Greg Hooper's Preview:
ASCOT Saturday 27 April 2013
RACE 1 - SOUTHERN HABITAT WHOLESALE NURSERY HANDICAP 1200m
No. 1 MENDICITY - I think we can start the day by backing a winner. (1) MENDICITY is a smart mare who has won three and been runner up at her last five starts. She'll go forward and likely settle outside the leader and prove too strong.
(4) HANS UP is undefeated and he looks a sharp type. This is a better class of race than what he won last start however he looks the obvious danger.
(3) I SEE LUCK will get a soft run in transit and will be competitive.
(2) MILITARY SECRET is always a chance in these events.
Numbers - 1, 4, 3, 2
RACE 2 - AMELIA PARK WINES HANDICAP 1200m
No. 1 FRIARFIGHTER - It's hard to see (1) FRIARFIGHTER getting beaten in this juvenile event. He was a heavily backed favourite on debut on the strength of a super impressive barrier trial and he didn't let his supporters down. He settled outside the leader and came clear for a dominant win under soft riding. From barrier 1 he should jump straight to the front and be too classy.
(4) MR AFRICAN won his trial in a good fashion, leading from start to finish. He should be competitive.
(7) ALYSSA did her best work late when resuming from a spell. She'll find the line again.
(8) BETTSIE is another debutante for the Steve Wolfe yard to be ridden by William Pike. She was just getting warm over the last 100m of her trial and will appreciate the 1200m.
Numbers - 1, 4, 7, 8
RACE 3 - AMELIA PARK BEEF HANDICAP 1100m
No. 5 SWAP YA - This is a small field, however, it does contain some quality. I'm going for (5) SWAP YA to break back into the winners' circle. She was terrific first up, sitting wide throughout and going down by a nose. Pike retains the mount and she will be hard to beat.
(1) BALEEN IN ME is undefeated and has been very impressive in all three runs. He just needs to get off the fence into clear room and he's the one to hold out.
(3) MARCHAND won nicely on debut. If he gets some luck from his draw, he's in the mix.
(9) SKY DREAMER was beaten at Pinjarra last start; however, the winner is a smart horse. He can measure up in this company.
Numbers - 5, 1, 3, 9
RACE 4 - AMELIA PARK LAMB HANDICAP 1800m
No. 5 HARDWOOD - This looks like a very even race. I'm selecting (5) HARDWOOD who has shown plenty of ability at his six career starts. He was a top winner at Pinjarra two starts back and last time out, he was caught wide and battled on solidly over a mile. The step up to 1800m suits and he has strong each way claims.
(2) PURPLE TIGER backs up from a competitive effort in the Derby. This distance suits and he is well weighted.
(2) THE LITIGATOR looks the likely leader and with Pike on, he's the one they all need to run down.
(8) ANTOCCINO has plenty of ability but might just settle too far back from his wide draw.
Numbers - 5, 2, 3, 8
RACE 5 - DIGGERS' CUP 1800m
No. 9 RED MERCEDES - I'm happy to play here and back the in-form (9) RED MERCEDES in this feature event. His last three starts have all been good, particularly his most recent outing in which he produced a career best win. From barrier 4, Pike can have him in the perfect spot and if he lets rip with the same turn of foot, he should win.
(10) THE UNDERWORLD hasn't won a race for 15 months; however, he has his hoof on the till. The draw hurts but he should be rocketing home late.
(5) CALLIFORNIA VALLEY looks the likely leader and will give them something to catch.
(4) REBELSON didn't run out the 2400m of the Derby. If he handles the short back up, he will be very competitive.
Numbers - 9, 10, 5, 4
RACE 6 - AMELIA PARK TROPHY 1400m
No. 9 ENCODED - This looks to be a very even race and for that reason I'm going for some value and selecting the former Victorian (9) ENCODED. His trial leading up to his first up effort was very good and he was never a winning hope at his WA race track debut after settling last from a wide gate. From barrier 2 he can position up much closer and run a race at odds.
(4) BIG ATTITUDE is a classy type who resumes from a spell without a trial. His last two fresh runs have been enormous performances.
(2) NEW TIME excels at this trip and has major winning claims.
(1) LEANONUS is consistent and is always a chance at this level.
Numbers - 9, 4, 2, 1
RACE 7 - GRAND FARM (CHINA) HANDICAP 2100m
No. 3 BLACK MOMENT - The last race of the Ascot season and it looks a raffle. I've settled on (2) BLACK MOMENT who should be primed at his third run back from a spell. He loomed large last start but peaked late. Knuckey going on is a positive lead.
(4) COUGHLIN'S LAW was enormous in the Derby. Pike jumps back aboard and if he gets over from his wide gate he has strong each way claims.
(5) ENDLESS TIME is a slight query at the trip but she is racing well.
(9) RAISING DUBAI was solid in the Derby and he gets all the favours from barrier 1.
Numbers - 3, 4, 5, 9