The Group 2 Ted Van Heemst Stakes headlines a fantastic racing card this Saturday at Ascot. The feature race is the main lead-up to the Perth Cup held on New Year’s Day. With a plumb book of rides, can anyone stop William Pike? It has been a successful carnival for the Western Australian cult figure who shows no signs of slowing down!
Ascot Race 6
I am running out of things to say about the talented Alsephina. She is looking to make it five wins on the trot after a tough and gritty win last Saturday. The quick backup is a positive, William Pike stays aboard, and she is ideally drawn in barrier 4. You can’t beat a mare in form!
Treasured Star will have supporters after running home nicely last start. The drop in grade helps, and her record at the track and distance tells me she will be competitive. I expect a spirited performance.
Ginger Flyer can improve second-up after a luckless first-up performance.
Suggested Bet: Alsephina @ $2.15
Ascot RACE 7
#7 Queen Alina
Queen Alina continues to go through her grades nicely. She is an ultra-consistent mare who keeps on improving with each run. She is ideally drawn in barrier 3, and I expect her to be in the finish again. Her career record is impressive, and Chris Parnham already has a winning association with the mare by Mahuta.
Rejuva King is ready for the 2100m. He led them up the last start and was game in defeat. He ran ok at Group 2 level earlier this preparation and looks well suited back in this grade. He can surprise here.
Tena Koutou can run well despite needing to carry 62kg. His run was better than it looked first up, and he can be competitive here with the proper run.
Suggested Bet: Queen Alina @ $2.60
Ascot Race 8
#5 Dom To Shoot
I am happy to have a throw at the stumps here with Dom To Shoot. He was an impressive winner two starts back before running home well at his latest without luck. He was checked near the 600m and held up on straightening. The class drop helps, and he always runs well at Ascot.
The Ciaron Maher-trained Steinem will start favourite after an impressive third behind the talented Amelia’s Jewel. She is nearing her peak and should get the dream run from barrier 3.
Ironclad is another galloper running well at the top level this preparation. The 2100m is ideal for this campaign stage, and he is ready to win.
Suggested Bet: Dom To Shoot @ $10.00
Ascot Race 9
#3 Trade War
Trade War picks himself after a very consistent preparation. He savaged the line last start for a win and now looks ready for the mile. He will get a dream run from the draw and looks well-placed in this grade.
Henchard will be thereabouts. He was an impressive winner last start, and he has to be considered dropping back into this class. The good gate helps, and I am sure there will be late money from William Pike supporters late in the day.
Tri For Us is starting to become expensive to follow. She is in the mix if she can reproduce her best performances.
Suggested Bet: Trade War @ $5.00