Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for Champion Fillies Day at Ascot on Saturday, November 18th.
The card is headlined by three Group 3’s in the lead up to next weekend’s Group 1 Railway Stakes. Today’s track is rated a Good 4 but there’s storms and 8-20mm of rain predicted, so there’s every chance of the track being downgraded during the day.
We have betting tips and comments for every race below, and you can also check out Episode 10 of the Before You Bet Podcast, previewing this weekend's feature races at Ascot and Sandown, as well as an early look at next weekend's Railway Stakes!
You can find our full Sandown Preview & Betting Tips here for today's racing in Melbourne.
Best Bet: Race 3 La Mouline
Best Value: Race 8 Solar Sky
Competitive two-year-old race to kick things off but a tough way to start from a betting perspective. CAROLINA REAPER bounced back from a disappointing debut to break through last start, showing the kind of ability we saw it bring to the trials before its debut. Carries top weight today but has the tactical speed to put itself right on the pace and that should give it every chance of going close once again today. SANANTORIO ran 2nd to him after coming from well back in the field. It was a big run and one that certainly caught the eye, and from barrier 6 today they should be able to settle closer in the run. She gets a 2kg weight swing on Carolina Reaper, so if she’s close enough on the turn she should be right in the finish. Carolina Reaper’s stablemate PARTY NIGHT finished 4th in that race, after working hard from the outside barrier to cross and lead, allowing Carolina Reaper to get a perfect sit just behind her. From barrier 3 she won’t have to do so much work today and I don’t think there’s a great deal between them, so at $8 she could be the value in the race. William Pike jumps of CHASING THE ACE to ride the debutante REBEL KNIGHT, who has won a 400m trial leading into today. For what it’s worth, the 400m trial it won was about a second slower than Carolina Reaper’s win in a 400m trial before its debut. Expecting Rebel Knight to go very close with Pike giving us a solid lead by choosing the ride him. CHASING THE ACE was well backed on debut and Pike didn’t give it much chance, getting badly held up in the straight before getting out with about 150m to go. With clear running in the straight it wouldn’t surprise me to see him go close. Not much of a betting race, this one.
TIP: Carolina Reaper / Party Night EW
At $1.95 I have to play around PROFIT STREET here, because this is a competitive race and that price isn’t one I want to take on what’s likely to be a wet track. He’s certainly got the quality to win this and the booking of William Pike is a good lead, but the horse hasn’t won in about 18 months (even though it’s run some very close 2nds). Bred by Magnus so should handle a wet track if that’s the case, but I’ll be looking to take him on. BOURNE SUPREMACY is first up over the 1000m as well, and he’s got a terrific record at this distance with eight top-two finishes from nine starts. Has won on wet ground previously and is bred by Snitzel so if the rain comes it’s no concern at all. Ran 3rd behind Vega Magic and Rock Magic at the end of last preparation which obviously looks very strong for a race like this. Draws barrier 2 so should box seat, and even though he carries much more weight than anything else, he looks a nice chance at an each way price of $6. Very interested to see him in the yard. No real knock on RHI’S ROCKET who bounced back to win a similar race last start. This is probably a bit more difficult and I’m not convinced she goes best on wet ground.
TIP: Bourne Supremacy EW
If Pike can manage to slot in on LA MOULINE from the wide barrier, she looks to be one of the better bets of the day. She steps up in class once again following three straight wins in easier grade, but she continues to improve with every run. She’s undefeated at the track and distance and I’ve got concerns about some of her main rivals in the market. I think WAR GOD is her biggest danger after a solid win over track and distance last start. Draws well so should be several lengths ahead of La Mouline in the run and he’s won multiple times on soft ground. The negative is the jockey change from Brad Parnham to 3kg apprentice Kate Witten. WRINKLY is on the quick back up after a gut buster of a run last week, when skipping 6L clear before being run down very late. It would surprise me if he could back up and win today after that run last week. SENSO has a poor third up record with just one placing from four starts so I’d be happy to take him on here despite a good showing last start. CASINO BELLE is first up for new trainer Justin Warwick so could be worth including at double figure odds.
TIP: La Mouline (Best Bet)
Open race that could go a number of ways. MASTER MAGICIAN comes up favourite after a string of good performances, most recently finishing 3rd behind Trap For Fools who since came out and bolted in once again. He finished alongside CARALABEK on that occasion, but gets a big jockey change from Pateman to Pike, while 3kg apprentice Maddison Brown rides Caralabek. There probably shouldn’t be such a discrepancy in price between the two, but Master Magician is clearly the one I’d want to b on out of those two. I actually tried hard to look for something to take on the favourite with, but he maps beautifully from barrier 3 and has also won on soft ground (bred to love the wet too). He goes on top by default more than anything. I think DUDEMANBRO can run a good race at each way odds. His effort to finish just 2L off the winner last start was enormous after travelling three-wide the trip for the whole race. Should be able to slot in today and I think he can give the favourite something to think about. VINTRUSIVE actually beat Dudemanbro two starts ago and carries just 51kg here from the inside barrier so it has to go in the numbers. REEF KEEPER and NO PLACE TO HIDE others to consider.
