Ascot will run a nine race program on January 2 and our free betting tips along with our preview is available below.
TABTOUCH–BETTER YOUR BET PLATE Tips (Race 2)
Ascot Value Bet - Race 2 No. 2 Bumper Humper
This filly from the Dion Luciani yard showed ability early in both two-year-old campaigns and although she fell away as the winter wore on, which included a one-start flop in October following that, her two trials leading into this return mission have suggested that she's back on track.
On December 7, she won comfortably the fastest of three 400m heats that morning and stepping out to the 1000m on December 21, again took up the running to record another easy win, in what was the second slickest five-furlong trial at Belmont that day.
Carleen Hefel stays aboard for race day and with her 3kg claim bringing the daughter of Alfred Nobel superbly in with just 54.5kg, she can push forward and as has been proven in some past performances, Bumper Humper can be quite a difficult galloper to get past when at her top.
SEPPELT “THE DRIVES” HANDICAP Tips (Race 3)
Ascot Next Best Bet - Race 3 No. 3 Ration Aly
Ration Aly is right near the top of the bets.com.au Hall Of Fame ladder after landing a big betting move first-up last campaign and continued on further to score a winning hat-trick before a little spell.
Returning in November over 1200m, it was only an even performance both there and in the seven-furlong tilt that followed, but it is worth noting that both of those runs were at Listed level and although the losing margin doesn't indicate it, the last start effort on December 19 was a decent improvement when attacking the line strongly.
This four-year-old is back further in grade this Saturday and on ability, is clearly the best horse in this field but she has her quirks, with the pre-race ear muffs now going on to help curb those naughty mannerisms in what is her first crack over the mile.
TABTOUCH-PERTH CUP Tips (Race 8)
Ascot Best Bet - Race 8 No. 1 Truly Great
In the famous and white of Bob Peters is this talented son of Dundeel who following a seventh-place finish in the Railway Stakes, upset his talented stable mate Inspirational Girl when victorious in the 2020 Group One Kingston Town Classic.
A half-brother to the 2018 WA Oaks winner Special Alert, Truly Great has continued to improve this preparation where after working his way through some lower grades in October, struck in his first attempt at Stakes level.
As mentioned in some previous write-up's over that early part of the campaign, there's a lot of similarities between he and another Peter runner in Regal Power (perhaps more likely to stay though), with that galloper achieving success over the Melbourne Autumn Carnival in 2020 with an unlucky second in the Australian Cup before taking out the All-Star Mile.
MUMM CHAMPAGNE HANDICAP Tips (Race 9)
Ascot Roughie - Race 9 No. 2 Big Shot Paddy
This son of Musket is having his races spaced, which isn't uncommon for him and for a galloper that is generally thereabouts in whatever they throw him in, always seems to be a big price which is again the case via the last from Sscot this Saturday.
Following a pair of decent performances to start the preparation where he was beaten just over two lengths in both runs, Big Shot Paddy did look under pressure at the top of the straight on October 10 and whilst not matching the sprint of the first three home, continued to make ground for an eventual fourth-place finish.
His most recent two attempts have resulted in a close-up fifth behind a pair of Perth Cup runners in Adornment and Midnight Blue whilst at his latest run, was unlucky when shuffled back early and at the top of the straight, had nowhere to go before changing course to the inside then found himself on heels late.