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Ascot Saturday Perth Racing Preview BY JOSH RODDER Track is a good 2, penetrometer is 6, and the rail stays in the 6-metre position, the same as midweek and last Saturday. Expect the track to race fairly. Throughout the week there has been a light sea breeze from mid-afternoon, which tends to suit horses with cover through the second half of program. FORECAST FOR SATURDAY WEATHER: FINE. MIN 13; MAX 27

Race 1: Let’s Celebrate Belmont Hcp, [3yo], 1800m, 2:20pm [EST] S pi tfi re A ce (1 ) is an early scratching. I’m expecting a genuine tempo to be set by Al l s G o o d ( 4 ), with A n y t h i ng M o re ( 3 ) outside the speed. Anything More will try to pour on pressure early with Res u rge n t ( 8 ) box seating with Hawkeye M o r t ( 2 ) on her outside handy. I’m keen to follow the winning form of Resurgent, who was very good winning first up over 1675m at Bunbury on April 16. It was a wonderful Peter Hall ride to position her behind the speed from her wide draw, but I just loved the way she pulled out plenty when challenged over the concluding stages of the race. Impressive subsequent maiden winner New Abode finished behind her on that occasion so the form from the event has been franked. The daughter of Fasliyev has always been well regarded and started a short-priced favourite at her Belmont debut (Sept 8) last year, when she raced greenly and was all at sea (6th of 9). She’s back bigger and better than ever and may just provide us with a value start to the day. Alls Good has turned the corner since blinkers were added when he led throughout at Pinjarra and will give backers a sight. The form around his last start placing behind Wild Times will stand up. A n y t h i ng M o re ( 3 ) is a former Victorian with a bag of tricks, however has been beautifully placed of late by astute young Aquanita trainer Simon Miller. He looks a died-in-the-wool stayer. Offer Me

Jewels ( 7 ) has been freshened since an encouraging fifth in the WA Oaks (24oom) in early March. She can run into the minor money.

THE VERDICT (8) Resurgent is a nice gamble to kick off the day from (4) Alls Good and (3) Anything More both serious dangers, and (7) Offer Me Jewels to provide value for exotics.

Race 2 – City of Opportunity Hcp, [86+], 1800m, 3:00pm [EST] Expect an interesting tactical affair, with the small field. Ma n s i o n H o u se (1 ) can lead from Ca t I n A Hat ( 5 ) , with Revere n d L ovej oy ( 6 ) in the box seat and S ta r E n c o u n te r ( 2 ) and Cal i c o Bl ue ( 3 ) not far away. Star Encounter has had a wonderful campaign, which includes a win in the Pinjarra Cup and a massive third in the Bunbury Cup. This was followed by two unsuitable sit-sprint 1800 metre races, and last start she outstayed a handy field (2200m) carrying 58kg. With the claim for experienced apprentice Alan Kennedy she is well placed here on the back-up with 55.5kg. I believe if Kennedy can make this a true staying test, she will outstay her rivals and win again. Class could tell from another quality lass in Calico Blue who is racing like the 1800 metres is what she is searching for. Asked to begin and race handy to the speed last start she never really settled. Later reports suggested she was in season. She did look the winner before being nailed late by Black Habit. This is a touch richer, however with added fitness and a quiet ride, she will come with a rush. Reverend Lovejoy is on trial for a shot at some of the Goldfields features later in the season. He has been very good to us and appears to be in the best form of his career. We lose nothing with W. Pike replacing heavyweight rider Peter Hall. The reverend will get the gun run and will be competitive. Lam b t o n Ca s t le ( 4 ) is re-united with Link Robertson and he has the ability to reel off some mean late sectionals.

THE VERDICT It’s hard to be confident with tactics so important in small fields, but I do believe (2) Star Encounter is the best horse so she is the bet. There’s not much between (3) Calico Blue, (6) Reverend Lovejoy and (4) Lambton Castle.

Race 3 – City of Belmont Councillors Hcp, [69-86], 2200m, 3:40pm [EST] I expect O b servat i o n (1 ) will lob on top of the speed, but is not likely to break any records, with M y t h i cal Ma n ( 3 ), Ca s ual L ife ( 5 ) , B iara R ose ( 6 ) handy. I like the way Casual Life is progressing through this preparation. He put in a big run four starts back in the ATA Hcp behind Great Destiny (subsequent Albany Cup winner) and Wicklow Hills (Bunbury Cup victor), when he made an early move and was still sticking on at the finish. His run in the Narrogin Cup on April 19 was massive – he pulled hard at the back end of the field, in a race where Sir Clase went even time in front and rushed to the line. Then last week he charged from last to run classy staying mare Star Encounter to ¾ of a length. Casual Life’s form on the back up is very good without winning. I reckon he presents good each-way value. He just needs an ounce of luck from three back the fence. Biara R o se ( 6 ) is a promising staying mare who ran an excellent race at her first distance try last start (beaten a neck by Dominicano over 2200m on April 18). She will be improved by that run and is the weight horse with 51kg after the claim for Duncan Miller. Expect a positive ride and she will be hard to get past. I am expecting improvement from Pe n ca za ( 4 ) up to a suitable trip. I like the way he has been ticking along as we head into the winter racing season at Belmont. Observation has been in work an eternity, however he continues to race well. I don't know if he is a true stayer, but if Talia Maor can get him to relax behind the leader in running, he will be competitive again.

