Ascot, WA, February 28, 2009 FIRST LEG 3.35 WA Time
SECOND LEG 4.15 WA time
THIRD LEG 4.53 WA time
FOURTH LEG 5.30 WA time
Beau Heed Hcp, (0-86) 1200m
Rogan Josh Hcp (0-79) 1600m
T.J.Smith Hcp (3YO C&G) 1600m. Listed
Anniversary Hcp, 1500m
A typically open version of this sort of race, with seven chances, som e be tter than others. We r ate (1) Northwater Boy (two wins from five first up), although his wide dr aw is against him; (2) Diamond Highway outstanding when n abbed on the line by Royal Lott over 1000m at Pinjarra on Feb 12; (4) Captain Woodrow excellent in two runs from a spell, but he h asn’t won since Dec 2007 (only six runs); (6) Striken, very good when a close second to On The Carpet over 1200m first up on Jan 31, but h as won just 3/28 (16 pl acings; (7) Mission Control, a real improver who has raced through the classe s winning three in a row, and is from the domin ating Parnham stable; (11) Silent Hero, thereabouts in good company, and a rough hope, although he h asn’t won in the city for 12 months; and (12) Steel The Empire, up hugely in grade after five str aight pl acings. We’re incline d to isolate Northwater Boy, Diamond Highw ay and Mission Control as our m ain hopes – the fir st two on consistency and a high percentage of wins vs runs, and Mission Control on the basis of his re m ar k able improve m ent recently.
Another wide race th at could see any of six winning without surprising. There are no com mon for m lines so we’ll need to trust judge m ent rather than logic. We were keen on (4) On The Warpath first up over 1400m (0-73) here on F eb 18, as were others, but in a r ace not run to suit we were left wanting as he finishe d powerfully for 7th , just 1.5 lengths from the winner (8) Radiant Prince. We reckon On The Warpath has a qu ality beyond this, and is well suited by the distance and the standard of the race. Radiant Pr ince w as ridden in Triple-A f ashion by W. Pike last tim e, and won’t get a sim ilar run from the outside gate. (5) Pete The Profiler lande d som e good bets winning (0-73) over 1400m two starts back, then was okay when 7 th l ast tim e. (7) Prince Of Sands is a moderate who h as had perfect runs back- to-back for a win and a fourth; (9) Dvoryan has real talent, and will be finishing on out wide. Can win. (10) Insurgency has won only once from nine, but has perfor m ed well recently in lesser com pany. Would surprise, but must be considered. Som e will look at (3) Sky Marshall, but he doesn’t win enough.
Big field, high qu ality, m any options. We have to include the following as potential winners: (1) Kim Coin, (2) Liquidation, (3) Phenomenons, (4) Prince Of Silk, (5) Saxon Palace, (6) Shajezar and (9) Flying Falcon. That’s seven of 16 runners, which m akes quaddie pl ayers shiver. The most consistent perfor m ers are: Kim Coin, a front runner well suite d from the inside; Phenom enons, a phenom enal thir d to Aunty Winnie in le sser grade l ast tim e. Wh at w as the jockey doing so f ar back? We’re pleased to note the stew ards aske d the sam e questions of Troy Turner: his answer – he didn’t w ant to be caught wide late; Shajez ar, a powerful finisher; and the mystery runner Flying Falcon, a re m ar kable debut winner on Dec 20, who is re suming with Pau l H arvey aboard. We’re incline d to go with Phenom enons, who has a big future, from Kim Coin. Flying Falcon’s l ast-to-fir st win w as head- sha king, and his trial on Feb 23 w as no more th an a run around. Green, but wh at potential. Must include as m any as possible, a recurring proble m after wide fir st two legs.
Another toss up to finish; the quaddie Gods are pl aying with us. (2) Forest Frolic, an 8YO, w as im pressive fir st up, but this is stronger; he h as been a qu ality galloper through his career however. (3) Corporate Sam, another 8YO, h as been pl aced at his past five; l ast won at B elmont on July 28. In the past 12 months he has won three with nine pl acings from 17. (9) Kaleido won well in an ordinary field of five (1600m, 0-86) on Feb 14, but his two runs back from a spell before that win were excellent. Runner-up in that (Caller One) broke through l ast week. (10) Royal Cobra h ad the perfect run and just held off the fast-finishing (11) Secret Courier over 1600m (1MWLY) on Feb 11. Both will have fanciers, but we r ate this race’s qu ality at a much higher level. The youngster of the field with the most promise is the 4YO (7) Grey Monarch, coming back to a distance that we reckons suits, after a battling thir d in the Geraldton Cup (2100m) on Jan 11, and a moderate 7 th to Exhilar ating in the Bunbury Cup on F eb 15. He is weighted and drawn to win. Only other hope is (5) Classic Drop, off two Ascot placings.
2,1,7 – 4,6,11,12
4 – 8,5,7,9 – 10 – 3
3,1,9,6 – 4,5,2 – 10,11
7 – 9 – 3,2 – 5,10,11
FOCUS ON SECOND LEG
This is a anothe r terribly difficult day, and we’re shooting at the breeze a little with (4) On The Warpath as our banke r. We’re choosing him on the quality of his 3YO season, when he was conside red good enough to challenge Wee kend Hussle r and co in the Caulfield Guineas. He finished 7th , at 40/1, 5.5 lens from the winner. He was heavily backed first up, and rocketed late when 7th to his rival Radiant Prince ove r 1400m he re on F eb 18. We’re thinking he might improve markedly ove r this trip, in this class.
OUR FAVOURED BET
FIELD/4/ FIE LD/7