The Leg Up: Ascot Preview – Saturday 16 October 2021

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Race 1 – 12:36PM HAPPY 70TH BIRTHDAY REG BARTLE HANDICAP (1200 METRES)

Looks another big day for Peters Inc on paper and DEVOTED has to be the horse to beat after a high-rating Northam 3/10 debut maiden win. Can begin well enough to make the most of the low draw and peeling into space on the bend, Devoted’s closing speed likely proves too strong. HARDLY EVER is a talent though and is well-regarded by the astute stable. Can see plenty backing her to knock off the on-topper first up. BUZZOOM strolled in on Wednesday and has to be a factor if the stable elects to start, while interested to see how promising pair DADIRRA and MULTINATIONAL perform first up.

Tips: 2-5-4-9
Suggested: 2. DEVOTED win.

2. DEVOTED
5. HARDLY EVER
4. BUZZOOM
9. DADIRRA
1. MULTINATIONAL

Race 2 – 1:19PM MORLEY GROWERS MARKET HANDICAP (2200 METRES)

After coasting to victory last Saturday a happy-and-healthy ROMAN FLIRT looks setup to salute again. Had a setback prior to that assignment and was an alarming drifter, but after stalking a strong tempo was able to work through her gears and put her rivals away. 60kg over 2200m is an ask but Roman Flirt can get it done. Thought BARAMAGIC was a danger after a brave front-running second-up result three weeks back. That run provides him with a strong platform and he can’t be underestimated. SECRET PEARL got too far back last Saturday and expecting more positive tactics on the backup, while Peter Fernie has REGAL CITY humming in Kalgoorlie and the best of QUEEN TAKES KING puts her right in contention.

Tips: 1-2-6-7
Suggested: 1. ROMAN FLIRT win.

1. ROMAN FLIRT
2. BARAMAGIC
6. SECRET PEARL
7. REGAL CITY
3. FINAL CHILL
*Numbers amended after scratchings

Race 3 – 1:55PM TABTOUCH WESTSPEED PLATINUM SERIES HEAT 1 (1200 METRES)

Challenging event to assess and with low confidence ending up locking in the progressive FLICKA’S CHANCE on top. Has gone band-bang to kick off his prep, carrying 60kg to victory second up, and all the form around him stacks up. Gets a nice run on top of the speed from this draw and Flicka’s Chance goes close. We haven’t seen the best of SMASHING at her last two Belmont outings and a return to Ascot could inspire a return to form. Have some time for IMAGE KEEPER and he’s been back for a mid-prep Lark Hill 4/10 trial after his first-up disappointment. Expected to elevate, while APPLE SCHNAPPS will be doing well to swoop with 61kg at 1200m and PINK ‘N’ GRAY could show some cheek out in front.

Tips: 3-6-2-1
Suggested: 3. FLICKA’S CHANCE win.

3. FLICKA’S CHANCE
6. SMASHING
2. IMAGE KEEPER
1. APPLE SCHNAPPS
4. PINK ‘N’ GRAY

Race 4 – 2:44PM SEACORP HANDICAP (1600 METRES)

Confident a William Pike-less STARALIGN can bring his red-hot Goldfields form to town. Has rated through the roof with back-to-back fast wins on his home deck recently, and although “The Wizard” is riding KARIJINI AURORA, Staralign looks right in the zone and just needs a positive steer from Paul Harvey. Karijini Aurora is finally starting to show us her true capabilities but is coming off a setback having been scratched with a virus last Saturday. SON OF BACCHUS was a real eye-catcher first up last week and that run was too good to ignore, while REBEL KNIGHT and NO APOLOGY can both land on-pace and box on competitively late.

Tips: 1-2-4-5
Suggested: 1. STARALIGN win.

1. STARALIGN
2. KARIJINI AURORA
4. SON OF BACCHUS
5. REBEL KNIGHT
6. NO APOLOGY

Race 5 – 3:27PM GLENROY CHAFF HANDICAP (1500 METRES)

Really suitable second up assignment for SPRITELY STAR. Was pitted against Buzzoom by the market first up at Northam 3/10 but it was a one-act affair, with the Cerise And White mare dominant after enjoying a lovely passage in transit. Maps to get the gun run again and with clear galloping room late Pike steers Spritely Star home. Things have clicked for MY FURY with the blinkers on at her past two, strolling clear for big wins. Likely leads with little pressure from this low draw and connections will fancy their chances down on 54kg. OUTBACK JACK goes good and will compete well, just not sure he’ll be wound up to attack first up, while in-form mares LITTLE FLIRT and CELEBRITY WITNESS are in the mix also.

