The Ascot carnival rolls on this Saturday with another competitive ten-race program. The $1.5 million Group 3 Gold Rush is the feature event on a day when the locals look poised to upstage the interstate visitors. Will the Queen of racing, Jamie Kah, taste success at Ascot, or will William Pike fans drink what they like late in the day?
Ascot Race 7
The talented Alsephina is looking to make it four wins on the trot. She savaged the line at her latest start, and William Pike sticks with the daughter of Star Turn. She has never missed a place, and I expect her to go close here.
Above The Peg is ultra-consistent. She ran well at Ascot last start, is drawn to get a soft trip from barrier 2, and looks well placed. She can make her presence felt late.
Megazone can run well on the quick back up. The seven-year-old is racing in career-best form.
Suggested Bet: Alsephina @ $2.50
Ascot RACE 8
#12 Pure Devotion
I am prepared to give Pure Devotion one last chance. She had no excuses last start, and she looked disappointing at face value. She is proven at track and distance and is weighted to run well. Her best form wins this; she needs to reproduce it!
Alaskan God will possibly start odds-on after being competitive at Group 1 level this preparation. This is a massive drop in class; he comes in ridiculously well at the weights with 55kg. If he can overcome the wide barrier draw, he will be in the finish.
Neufbosc will have supporters after his latest performance. The eight-year-old turned back the clock with an impressive and luckless run. He was forced wide at a crucial stage which arguably cost him the race.
Suggested Bet: Pure Devotion @ $5.00
Ascot Race 9
What an excellent Group 3 event! The final field resembles a Group 1 line-up with the huge prizemoney on offer.
The Hunter form is expected to stand up here, with Vilana opening as the race favourite. He was tough fighting off In The Congo at Newcastle, and he should get the chance to run a strong 1400m after drawing barrier 1. He is building an impressive career record, and I expect him to be in the finish on Saturday.
Kissonallforcheeks was grabbed in the shadows at Group 1 level last start. The drop in class is a positive, a middle gate provides options, and the 1400m looks ideal at this stage of her preparation. She is a very consistent mare.
If this race were at Flemington, I would be tipping The Astrologist. He is out of form; however, if he can reproduce his best, he could be in the finish. William Pike stays aboard.
Suggested Bet: Vilana @ $4.40
Ascot Race 10
#4 Billy Ain't Silly
Billy Ain’t Silly looks well placed here back in grade. I loved his first-up performance, and he is an undefeated second-up. His record at the track and distance speaks volumes, and he is the one to beat on Saturday.
Billy Ray is overdue for a win. He was impressive from the tail at the last start, and I expect him to be slightly sharper, dropping back to the 1400m. William Pike can end the day for his fans on a winning note.
The Velvet Queen must be respected for her consistency. She produced a thrilling turn of foot to win the last start, and I won’t be surprised to see her win here despite the significant jump in grade.
Suggested Bet: Billy Ain’t Silly @ $7.00