $1.80 from Wednesday to Saturday (4:20pm) and then out to $2.70 in last 30 minutes of betting. The big players late in the piece took the view that he couldn’t win and he ran to that expectation. Needs to bounce back. COLD SHIZZLE beat home Upper Limits three back and probably wasn’t suited from the inside gate last start. BRUCE ALMIGHTY is one tough nut.
Numbers: 9 – 2 – 4 – 6
Suggested Bet – UPPER LIMITS WIN
Same Race Multi – Upper Limits (Top 2) + Cold Shizzle (Top 4)
Going to take a cautious approach with Starry Heights who was lengths below his best last start. Upper Limits is as consistent as they come and maps well from barrier 5. Should go close from there. Cold Shizzle gets the right run close handy behind a moderate tempo and can add value to the Same Race Multi.
FLASH MAX looks a nice horse in the making. He’s currently three from three undefeated having won a maiden, a C1 and a C3 and while he faces his acid test first-up on a Saturday at Ascot he’s capable of covering ground in his races and he trialled really well at Belmont Park for his return. Looks a three-deep into the corner type of race on paper which helps his cause. VAMPI AT PLAY has been a polarising mare throughout her short career but she showed last start she’s not far away from being back at her best. She maps to get a lovely run behind a strong tempo (Bigdayonit/Trevern/Magic To Exceed) and goes round eachway. COMIC HERO returned well in a four horse field coming out victorious. He can jump straight onto the back of Flash Max in running. KEEP ATTACKING has Pike and shades on. All three wins are in blinkers.
Numbers: 4 – 10 – 9 – 7
Suggested Bet – FLASH MAX EACHWAY
MANHATTAN STRIP has been going consistently well all preparation. He won a very similar race two starts back under Craig Williams and that race has produced subsequent winners San Fabrizio and Eee Pee Cee. Last start he drew barrier 11 of 16, ended up a mile off them and rattled home into fourth in the Alcoa Grandstand Cup at Pinjarra. Should be able to slot in midfield and creep into the race from the 600 here. MATERIAL WITNESS gets a 4kg weight swing for a 2L defeat from that recent encounter with Manhattan Strip. Back to 1600 he can give plenty of cheek. SPEAK TO ME is drawn woefully but he’s progressing nicely this campaign. ROGUE’S POINT has returned in excellent order.
Numbers: 2 – 3 – 7 – 5
Suggested Bet – MANHATTAN STRIP EACHWAY
FLURO NEURO is drawn barrier 15 of 16 and likely settles near enough to last so this will be very much risk vs reward in punting terms but it’s hard to ignore 1) his last start effort in replay; and 2) the fact that Grant & Alana Williams have booked Pike on Fluro Neuro ahead of stablemate and arguably main danger Metallon. Banking on a sea breeze arriving at Ascot by 5pm and Pike finding the right back to follow in running. METALLON was jumping out of the ground last start. Great to see him return to some form after a while in the wilderness. COUNT THE SESSIONS is in career best form and from the draw should enjoy a nice soft run. WITHOUT REG is dangerous if the gaps appear for him.
Numbers: 11 – 2 – 6 – 9
Suggested Bet – FLURO NEURO WIN
Quaddie (Race 6 – 9)