The Group 1 racing has officially concluded in the nation’s west and indeed Australia for 2019, but there’s still some quality races to look forward to during the Perth Summer Carnival.
The action takes us back to Ascot on Saturday for a quality eight-race program, headlined by the running of the Listed G.A. Towton Cup.
As always, it’s a late start for all of us fans on the east coast but with only seven horses confirmed for a start in the first, I’m confident our tip will be tough to beat.
The Simon Miller-trained Levitate has only had three starts since debuting, but he is yet to miss a place and looms as the one to beat. The three-year-old son of Husson recorded a smart win to break his maiden at Bunbury two back before finishing third in a tougher race here last time out. I think he’ll only improve further and will have the added advantage of Willy Pike aboard.
Another small field and the first of a few horses carrying the Bob Peters silks that I like at Ascot on Towton Cup Day.
Royal Command failed to fire at this track and distance last time out, but his two runs prior to that were excellent and included a smart win over 1400m in 77+ company. He looks like being at peak fitness for this contest, is drawn well and as long as he handles topweight, will take a power of beating.
This looks to be a race in two between the resuming Essential Spice and the second-up Plutocracy, and I’m eager to have something on the latter with the run under his belt.
Formerly saddled by Lindsay Park on the east coast, Plutocracy was completely blocked for a run when he resumed for Simon Miller a fortnight ago and can clearly be forgiven. With the added fitness in his legs, launching from a good gate and taking 4kgs from the topweight, I can’t find a reason why he won’t be in the finish.
Not To Be Mist is chasing a third win in succession when he steps out on Saturday, but he has well and truly been found in the market and is too short for me at $1.75.
Heart Starter has continued to improve with racing this time and looks over the odds to win at $15, and I definitely think that he can run a place at $3.30. The Domesday gelding hit the line well to finish a close-up third behind Platoon here two back and certainly was not disgraced in Group 3 company last time out.
This is shaping as one of the more open races at Ascot on Saturday and there is a case to be made4 for more than half the field fighting into the winner’s stall.
Sophie’s Song has been a model of consistency this time and looks a live chance of winning at a nice price ($5.50 at publish). The Rogano mare has placed in each of her last three starts, all of which arguably stronger races than this one and dropping back to the ‘one metro win’ class could prove the difference.
Inspirational hasn’t been seen at the races since June, but she’s also yet to taste anything but success and can make a winning return in the sixth on Towton Cup Day.
The Grant & Alana Williams-trained mare showed good ability at the trials prior to debuting and stamped herself as one to watch with consecutive wins at Pinjarra. This is the hardest race that she’s contested so far, but she’s had the benefit of a couple of trials and gets the bonus of Pike aboard and a good gate.
Eight horses will step out in the feature race and there’s plenty of the ‘usual suspects’ engaged, in terms of stables and Saturday-grade contestants.
I liked Forceful to win a harder race than this a fortnight ago and while he only managed a place, I think he’ll get his chance to fight back into the winner’s stall this week. The Hard Spun gelding hasn’t missed a place at his last four, which included a win over a mile here three back, and he really only needs to see out the trip to take a power of beating. He’s my best of the day at Ascot.
Flower Of War hasn’t tasted anything but success first-up and with even luck from the potentially sticky barrier 10, can record another win when she resumes in the last at Ascot.
The War Chant mare finished worse than second only once last time in, that being the Belmont Guineas, and she has trialled extremely well in the lead-up to this race. She looks one of the better bets of the day at Ascot.