The Leg Up: Ascot Preview – Saturday 16 February 2019

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Race 1 – 12:58PM TABTOUCH – BETTER YOUR BET PLATE (1000 METRES)

Good clash between boom debutante AMELIA’S ON FIRE and the unbeaten AMARILLO ROSE, and siding with Amelia’s On Fire. Trained by Perth’s ‘King Of The Kids’, this $110,00 yearling careered away to win her Belmont 4/02 trial by almost 10 lengths, and made it look easy. You don’t see many trial better than that and with Pike booked, she will be all the rage. Amarillo Rose almost came unstuck in a farcically slow race last start, but showed her class late. She’s no pushover. Have liked the trials from IZZY MAY, she’s a big watch on debut, while WICKLOW PRINCESS goes well and had excuses first up.

Tips: 6-1-7-5
Suggested: 6. AMELIA’S ON FIRE win.

6. AMELIA’S ON FIRE
1. AMARILLO ROSE
7. IZZY MAY
5. WICKLOW PRINCESS

Race 2 – 1:38PM HENRYK MALEC 60TH BIRTHDAY MAIDEN (1200 METRES)

This looks the race for FAMILY DISCUSSION. One of the better maidens in WA, this fellow’s racing so well considering the high draws he’s encountered of late, and from gate one, he’ll no doubt appreciate seeing the running rail for the first time in a while. Maps to advantage and with clear galloping room late, should break through. GEOGRAPHE BAY ran into all sorts of trouble in the straight first up and would’ve gone close with any luck. Can make an impact. Have a bit of time for first-upper SPOOKWOOD, expecting him to drift back and swoop late, while on-pacer CARLEY EMILY can figure.

Tips: 1-2-4-10
Suggested: 1. FAMILY DISCUSSION win.

1. FAMILY DISCUSSION
2. GEOGRAPHE BAY
4. SPOOKWOOD
10. CARLEY EMILY

Race 3 – 2:18PM AMELIA PARK HANDICAP (1000 METRES)

This looks a decent option for SANTIAGO GAL. Liked her Belmont 7/01 trial and the fresh effort wasn’t too bad when having her first look at the Pinjarra Straight 1000. Came down the middle of the course on that occasion, so from a low draw here she’ll no doubt appreciate the familiarity of an inside rail, and she has won twice over the Ascot 1000 before. Maps to advantage and Shaun O’Donnell is riding well. METRO BOY is a smart type and will take some beating, just not sure where he’s going to land from the high draw. MACROY is flying and can win again, while SHE’S VITAL will charge late.

Tips: 5-7-6-3
Suggested: 5. SANTIAGO GAL each way.

5. SANTIAGO GAL
7. MACROY
6. SHE’S VITAL
3. FAERIE WHISPER

*Numbers amended after Final Scratchings.

Race 4 – 2:55PM CYRIL FLOWER STAKES (1200 METRES)

Hard to look past CELEBRITY DREAM. The dominant force in the local Fillies & Mares division was set to fly east for a Melbourne mission last week, but stayed in Perth. Expecting her to be nice and fresh coming off a 42-day break, and while she’ll no doubt settle rearwards, the small field suits and she has the power to run over the top. Very well in with only 55kg also. FIRST AMONG EQUALS was super at his second run back in WA and it’s still hard to believe the photo went against him. He’ll go close. RIVER DANCE maps well on the 54kg limit, while WRINKLY will take some catching.

Tips: 4-1-8-3
Suggested: 4. CELEBRITY DREAM win.

4. CELEBRITY DREAM
1. FIRST AMONG EQUALS
8. RIVER DANCE
3. WRINKLY

Race 5 – 3:30PM CAROL HULL 50TH BIRTHDAY HANDICAP (1500 METRES)

Found this race to be very tricky and opted to go a little wide with ROSE’S SHADOW. Has competed very well in this grade previously and did catch the eye first up, when travelling strongly on the turn but unable to get clear at any stage late. Can lead, but probably lands in the box seat, and from there he’s more than capable of giving this a shake. PEPPIJACK has been brave at his past two, expecting him to roll forward and be very hard to get past late. TOUCH OF SILVER faces a task with 60.5kg from a high draw, but must still be respected, while DEBELLATIO was simply massive last start.

Tips: 12-8-1-2
Suggested: 12. ROSE’S SHADOW each way.

12. ROSE’S SHADOW
8. PEPPIJACK
1. TOUCH OF SILVER
2. DEBELLATIO

Race 6 – 4:05PM CHALLENGE STAKES (1500 METRES)

Have been impressed with the stylish CREATIVE HERO and he looks the horse to beat. Cleared out for a soft maiden win at Bunbury two back, before showing some class to defeat the older horses last start, despite racing three-wide no cover throughout. Hoping Pike will be positive from a potentially awkward draw and Creative Hero only needs even luck to win. COMING AROUND goes good and is more than capable of measuring up. Stable and rider both in form also. REGAL POWER is a nice horse in the making and will be very strong late, while SPEEDY MISS should be running on also.

Tips: 7-4-3-10
Suggested: 7. CREATIVE HERO win.

7. CREATIVE HERO
4. COMING AROUND
3. REGAL POWER
10. SPEEDY MISS

Race 7 – 4:40PM CHEREENA HORNE 40TH BIRTHDAY HANDICAP (1400 METRES)

Emerging talent NEUROLOGICAL is flying and if he can hold his current peak he’ll win again. Been well placed by Martin Allan when claiming two $100,000 provincial sprints recently, but both performances were outstanding, and this fellow has some real weapons at his disposal. Expecting him to stalk the speed from a low draw and unleash late. ALPHA SKY is another in-form up-and-comer on the quick back up after leading and winning at Pinjarra. Should find the front again and give a sight. OUR FINEST MOMENT is suited with a senior back on board, while SHOWCASE can figure with the blinkers on.

Tips: 3-2-13-1
Suggested: 3. ALPHA SKY win.

3. ALPHA SKY
2. OUR FINEST MOMENT
13. SHOWCASE
1. TELLEM WE’RE COMIN

*Numbers amended after Final Scratchings.

Race 8 – 5:15PM OWN THE DREAM HANDICAP (1800 METRES)

Ended up settling on BUCKTORIO after being unable to look past his high-rating win over this track/distance in midweek grade last start. Was backed for a stack on that occasion, in a race with a tearaway leader, and he may encounter a similar tempo if BEAUCOUNT finds the front here. Maps well with 55kg and that last start was just too strong to ignore. No surprise to see WESTERN KING improve sharply from a low draw after having a few excuses last time. While CRYSTAL VALLEY and MEDIA BARON look the two main fancies, and both will be drifting back and hitting the line hard.

Tips: 13-3-5-4
Suggested: 13. BUCKTORIO each way.

13. BUCKTORIO
3. CRYSTAL VALLEY
5. MEDIA BARON
4. MOUQUET

*Numbers amended after Final Scratchings.

*Originally published at 7:00am on Thursday 14 February 2019

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