THE VERDICT I’m going with an each-way gamble with (5) Casual Life, from the expected favourite (6) Biara Rose, who can be backed as well for a save. For the multiples go for value with (4) Pencaza, (1) Observation and (3) Mythical Man sure to be thereabouts.

Race 4 – City of Belmont Community Plate, [2yo], 1200m, 4:20pm [EST] This is a very tricky juvenile race. Expect Ra ci ng Mak (1 ) to show speed and be the likely leader, from R om i da ( 5 ), R oyal Es ca pade ( 9 ), C o n ver te d ( 4 ), and M y E q u i ne F r ie n d ( 2 ) not far away. Again I’m looking at some each-way betting value with Converted. He showed natural ability with an early-season trial win at Belmont on Sept 22, then subsequently had no luck on debut, stuck out three wide with no cover and naturally dropped out when last of six to Gold Rocks. He resumed without a trial and I liked the way he found the line when 4th behind the unbeaten Angelic Heart and the above average Bizet over 1100m here on April 18. I reckon he will get a lovely run in transit, is suited up to 1200 metres and I believe his form line is far superior to his rivals. Jevb o n ( 3 ) should have won by panels at the midweeks last time (April 22, 1100m). He was climbing over their heels all the way up the straight and with a touch of daylight would have won. He still has a few racing quirks, getting on and off the bit in running and is likely to be in an awkward spot in running. The services of W. Pike can overcome those possibilities. Romida did it tough three wide outside the speed last start, when beating Jevbon and appears to get all the favours here from the inside draw. My Equine Friend looks a nice middle-distance horse in the making and I liked the way he closed behind Racing Mak on debut. He will be competitive again.

THE VERDICT Another each-way gamble with (4) Converted as the main, with something on (3) Jevbon, the likely favourite, for insurance. (5) Romida and (2) My Equine Friend are multiple chances, with value exotic chances (9) Royal Escapade and (1) Racing Mak.

QUADDIE FIRST LEG Race 5 – City of Belmont Sprint, [71+], Fillies and Mares, 1200m, 5:00pm [EST] I’m not keen on this race. Ve r sar c ( 8 ) should burn across to lead and will be hard to run down, with R o se Of Dan te ( 2 ) outside speed, M i ss A p p r o p r ia te ( 7 ) , I c y Mai de n ( 4 ), La c i da ( 5 ), L o m o n d s i de Lass ( 6 ) all capable of sitting handy. Icy Maiden ran a terrific race when resuming behind subsequent Saturday open gender winner Classofherown at Ascot (1000m) on April 8. She has been kept fresh since and it looks like she will get all the favours in transit. Versarc has speed to burn and could not have been m0re impressive winning at the midweeks after a freshen. Takahide Ikenushi is in great form and he will rate her to perfection from the front. Rose Of Dante trialled well at Lark Hill but may just need this one to top her off. Miss Appropriate is very genuine, blinkers go on, she will box seat and always gives her all.

THE VERDICT I’m not keen to get involved but you can back (4) Icy Maiden and (8) Versarc for a possible result. (2) Rose Of Dante, (7) Miss Appropriate, (1) Just Marika should go into quaddies. The Quaddie: 4,8,2,7,1

QUADDIE SECOND LEG Race 6- Creating Opportunities Hcp, [3yo], 1200m, 5:38pm [EST] Ki r o v Pa rk ( 6 ) is the early scratching. R u s sell R oa d ( 2 ) and F u r o c i tee ( 5 ) will work out who leads, with Jay Jay Makste r ( 3 ) likely to settle in the box seat. I’m keen to go with the former topclass juvenile Russell Road, who has always suggested he would make the grade, beginning his 2yo season with a bang! He was subsequently haunted with bad gates and no luck in the spring of 2008. He showed he is back on track when resuming over 1200m, without a trial. He gave his all when nailed late by Fun Spice and eventually fading to third (April 11 Ascot).

He was forced to work overtime from a wide draw, and then, when challenged in the straight by Shock Value, he gave a big kick and showed he was back enjoying the fight. He is the best horse in this race and, ridden the same way, he should win. F u n S p i ce (1 ) faced an impossible task last week (6 th of 7) when he settled back and Mio Fratello and Royal Devotion dictated from the front. More pressure up front here and he should be launching late. Jay Jay Makster was scratched midweek for this harder assignment. He resumes without a trial, however was an impressive debut winner. He is in good hands. Watch betting. Zen t i na ( 9 ) probably is not good enough, but she is honest and ticking over nicely at two runs back from a break.

