The Leg Up: Ascot Preview – Saturday 12 February 2022

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Race 1 – 12:37PM AMELIA PARK PLATE (1100 METRES)

Expecting good things from SYMPHONY IN RED on debut. Really taken with her Belmont 31/01 trial win, travelling strongly midfield and cruising to the line with plenty in the tank. Maps to land mid-pack again and with an uninterrupted run the daughter of Flying Artie will take some holding out. Fellow first-starter HEAR MY PRAYER has impressed at trials also and the stable thought highly enough to accept in last Sunday’s Magic Millions. Not gaining a start there could be a blessing as this is very winnable. SAINTORIO returned from a freshen to salute midweek but has another high draw to overcome, while FIORUCCI MAMA will be looking to repeat her all-the-way debut win without William Pike and HOTORIO caught the eye late two weeks back.

Tips: 12-6-2-1
Suggested: 12. SYMPHONY IN RED win.

12. SYMPHONY IN RED
6. HEAR MY PRAYER
2. SAINTORIO
1. FIORUCCI MAMA
9. HOTORIO

Race 2 – 1:17PM TABTOUCH – WESTSPEED PLATINUM HANDICAP (1200 METRES)

Expecting RULELEE to measure up to this company. Three wide/no cover and was her maiden easily two back and against tramped three wide at Belmont 2/02 last start (this time with cover) and scored by a similar margin. Can assume a lovely midfield running position and an in-form Jason Whiting will be eager to build momentum on the turn. Was keen on ALIEN FROM MARS first up and not a lot went right after bungling the start. With a clean getaway she can stalk and get last crack at them. Thought the two lead-up trials from SUNSPHERE have been encouraging so a forward first-up result is anticipated, while WINSALOT and NATIVE CHIMES can both win without surprising in this open event.

Tips: 6-2-4-5
Suggested: 6. RULELEE win.

6. RULELEE
2. ALIEN FROM MARS
4. SUNSPHERE
5. WINSALOT
1. NATIVE CHIMES

Race 3 – 1:57PM JILLIAN ANTARTIS – FOREVER A WINNER HANDICAP (1400 METRES)

Flip of the coin between TRADE WAR and RIVER RUBICON, but opted to side with the race-hardened 4YO Trade War to record an overdue Graduation Handicap victory. Has been huge in defeat in this grade at each of his last three outings, but gets an opportunity to land closer in transit on this occasion. If Michael Lane can get him to hold the peak at his fifth run in he’s expected to be too strong late. Really positive about the future of 3YO River Rubicon and he’ll have a stack of admirers. The map creates some doubt though, does Shaun McGruddy lead or breeze or take a sit? Stablemate BRAGWELL looks well placed in a race light on for genuine chances and like seeing him back at 1400m, while WHAT ABOUT MOI and CALL AGAIN round out the top four hopes.

Tips: 2-7-5-3
Suggested: 2. TRADE WAR win.

2. TRADE WAR
7. RIVER RUBICON
5. BRAGWELL
3. WHAT ABOUT MOI
1. CALL AGAIN

Race 4 – 2:36PM CROWN PERTH HANDICAP (1000 METRES)

BORN TO RULE faces a tough task first up but thinking she’s slick enough to handle the assignment. Only sparingly-raced but has form around some quality types and scooted along out in front when scoring a smart Lark Hill 25/01 trial win. Works forward from the outside alley and if she can find the front or outside leader, Born To Rule goes close. Fellow front-runner SOME SORT made an encouraging start to his life with the Gangemi Bros a fortnight ago. Like the way he boxed on under pressure late and he’s right in this. TIME SCALE had no luck when resuming and had another sticky draw to deal with. Certainly good enough though, while GUNS OF NAVARONE ran a bottler first up and in-form stablemate EXPRESS TIME should find this more challenging than what she’s been facing.

Tips: 6-2-4-3
Suggested: 6. BORN TO RULE win.

6. BORN TO RULE
4. TIME SCALE
3. GUNS OF NAVARONE
1. EXPRESS TIME
5. KELVIN
*Numbers amended after scratchings

Race 5 – 3:16PM MORLEY GROWERS MARKET CHALLENGE STAKES (1500 METRES)

TRIX OF THE TRADE looks like he’s the real day. Absolutely whacked them first up before heading to Pinjarra for a soft Breeder’s Classic win over FINE ROMANCE and HEAR ME SING. Gets the draw to enjoy another lovely run in transit and the WA Derby-bound Trix Of The Trade is set to chalk up another feature win. LET’SDEAL is the wildcard though. Is coming out of a workmanlike Mt Barker first up win but is very well regarded and is expected to elevate as the distances get longer. FINE ROMANCE has her knockers but have some time for this filly and she’s only just starting to get the hang of things. Is another who’ll relish the longer journeys, while HEAR ME SING rolls forward and has the race-fitness to impact and UNI QUEEN is next best.

