Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for Day 2 of The Masters, featuring the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes.
The track will be a Good 4 with the rail shifting out 3m for today’s card.
We’ve got betting tips and comments for every race below!
Best Bet: Race 3 Arcadia Prince
Best Value Bet: Race 5 Jaspara & Upward Others
With the small field, I expect Agent Pippa will be able to push through and lead from barrier 1. She’s won three of her five starts at Ascot and if she gets things her own way in front, she’ll be tough to run down. How To Fly has been running better than her record suggests. Pike jumps back on today for the first time since piloting her to victory at Belmont back in September. The Celt was a surprise winner at huge odds last start. If you go back through his form, he hadn’t been running terribly at all and hadn’t had much luck in a number of runs. No shock to see him run well again today.
Looks a great little match race here between Specialism and Jericho Missile. Specialism has won both career starts to date and was most impressive last start. She kicked away nicely in the straight to win by 2.75L and she ran the quickest final 400m of the day in the process (and the second-quickest final 200m). Jericho Missile is on debut after two trial wins, one over 400m and the other over 950m (5.5L margin). He debuts with the blinkers on and a soft draw in barrier 2. He could be pretty good and the money has arrived early. I’m sticking with Specialism on top given her impressive figures last start but it wouldn’t shock anyone to see Jericho Missile get the job done. I think we’ll see these two start much closer together in the market than the current $1.80 and $3.20 quotes.
Great race. The win of Arcadia Prince last start almost had to be seen to be believed. He was the odds-on favourite but he was left with plenty to do in the straight. He reeled off the fastest final 200m of the day (11.50sec) to just get up on the line. He won’t want to leave his run that late again today with Spillinova out the front, so hopefully from barrier 3 he can sit a little bit closer in the run. Spillinova bounced back to the winners stall with a dominant frontrunning performance last start. They changed tactics and went back to what works best for him which is rolling along in front, and he was way too good for his opposition. There’s no doubt he can win this if Arcadia Prince is a mile off him at the turn. Taxagano will be ready to peak third up after running 3rd in the Peters Stakes. Broker was sound first up and will improve second up, while Sovereign Trade has a great record at the track and distance and goes very well second up. He’s drawn well and will be launching late at each way odds. He could be the value.
Platoon is the new kid on the block but he looks rock bottom odds to my eye at $2.30. Granted, he doesn’t face a field of superstars here but he had a very tough run in the Guineas last weekend and comes into this on the quick back-up. He’s only a winner of one race from 10 starts so the price we’re getting is poisonous. With that said, he does draw much better today in barrier 5 so he should get his chance. Song Of Vincent is another horse with a low winning strike rate but he could run a cheeky race at double figure odds. He hasn’t had a lot of luck in either of his first two runs back from a spell but Pat Carbery takes over from 3kg apprentice Bonnie Palise and he should get the chance to wind up in clear running from barrier 6. Deception Game was luckless last start but flashed home to run 2nd. Interestingly, Pike takes the ride on the stablemate Nordic King who returned with a win at Northam and is undefeated from two starts on Good ground. Ouqba Jack next best. I’d be centering my bets around Song Of Vincent ($10), Deception Game ($8.50) and Nordic King ($5.50).
Royal Command is another one that looks very short at even money. As always with the cerise and white and Pike, they could well come out and bolt in, but I think there’s enough against her to take her on. The form behind Freo from two starts ago looks good but she was smoked by him and she never looked likely last start from the wide draw. On the back of that run, you’d be brave to take the short price. There’s a few at good odds that appeal. Jaspara has been steadily improving with each run this campaign and a few of those have been in some very strong races. He’s got a great record at this track and distance and from the good draw he’s a good roughie at $21. Nicconi’s Boy has placed in four of his five starts at Ascot and will push through from barrier 2 to be right on the speed. Chris Parnham steered him to victory two starts back and jumps back aboard today. He’ll give a great sight at $7.00. Upward Others actually ran a faster final 400m and 200m than Royal Command last start and finished 4th. One is $2.00 and the other is $18. Obviously Upward Others is only a winner of one race from 15 starts but that win was over the mile at this track last prep and she might be nearing a similar performance. Happy to have something on the two roughies, save on Nicconi’s Boy.
WA’s version of the Highway Handicap in Sydney! Hard race to assess with a big field and all sorts of different formlines coming from every part of the State. I’ve labelled him the biggest cat going around in Australia but Finally French really gets his chance to crack it for another win today. This horse won his first start and has since run six consecutive 2nd placings. Three of those six 2nds have been by a nose. I think he’s got more ability than the rest of the field and with even luck he’ll be in the finish, hopefully with his nose in front this time.
Good to see the talented Illustrious Tycoon back at the races after a 47-week spell. It’s always a tough ask to return from a spell as lengthy as this but he’s got plenty of class on his side and he’s a better horse than the rest of the field he faces today. In his three wins, he’s jumped straight to the front and kept going, so you’d expect the same tactics from the wide gate today. Hopefully he’s ft enough first up to be able to do that and win. Double Jeopardy looks a decent chance at each way odds. He’s drawn poorly in barrier 11 but he won first up last campaign at Flemington, defeating the likes of Ducimus and Miss Leonidas, before running 3rd to Nature Strip. That kind of form would see him very competitive in a race like this. Kakadu hasn’t shown much at Ascot but that was in his debut prep and he’s improved plenty since then. He failed first up last prep but his form at the latter end of last prep was good enough for him to be competitive.
Good race to conclude with. There will be plenty of punters on the Pike train to close out the day and Magical Charm looks a good chance of making it three wins on the bounce. He got the better of Arctic Stream and Brother’s Keeper last start over this track and distance. Of the three, Magical Charm ran the fastest final 200m and given he’s still only fourth up, he should be able to account for those two again. The drop in weight and the good barrier draw will help Brother’s Keeper run well again though. Burger Time is the big overs at $14. He probably should have beaten The Big Show two starts ago and The Big Show is a $4 chance here. The draw doesn’t help Burger Time but he’s over the odds. Mr Alby worth including in quaddie numbers.
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