THE VERDICT: Back (2) Russell Road and save on (1) Fun Spice, from (3) Jay Jay Makster, then (9) Zentina. The Quaddie: 2,1,3

QUADDIE THIRD LEG Race 7 – City of Belmont Opportunity Card Hcp, [6880], 1400m, 6:15pm [EST] Expect them to really burn in this. A n o t he r C la nger (1 ) only knows one way, C o r o na te ( 4 ) appears to have only one option from a wide draw – to go forward, The S lam ( 7 ) goes best when ridden positively and Happ y C ha n te ( 3 ) and Heigh t Of Heigh t s ( 8 ) can all be prominent. Interestingly enough Si lver De ck ( 5 ) has been through the hands of Lindsey Smith, Lou Luciani and Frank Maynard and now is in the capable hands of astute Bunbury horseman Brett Larsson. It is hard to find a bad run in Silver Deck’s 41-start career (5W-10-8) and at the moment he looks to be in career-best form. I loved the way he sat back at Bunbury last start (16 April, 1400m) and in a matter of a few bounds put his rivals to the sword. The placegetters (Real Honour, Revy Jay) have franked that form finishing one, two at Bunbury last week and the fourth-placed Tributon was runner-up mid week at Ascot. Silver Deck will get a sweet run off a top speed and looks a great hope. A big watch in the betting is La S oe u r Noi r ( 6 ) , who resumes after two quiet trials. The expected hot speed will suit her get back and run on style. In the astute

hands of Maynard and W. Pike takes the mount. Could she be the blowout? I have been impressed with Height Of Heights on the provincial circuit. Her last win at Albany (1400m, April 12) rates very highly and she appears to have found the groove now, after taking a while to find her feet. She should box seat. Another Clanger is a tough front running type, suited back to 1400m, while S t r iken ( 2 ) has a booming finish and looks to be suited the way the race will be run.

THE VERDICT Each-way all day on (5) Silver Deck, with a small spec bet on (6) La Soeur Noir at good odds. (8) Height Of Heights, (1) Another Clanger and (2) Striken chances. The Q ua d d ie: 5 , 6, 8 ,1,2

QUADDIE FOURTH LEG Race 8 – City of Belmont Mayoral Hcp, [74-86], 1200m, 6:52pm [EST] A solid speed and pressure is expected in the last. S t ra ta z oa (1 ) should show speed from wide out, with Es tia r te ( 2 ) , Se c re t C o u r ie r ( 4 ) , Wer d (1 0 ), Dan ce W o rk s ( 8 ), M i s s i o n C o n t r o l ( 3 ) next. Estiarte looks the safe bet. He is on the seven-day back-up after a game effort behind Elliotto and Snip Esprit in open company. He does not know how to run a bad race and has won off a seven-day break in the past. I have him one out-one back in running and with the 3kg claim for Duncan Miller he will look the winner at some stage. There is a big watch on Ba r ram b ie ( 6 ). He is a very talented galloper resuming from a long spell (since Jan 26, 2008). He had a strong on-pace trial in blinkers (3 rd to Emteevee at Belmont, 1000m on April 14). The form out of that trial is good and interestingly the blinkers come off here. He will be ridden quietly. Watch for him late. He has the scalp of Group 1 winner Gilded Venom (Dec 2007, 1600m at Ascot) and looks the smokey. Werd has created a very good impression since crossing the Nullarbor from NSW. Not many horses win at their WA debut, as this fellow did. He was then able to back that up with a win second-up. Subsequently he was spelled, and returned with a slashing run over 1000 metres, when he drew wide, went back and finished off at a rate of knots. He is

drawn to be ridden more positively. Expect the money to come in the ring. Stratazoa resumes without a trial and is drawn to do some work. Last time in he was placed twice behind the flying Dante's Volonte. On one occasion he almost out-bobbed subsequent sprint star Scenic Blast for second behind Dante's Volonte. He has a high cruising speed and is a real competitor. However, he might just need this run. A ne c d ota l ( 9 ) had no luck last time and Pike is a big engagement. Stablemates M i ss i o n C o n t r o l ( 3 ) and Dan ce W o rk s ( 8 ) are very genuine and are drawn to get nice runs.

THE VERDICT I’m not keen to play but (2) Estiarte looks the safe way, with the value bet each-way (6) Barrambie and (10) Werd a great winning chance. (1) Stratazoa, (9) Anecdotal, (3) Mission Control and (8) Dance Works go in exotics. The Quaddie: 2,6,10,1,9,3,8 Good luck and happy punting! Tune in to all the racing action from the west with the PR.Com subscriber's package for $200 a year – just $4 a week. – Josh Rodder

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