TIP: Master Magician / Dudemanbro EW
Pretty keen on VARIATION here and the only thing I think that beats it is if he doesn’t handle the wet track. This horse was truckloaded in betting last start and was just nosed out by Pounamu late, but he gets out to 1500m here at his third run back from a spell and should take a power of beating. I think he could be a genuine lightweight chance in the Railway Stakes next week, so if he handles the soft ground, I’d expect him to win this.
TRADESMAN produced a big run first up in the Northerly Stakes before a plain showing last start. He typically does that second up before bouncing back third up, so expect sharp improvement from him today. He’s a winner on soft ground and draws nicely in barrier 1. MATERIAL MAN has won 10 races from 15 starts and won the Northam Cup first up from a decent spell. Has the weight to carry here but is undefeated second up and has won on soft ground. This is probably his biggest test so will need to go to another level to win. ROYAL STAR was just plain last start but is in the right camp to turn that around, while ELLICAZOOM could be the forgotten horse back in WA after a campaign in Melbourne. TOUCH OF SILVER under the odds for mine.
TIP: Variation / Tradesman EW
Not much to say about this race. I really struggle to see them beating STATE SOLICITOR here. I was very keen to oppose him over the short trip first up but he bolted in and was extremely impressive in doing so. He’s a genuine chance in the Winterbottom Stakes in two weeks’ time and he should be taking care of this field quite easily. WHISPERING BROOK may look the winner at the 200m mark just as she did last start. She looks to have returned to something near her best and will give a good sight out in front. DAINTY TESS continues to race in terrific form and earned a deserved Group 3 win last start. PROFIT STREET is one I’m very keen to oppose given his poor second up record of just two placings from six starts. Expect sharp improvement from both VOLFOFF and DURENDAL who both come into this second up. It’s worth noting there was a stack of money first up for Durendal but his first up record is very poor. He generally improves significantly second up so it wouldn’t shock me to see him run a drum.
TIP: State Solicitor
Chalk up another one for Pike and Peters here with MIKIMOTO. She has had a big spruik on her since day one and she’s continued to get better with every start. She was ultra-impressive last start when charging home through the field to win the Burgess Queen, and that performance indicated the 1600m would be no problem here. She’s a 3YO filly that could be competitive in a Kingston Town Classic with a featherweight, but she’s need to win this very well to head there in a few weeks. Draws perfectly, has won on soft ground and is bred to love the wet so she ticks every box. ART SERIES ran 2nd to Mikimoto in the Champion Fillies’ last time out and should relish the 1600m. She draws well to get a nice sit behind the speed, and she’s another that’s bred to handle the conditions. If for whatever reason Mikimoto is below her best, this could be the winner. NECKLET ran 2nd to Mikimoto on debut on soft ground. If she were able to reproduce that she’d obviously be very competitive, but I think she’s at the end of her preparation (I’m surprised she’s still racing). SOPHIA’S SECRET paraded poorly last star but still ran well to finish 3rd. If she parades better she could give Mikimoto something to catch. Expect her to roll forward from the wide gate. SPECIAL ALERT next best.
Very open race to finish off here but there’s two that interest me. COME PLAY WITH ME has raced three times at Ascot without placing but he’s had excuses and gets his chance to win one here. He’s the most progressive horse in the field with the most upside, and his three wins at Northam this prep have all been solid. He’ll get back from barrier 9 but he’ll at least be able to get to the outside unlike two stars ago when he was held up badly in the straight. The clear value in the race is SOLAR SKY, in my opinion. He had a very long spell leading into this preparation and has got better with every run. He won two starts ago at this track over 1600m, and backed that up with another good performance last start. He drew barrier 10 on that occasion and got a long way back on the rail, but from barrier 5 today he should be able to get a great run in the race. I think he can be a big player stepping out to 1800m and $12 is a good price. DUSHA ZACHISTKI justified market support when charging home to win over 1600m last start, defeating Solar Sky in the process. My concern today is the 3kg apprentice takes over from the senior jockey and from barrier 1 he maps to get back on the rail, which means he might have trouble finding clear air. AWEOMSE AS and STAR VALUE next best, while COULEUR BIZZARE has had early market support despite never placing from five starts on soft ground. THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN the blowout.
TIP: Come Play With Me / Solar Sky EW (Best Value)
1, 3, 4, 7
5, 6, 10, 11, 13
$100 = 500%
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Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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