The Leg Up: Ascot Preview – Saturday 8 January 2022

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Race 1 – 12:27PM MAGIC MILLIONS PLATE (1000 METRES)

Really challenging juvenile contest to assess but the David Harrison yard looks to hold the aces with four runners including on-topper LUCKY SUE. moved well in trials and was stiff not to win on debut, getting strung up midfield and launching late with the best splits of the day. With cover in transit and a nice flow into the race, a confident Tash Faithfull can guide Lucky Sue to home. Stablemate VONSNIP is on the quick backup after narrowly missing a place again last Saturday. Race experienced and can zip home ridden with a smother. Another of the Harrison brigade SNIPPENOVA has shown impressive gate speed at trials and will roll forward from this draw, while PIERRA ART and FRANTIC WAR crossed the line together in a Lark Hill 31/12 trial and will have admirers on debut.

Tips: 5-4-10-8
Suggested: 5. LUCKY SUE win.

5. LUCKY SUE
4. VONSNIP
10. SNIPPENOVA
8. PIERRA ART
1. FRANTIC WAR

Race 2 – 1:07PM TABTOUCH – WESTSPEED PLATINUM HANDICAP (1400 METRES)

Looks a terrific third-up option for BLAZING AWAY. Boxed on well after breezing outside leader behind Trade War at Pinjarra 23/12 and that form has held up, so landing in a similar running position on this occasion, Blazing Away can carry the 60kg to victory. SNIPPY MISS hit the line hard behind subsequent Ascot Saturday winner Cheval De Vaga last start. Kept on the fresh side since and expected to run on well again. Likely leader SEA WAIF can bring her decent Pinjarra form to town, while SPEEDY MISS is always a hope in these Westspeed races and AMERICAN QUEEN performed well for former hoop Ryan Hill at Pinjarra 23/12.

Tips: 1-6-9-7
Suggested: 1. BLAZING AWAY win.

1. BLAZING AWAY
6. SNIPPY MISS
9. SEA WAIF
7. AMERICAN QUEEN
3. ALL IN RED
*Numbers amended after scratchings

Race 3 – 1:47PM NEVILLE FORWARD MEMORIAL PLATE (1400 METRES)

Hard to look past THE VELVET QUEEN. Thought she would make if three on the troy in the Westspeed 3YO feature last start but she drifting back from gate 11 she simply couldn’t win the way the race was run. Still got home with gusto though and settling closer up to 1400m from this low draw, The Velvet Queen is set to bounce back. Forget UNI QUEEN went around last start when held up most of the straight. Did match motors with the on-topper three starts back also. EXTRA SECRET did a lot wrong but still eeked out a maiden win at Pinjarra 29/12. Has some ability but still has plenty to learn, while last-start winners ELITE FIGHTER and HEAR ME SING are both handy horses in the making.

Tips: 8-9-10-2
Suggested: 8. THE VELVET QUEEN win.

8. THE VELVET QUEEN
9. UNI QUEEN
10. EXTRA SECRET
2. ELITE FIGHTER
1. HEAR ME SING

Race 4 – 2:27PM AMELIA PARK LODGE HANDICAP (1000 METRES)

Sticking with ISLAND CHARM. Was well-backed and got the result over 1200m at Ascot 11/12, but with 28 days between runs she’ll be able to slide back to the 1000m without too much of an issue. Has raced so well this prep against quality opposition and if Chris Parnham can find some cover from the outside alley, Island Charm will take some beating. MANTELLI drops 5kg after his Pinjarra Straight 1000 placing. Recent results have been good, but does wait for them and may lack a knockout punch. RIVER BEAU is the class runner of the race and he’s carried big weights successfully in this grade previously. At his best he wins this, while peak PLATINUM BULLET puts her right in the mix and first-upper STRATHMORE ROSE makes appeal from gate one carrying only 52kg.

Tips: 6-1-3-8
Suggested: 6. MANTELLI win.

6. MANTELLI
1. RIVER BEAU
3. PLATINUM BULLET
8. STRATHMORE ROSE
7. NIGHT VOYAGE
*Numbers amended after scratchings

Race 5 – 3:05PM CROWN TOWERS HANDICAP (1600 METRES)

CJP has gone on to EM TEE AYE and the in-form hoop might be just what this fellow needs. Endured a traffic riddled run this track/distance last Saturday when landing in a prime position early and then some roadblocks ahead didn’t really allow him to build momentum at any stage. Drops down to 54.5kg, love the riding change, and this is his race. BRUCE ALMIGHTY does look ready to win though and will more than likely find himself railing in front like last Saturday. I’M PRETTY was super-stiff first up and while 1200m to 1600m is a query, you must respect the camp, while BLINDER had no luck last Saturday also and will win one soon and FRIARESQUE could bob up without surprising.