Tips: 1-3-6-2
Suggested: 1. TRIX OF THE TRADE win.

1. TRIX OF THE TRADE
3. LET’SDEAL
6. FINE ROMANCE
2. HEAR ME SING
7. UNI QUEEN

Race 6 – 3:55PM HEINEKEN 3 HANDICAP (1400 METRES)

When will the remarkable winning run from CHEVAL DE VAGA come to an end? Has risen through the ranks with five straight victories for trainer Meryl Haley and this isn’t any harder than the fields he’s accounted for recently. Kesh Dhurun tactics from gate one will be interesting but regardless Cheval de Vaga just has to the horse to beat again. Reckon RESORTMAN could be the big danger. Has been taking on tougher assignments all prep and all the form around him stacks up, so patiently handled by Shaun McGruddy he could be the one launching late. BRUCE ALMIGHTY is a tough bugger and gives himself every chance on speed, but likely has to win from the breeze, while VITAL BLAST can’t be dismissed and TINSNIP comes forward second up.

Tips: 3-5-2-7
Suggested: 3. CHEVAL DE VAGA win.

3. CHEVAL DE VAGA
5. RESORTMAN
2. BRUCE ALMIGHTY
7. VITAL BLAST
1. TINSNIP

Race 7 – 4:25PM BELHUS RACING STABLES HANDICAP (1200 METRES)

Straight to the front with SPECIAL VIEW and he’ll take some catching first up. Has won both fresh assignments since joining the Ballantyne yard and comes out of a hot Lark Hill 25/01 trial. Good use of the 2kg claim and Special View comes out on top. SECRET DEPLOY is a nice 3YO in the making and lookout for him attacking the line with force first up. CRISTAL DANE continues to fly for Dion Luciani and was very stiff when racing wide the entire last start and getting rolled in a photo. HOW’S THE SERENITY has some class about her and will have admirers first up while the effort of BEDOUIN BELLE was better than it reads last start.

Tips: 1-8-3-4
Suggested: 1. SPECIAL VIEW win.

1. SPECIAL VIEW
8. SECRET DEPLOY
3. CRISTAL DANE
4. HOW’S THE SERENITY
2. BEDOUIN BELLE

Race 8 – 4:57PM CYRIL FLOWER STAKES (1200 METRES)

Pretty keen on TRIPLE MISSILE stepping into black-type company for the first time this season. Is unbeaten first up and it would’ve been interesting to see how he’d have gone in the Winterbottom Stakes had he gained a start. Suspect he could’ve been super-competitive in the WFA G1 and therefore with reasonable racing luck, the big finishing Triple Missile should have too much power late. KISSONALLFORCHEEKS has a significant class edge on most of these and while the 60.5kg first up in a steadier, she’s too good not to make her presence felt before a possible Sydney autumn prep. AMASENUS was excellent on resumption and is reunited with her regular rider, while HOT ZED was awesome in her Scenic Blast Stakes win and anticipating a bold first-up showing from COMING AROUND back in WA.

Tips: 11-1-2-3
Suggested: 11. TRIPLE MISSILE win.

11. TRIPLE MISSILE
1. KISSONALLFORCHEEKS
2. AMASENUS
3. HOT ZED
4. COMING AROUND

Race 9 – 5:34PM FIT TO TRAVEL HANDICAP (1600 METRES)

Really tough race to wrap up proceedings with over half the field capable of running without raising an eyebrow. Eventually settled on GINGER BAKER who is bursting to win a race and was only a long neck behind Cheval De Vaga last start. Laqdar Ramoly has ridden himself back into form and with even luck from a midfield running position, Ginger Baker hits the line hard. Don’t mind SOWAR second up. Surged late first up, suited at the mile and doesn’t have to get too far back from this draw. FASHION QUEEN was a good thing licked last start but likely settles last from the outside gate, likely leader PHANTA will have a lot of support again, and classy 4YO TENA KOUTOU can make a major impression second up also.

Tips: 8-3-7-9
Suggested: 8. GINGER BAKER win.

8. GINGER BAKER
3. SOWAR
7. FASHION QUEEN
9. PHANTA
5. TENA KOUTOU

**This edition of #TheLegUp by @thoroheadsWA originally published at 7:00am on Thursday 10 February 2022

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thoroheads

Expert Online Content Provider for the Western Australian Thoroughbred Horse Racing Industry

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