The Leg Up: Ascot Preview – Saturday 19 February 2022

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Race 1 – 12:37PM BELHUS RACING STABLES PLATE (1000 METRES)

Looking forward to this juvenile clash and providing STREET PARADE isn’t too jaded after a testing Magic Millions 2YO Classic then he should be taking care of business. Led at a very fast tempo from gate 10 last start and gave a brave kick before getting swallowed up late, but don’t expect him to burn as much fuel early on this occasion and coming back to the 1000m suits. Crystal Slipper Stakes winner MAN CRUSH worked to the line well to finish alongside Street Parade in the Magic Millions. Has to be a danger. As does SAINTORIO on the quick backup, having disposed of his rivals comfortably last Saturday, while interesting to note Shaun McGruddy is riding the gifted HANG GLIDER ahead of Street Parade, and big watch on multiple trial-winner and possible leader MADAME LE PEN on debut.

Tips: 3-1-2-4
Suggested: 3. STREET PARADE win.

3. STREET PARADE
1. MAN CRUSH
2. SAINTORIO
4. HANG GLIDER
9. MADAME LE PEN

Race 2 – 1:17PM FABULOUS FIFTY TIM MCKENZIE HANDICAP (1000 METRES)

Locking in SPIN THE KNIFE to rebound after a shock Magic Millions 3YO Trophy defeat. Just never looked comfortable in the run when unable to lead on that occasion and wasted excess fuel early-and-middle, which meant he was flat late. Expected to hold up in front coming back to the 1000m on this occasion though and 3kg claimer Holly Watson handles front-runners well. HE’S A SIZZLER will be spotting the on-topper a decent head-start in transit but does have the closing speed to still impact. The small field helps also. PIXIE CHIX was victorious in the Magic Millions, but was no match for Spin The Knife two back. Still has to be a factor, while first-upper REAL DANGER took on some quality towards the end of her last campaign and STATE OF POWER is coming off a strong first-up Belmont midweek win.

Tips: 1-3-5-7
Suggested: 1. SPIN THE KNIFE win.

1. SPIN THE KNIFE
3. HE’S A SIZZLER
5. PIXIE CHIX
7. REAL DANGER
6. STATE OF POWER

Race 3 – 1:57PM TABTOUCH – WESTSPEED PLATINUM HANDICAP (1400 METRES)

No surprise to see any of the original 10 acceptors win but opted to roll with HALATORION. Being ridden for speed over 1000m didn’t suit two back and with a more patient steer last Sunday week he rattled off an unlucky fourth in this grade. Had gate nine on that occasion, so maps to land much closer from this draw, and with Brad Rawiller stalking the leaders Halatorion gives this a nudge late. STAR PRESENT had Karli’s Karma and Pink Carats formlines first up before being three wide/no cover the entire when beaten a head at Belmont 2/02. Thinking she finds the front and takes some getting past. SPIRITED SESSION and GALLANT RANGER come out of the same race at Halatorian and both have winning claims, while SNIPPY MISS can enjoy a smother and get last crack at them late.

Tips: 4-10-6-8
Suggested: 4. HALATORION win.

4. HALATORION
10. STAR PRESENT
6. SPIRITED SESSION
8. GALLANT RANGER
5. SNIPPY MISS

Race 4 – 2:36PM HAPPY BIRTHDAY FERGO HANDICAP (1100 METRES)

MY BABY BLUE JEAN stands out. Came out of a Pinjarra maiden win to knock off Beads and He’s A Sizzler in Open 3YO company last start. Looks really well placed with only 55.5kg against the older horses, finds the front without too many hassles and My Baby Blue Jeans should be simply too fast. Fellow 3YO VIA MONTE isn’t doing a lot wrong this prep and did hold his own against the older horses at Pinjarra 6/02. Looks the most likely to emerge from the pack and have a crack at My Baby Blue Jean late. Thought ACEFIRE was going to win the Magic Millions 3YO Trophy for a stride or two. Strips fitter and can impact, while CASH AWAY is progressive and WEDNESDAY doesn’t know how to run a bad race.

Tips: 8-6-4-5
Suggested: 8. MY BABY BLUE JEAN win.

8. MY BABY BLUE JEAN
6. VIA MONTE
4. ACEFIRE
5. CASH AWAY
9. WEDNESDAY

Race 5 – 3:16PM CROWN PERTH HANDICAP (1000 METRES)

Locking in smart sprinter PANZDOWN to make a winning return. Won four straight last prep before a match race with subsequent Beaufine Stakes winner Nerodio, and a fast-finishing fourth to Long Beach, Miss Conteki and Gemma’s Son to finish off his campaign. Looked wound up when defeating RIVER BEAU in a fast Lark Hill 8/02 trial win and if close enough Panzdown can gun them down. 3YO BEADS should enjoy sliding down to 54kg after carrying 59.5kg to own-age placings recently. Maps ideally on the leader’s back from gate one and he has to be a major player. Likely leader ACROMANTULA is a very hard horse to run down over the Ascot 1000m and is another set to enjoy some weight relief, while MATERIAL WITNESS was brilliant down the Pinjarra Straight 1000 and RIVER BEAU has some issues but is a very fast horse when right.