Tips: 5-3-4-2
Suggested: 5. EM TEE AYE win.

5. EM TEE AYE
3. BRUCE ALMIGHTY
4. I’M PRETTY
2. BLINDER
1. FRIARESQUE

Race 6 – 3:40PM BELHUS RACING STABLES HANDICAP (1600 METRES)

FAIRY FAST looks placed to win. Was a hard luck story two starts in a row before being rolled in a photo this track/distance last Saturday, after being three-wide with cover the entire. Blinkers and W. Pike going on suggests Team Williams mean business and with a sweet run from the draw, Fairy Fast will be hard to get past. Like BENJI’S as a horse and with a clean getaway he could end up getting the run of the race. ZETORIO has caught the eye at both runs this prep, and he’s expected to drift back and charge home late, while WATCH ME NEY NEY is well-weighted and is coming off an encouraging first-up result and BLACKWATER BAY has ability and can give this a shake first up.

Tips: 5-7-4-10
Suggested: 5. FAIRY FAST win.

5. FAIRY FAST
7. BENJI’S
4. ZETORIO
10. WATCH ME NEY NEY
1. BLACKWATER BAY

Race 7 – 4:15PM GLENROY CHAFF HANDICAP (2200 METRES)

Wide-open 2200m contest and going with the weight horse in CONQUERED ZONE. Been racing very consistently this campaign and slides down 5kg after a close-up fourth in the feeder race to this three weeks ago. Ridden with cover by Kesh Dhurun, Conquered Zone just needs galloping room late to fight out the finish. LADY DUCKWORTH finished alongside the on-topped last start and looks poised for a peak performance with this weight and gate. COME RIGHT BACK backs up after the Perth Cup and while Pike hops on he does have 59.5kg and the outside alley, while THE ROAN RANGER doesn’t know how to run a bad race and KERMAN ROCK can impact also.

Tips: 6-11-1-13
Suggested: 6. CONQUERED ZONE win.

6. CONQUERED ZONE
11. LADY DUCKWORTH
1. COME RIGHT BACK
13. THE ROAN RANGER
5. KERMAN ROCK

Race 8 – 4:50PM EASINGWOLD STAKES (1400 METRES)

Found it very hard to separate THE SPRUIKER and PROCONSENT, and ended up going for the 4YO with an unknown ceiling. Kept on winning in the Belmont winter and showed that wasn’t a flash in the pan prep with a surging fresh 1200m victory over subsequent Ascot Saturday winner Chantorque. Does lose the suspended Shaun McGruddy, but with a reasonable run under Paul Harvey over the more suitable 1400m, confident The Spruiker can once again raise the bar. Proconsent is low-flying for Adam Durrant this campaign and had genuine excuses when a beaten $1.60 fave last start. Pike unlocked this fellow, so “The Wizard” back on is big and dropping 5.5kg is obviously important. LORENTINIO has been three wide/no cover at his past two and will relish following the rail in front on this occasion, while LUKE’S GOLD and BAM’S ON FIRE are in the mix also.

Tips: 5-7-6-2
Suggested: 5. THE SPRUIKER win.

5. THE SPRUIKER
7. PROCONSENT
6. LORENTINIO
2. LUKE’S GOLD
4. BAM’S ON FIRE

Race 9 – 5:25PM MORLEY GROWERS MARKET HANDICAP (1200 METRES)

The Pinjarra Straight 1000 form can be a bit wonky at times but trusting MATERIAL WITNESS to elevate off that first-up victory and win again. Strung some good form together when last in work and for him to gun down Mantelli and Vane Tempest last start confirms he’s come back in ripping nick. Maps rearwards with cover, but if conditions are suiting the swoopers, Material Witness certainly possesses the closing speed necessary. JEDI MIND appears the big danger and looks set to peak third up. Gate one with Chris Parnham on and this fellow ticks some boxes. WEDNESDAY can make her presence felt, as can likely leader and reinvigorated mare CRISTAL DANE, while the best of LONDON MISS would see her go close here.

Tips: 2-4-10-5
Suggested: 2. MATERIAL WITNESS win.

2. MATERIAL WITNESS
4. JEDI MIND
10. WEDNESDAY
5. CRISTAL DANE
6. LONDON MISS

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