QUAYCLEAN HANDICAP Tips (Race 4)
Ascot Roughie - Race 4 No. 1 Gibraltar Dancer
*Gibraltar Dancer has been scratched from Race 4 at Ascot
MORLEY GROWERS MARKET HANDICAP Tips (Race 5)
Ascot Best Bet - Race 5 No. 4 Tinto Belle
Following six runs in her second racing preparation where she recorded back-to-back wins in December 2019 (including one over the useful Ladies Of London), this mare never came up over two runs in the winter and was tipped out as a result.
Considering the strong trial leading-in to the first-up outing on December 9, Tinto Belle was a big quote and taken to the rear from barrier 12 early, pinched runs in the straight for an eventual second to Leica Jaguar who franked that form with another victory last Wednesday at Ascot.
This 1000m dash doesn't appear light on for early speed and under Troy Turner who can hopefully have this five-year-old a little closer on straightening, she has the turn-of-foot to round them up late and looms as the one to beat with any improvement off that fresh run.
PEOPLESTART HANDICAP Tips (Race 6)
Ascot Next Best Bet - Race 6 No. 1 Bella's Idol
This gelding has been consistent all campaign but hasn't had any luck via his last two outings following a much-deserved victory at Bunbury on November 22 when putting four lengths on Juicing Carrots, with that veteran defeating the 2020 WA Guineas runner-up Em Tee Aye at his next start.
After being supported at a price ($13-$10), Bella's Idol just did too much work from a wide gate on December 5 and backing up four days later from that, suffered the same fate when firming again ($3.30-$2.60) and was three-wide the trip over that 1800m journey.
The son of Vital Equine still had the tenacity to fight strongly late (two and a quarter length defeat) and has much more in his favour this time around with barrier two (can lead) along with a 1.5kg weight swing on Secret Pearl, who is the early favourite here.
SEPPELT WINES HANDICAP Tips (Race 7)
Ascot Value Bet - Race 7 No. 2 Brutus Maximus
Barring Avalon Bay, who has only trialled up fairly, the last race from Ascot this Wednesday does fall away if you're looking outside the $1.70 favourite Sentimental Hero, who should be hard to beat off his big Maiden win but was rather plain following that (possible setback given the gap between runs there?).
With a pair of strong performances under his belt, this well-bred six-year-old appeals on an each-way basis (if they can make ground) with a return to form this campaign and backed-up a slashing fresh effort to win second-up at Pinjarra, albeit didn't beat a whole lot.
By Fastnet Rock and out of a Group Two winning mare in Hallowell Belle, Brutus Maximus showed a stack of ability early days and whilst he's had problems, the David Harrison stable has him in a good space currently after a somewhat disappointing short winter stint when coming back from an 18 month lay-off.