Tips: 2-8-5-1
Suggested: 2. PANZDOWN win.

2. PANZDOWN
8. BEADS
5. ACROMANTULA
1. RIVER BEAU
3. EXPRESS TIME
*Numbers amended after scratchings

Race 6 – 3:55PM AMELIA PARK HANDICAP (1600 METRES)

Looks the right race for CRESCENT CITY. Has been building all prep and it looked like culminating in a win last Saturday before being descended upon by the talented Tena Koutou. Expected to be positively ridden by apprentice Jett Stanley and landing in the first four/five in transit looks a winning position for Crescent City. TRADEM’ IN made an exciting return to racing at Pinjarra 6/02, squeezing through some narrow openings to get up in a photo. Nice horse and can win again. SLUICE BOX isn’t far away and like him in the quick backup, while SPEEDBIRD will be getting back and launching late and DOWNFORCE struggles to win but this may not be as strong as what he’s contested recently.

Tips: 2-6-4-5
Suggested: 2. CRESCENT CITY win.

2. CRESCENT CITY
6. TRADEM’ IN
4. SLUICE BOX
5. SPEEDBIRD
3. DOWNFORCE

Race 7 – 4:35PM DRUMMOND GOLF HANDICAP (2200 METRES)

Been waiting to see HOLY ENCHANTMENT over a journey and we finally get a look to see what’s under the hood. Felt he was a WATC Derby prospect this time last year but didn’t continue on the pathway after a second to Western Empire in the Roberts Stakes (1800m). Has a solid 1800m fresh run under his belt from Pinjarra 30/01, so expected to elevate significantly off that, and dropping 3kg while settling midfield from the good draw, Holy Enchantment is the one. BLACK CHIPS is 26 days between runs but his formlines are strong and he’s a real stayer. Maps nicely also. PRIZED MISS kept coming at Pinjarra 6/02 and thought there was plenty of merit in the effort. Ready for 2200m now, while OFF WEGO quickened off a very slow tempo to win over 2000m last start, and the emerging OUR NORMAN is coming off a super tough last start Pinjarra win.

Tips: 5-7-14-11
Suggested: 5. HOLY ENCHANTMENT win.

5. HOLY ENCHANTMENT
7. BLACK CHIPS
14. PRIZED MISS
11. OFF WEGO
8. OUR NORMAN

Race 8 – 5:12PM DETONATOR STAKES (1800 METRES)

Great to see a full field face the starter in the listed Detonator Stakes and rolling with the class runners in PLATOON and PADDY’S SHADOW. Platoon is a proper Group 2 horse and once again displayed his quality with Cox Stakes and Perth Cup placings. Is 49 days between runs, but did win off a 42-day break this time last year, and well in at the SWP conditions and with a decent alley, Platoon has to take some beating. Paddy’s Shadow is a top-shelf race mare and is also having her first outing since a Perth Cup placing. Looked great in her Lark Hill 8/02 trial win and she’s a massive winning chance. COCKNEY CREW also comes out of the Perth Cup and looks the likely leader, SOLAIA is bravely racing her way into form after some mixed results earlier this prep and no surprise to see huge runs from class stayers NEUFBOSC and STAFFORD’S LAD.

Tips: 4-15-11-8
Suggested: 4. PLATOON win.

4. PLATOON
15. PADDY’S SHADOW
11. COCKNEY CREW
8. SOLAIA
1. NEUFBOSC

Race 9 – 5:48PM HEINEKEN 3 HANDICAP (1800 METRES)

CHICLETT looks the obvious way to go in a sticky race to finish the day. Has been just about career best over the last couple of months for the Pearce Bros and from this draw with CJP on board, she should land a pair or two closer than what she did at Pinjarra last start. Suited back to 1800m and with a lovely smother in transit, Chiclett can work them over late. ALL MAN caused a minor upset when a $31 winner second up at Belmont 9/02. Deserved that win having raced well without saluting in 13 starts last prep. Maps nice and soft again from a low draw and just needs the gaps to appear late. ALL IN RED is a factor but will need plenty to fall into place from this alley, WEE RIPPER is in good nick this prep and gives himself every chance on speed, while no surprise to see either MISTY LAD or WITHOUT REASON fighting out the finish.

Tips: 3-13-14-5
Suggested: 3. CHICLETT win.

3. CHICLETT
13. ALL MAN
14. ALL IN RED
5. WEE RIPPER
1. MISTY LAD
6. WITHOUT REASON

**This edition of #TheLegUp by @thoroheadsWA originally published at 7:00am on Thursday 17 February 2022

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thoroheads

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

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