AMELIA PARK HANDICAP Tips (Race 4)
Ascot Roughie - Race 4 No. 9 Indominus
Although he was safely held fresh, the 1200m was far too short for this gelding who was back in an impossible position and didn't exactly have a chance to build into the race as he was buried on the inside.
The son of Playing God has had his fair share of problems, but a lack of talent isn't an issue with the highlight being a sensational Maiden win at start number two before a wide gate cost him victory at the start of his following campaign and was a $3.60 second favourite behind a subsequent Group One performer in Superstorm via his last outing in 2019.
Indominus made good improvements second-up at Northam from a bad draw and although this is a harder race, the step up to a mile is in his favour and along with dropping three kilos from that run, jockey Troy Turner has more options from a better gate in two.
CROWN SPORTS BAR HANDICAP (Race 6)
Ascot Value Bet - Race 6 No. 7 Mr Delegator
If there was to be knock second-up it was whether this four-year-old was a run short on December 5, but he showed plenty of fight late to see off the challenge of Bragwell (who he was spotting 2.5kg to), a galloper who arrived there following competitive efforts in some elite three-year-old events over the carnival.
The lightly raced Mr Delegator broke through at start four in his first campaign following good outings around some useful opposition (runner-up to Cliffs Of Comfort on debut) and made it back-to-back successes when stepping to 2100m for the first time at Belmont on August 19 and was then spelled.
Whilst this is his toughest ask to date, the son of Maschino is one of the more progressive gallopers in this line-up who will make his own on the speed under Mitchell Pateman and can give a good sight on an each-way basis.
AGENT FRESH - STARSTRUCK CLASSIC Tips (Race 7)
Ascot Best Bet - Race 7 No. 3 Chantrea
She was unbeaten from six attempts prior to her return attempt in the Jungle Dawn Classic where the market was against her late and off just the one quiet trial, class nearly got her there in the end when surging on the rails late in that 1400m feature.
By Puissance de Lune and prepared by the highly astute Lindsey Smith who has trained 24 winners since the start of November, Chantrea should only improve here second-up with the step up to a mile and from barrier one, they can settle much closer in the run.
With Bob Peters having a pair of runners in this Listed affair, a decent lead is evident here with "The Wizard" William Pike remaining with this four-year-old and not switching to the familiar cerise and white.
THOROUGHBRED BREEDERS WA BLACK DIAMOND Tips (Race 8)
Ascot Next Best Bet - Race 8 No. 1 Miss Frost
Whilst the Handicapper hasn't missed her with a 5kg increase in the weights, I'm surprised she's not a clear and outright favourite here as a last start Listed winner with key threats in Dew West and Ladies Of London coming out of Class 3 wins at Provincial level.
The daughter of Frost Giant was a little underrated the start prior as well in that Jungle Dawn Classic as a $13 chance, where they were more positive third-up with a step up to 1200m and she showed her customary turn-of-foot to bring up her inaugural black-type triumph.
There does look to be a little more tempo in this field which perhaps sees them adopt colder tactics with the 60kg impost from barrier eight, but she's the class mare in this line-up that is entitled to be shorter in the market, so happy to take the risk at the $5 mark.