Tips: 6-9-1-2
Suggested: 6. SPRITELY STAR win.

6. SPRITELY STAR
9. MY FURY
1. OUTBACK JACK
2. LITTLE FLIRT
3. CELEBRITY WITNESS

Race 6 – 4:05PM BRAVA MENTO 35 YEAR RECORD HOLDER HANDICAP (1000 METRES)

Looking forward to seeing the big-engined TRIPLE MISSILE is action again. Was spelled and changed stables after tasting defeat for the first time in a fast Breeders Classic at Bunbury in March. Couldn’t have been more impressive win his Lark Hill 4/10 barrier trial and with clear air late, it’s going to be mighty hard to withstand his booming finish fresh, Another first-upper with significant closing speed is VADETTE DE STAR and she’s the obvious danger. Looked just as sharp in the same trial as the on-topper and will have her share of admirers. Pike on DOUBLE JEOPARDY is noteworthy, while FOREST WAR is good enough to figure and STRIKE could find the front and keep rolling at odds.

Tips: 2-5-1-4
Suggested: 2. TRIPLE MISSILE win.

2. TRIPLE MISSILE
5. VADETTE DE STAR
1. DOUBLE JEOPARDY
4. FOREST WAR
6. COCKYJOY
*Numbers amended after scratchings

Race 7 – 4:42PM FURPHY – R.S. CRAWFORD STAKES (1000 METRES)

Hard to split the top three picks but decided that INDIAN PACIFIC can make it back-to-back Crawfords. Had had almost an identical lead-up this year and gets a similar setup to last year, when forced to breeze outside noted speedster MERVYN. Indian Pacific covered the ground so effortlessly in his Belmont 28/09 trial win and with his brilliant Ascot 1000 record, he has to get the nod. Terrific to see top-shelf Winterbottom-bound sprinters STAGEMAN and ELITE STREET resuming and they will be launching at Indian Pacific late, while no surprise to see the developing RIVER BEAU run a bold race fresh and high-class mare FLIRTINI can never be taken lightly.

Tips: 2-4-1-10
Suggested: 2. INDIAN PACIFIC win.

2. INDIAN PACIFIC
4. STAGEMAN
1. ELITE STREET
10. RIVER BEAU
3. FLIRTINI

Race 8 – 5:18PM CROWN PERTH – NORTHERLY STAKES (1400 METRES)

Confident raging Railway Stakes fave WESTERN EMPIRE gets the job done first up in the Northerly. Took all before him in the autumn, winning five from six starts including the WATC Derby, and has looked mint in his two Lark Hill lead-up trial wins. An ideal draw sees Pike have land in the first five/six and from that stalking position Western Empire will be poised to pounce. Anticipating a big fresh effort from LAST OF THE LINE. Loves the Ascot 1400m and thinking he can maximise gate one also. MASSIMO ran out of his skin for his new stable in the Birthday Stakes despite a bar shoe going on. No bar this time around is a big tick and he’ll roll forward and make a contest of things, while stablemates VALOUR ROAD and DANCE MUSIC are high-class competitors who look set to play a part.

Tips: 10-7-2-11
Suggested: 10. LAST OF THE LINE each way.

10. LAST OF THE LINE
7. MASSIMO
2. VALOUR ROAD
11. DANCE MUSIC
1. REGAL POWER
*Numbers amended after scratchings

Race 9 – 5:55PM AMELIA PARK HANDICAP (1400 METRES)

Decent first-up test this for REAL CHARISMA but one she pass. Given a break after two good Belmont winter victories and looked lovely a smooth in her Lark Hill 20/09 trial win. Will be getting back from this draw and standing the leaders a decent head-start, but she certainly has the engine to still make an impact late. MOSCHARD can certainly carry 61kg and win this. Had excuses when unplaced as a $3.80 fave in the Hannans but just needs clear galloping room to rattle into contention. Expecting EM TEE AYE to rebound third up and he may even find himself leading these up, while BERET and ISLAND MISSILE will be running on from the back half.

Tips: 12-1-5-6
Suggested: 12. REAL CHARISMA win.

12. REAL CHARISMA
1. MOSCHARD
5. EM TEE AYE
6. BERET
9. ISLAND MISSILE

**This edition of #TheLegUp by @thoroheadsWA originally published at 7:00am on Thursday 14 October 2021

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thoroheads

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