Ascot will run an eight race program on January 9 and our free betting tips along with our preview is available below.
TABTOUCH - WESTSPEED PLATINUM HANDICAP Tips (Race 4)
Ascot Best Bet - Race 4 No. 1 Cuballing
Set to resume in now his third racing preparation is this talented son of Patronize who recorded back-to-back victories to open his career before campaigning last autumn, where he was plain first-up as a drifting favourite ($2.15-$3.40) but with a little freshen-up, bounced back for a much more competitive showing on May 30.
He was narrowly denied by Tajmali on that occasion, who was hard fit on that Soft 7 track and had won two of her prior three attempts while this gelding still put good margin on the third-placed Position Of Power, who has won three more races since then and is rated well above anything in this line-up.
We've had the benefit of seeing a trial this time around prior to the first-up tilt for Cuballing, who was superb when working to the line over the 950m at Lark Hill in December under his own steam and if anywhere near wound-up on Saturday, then he should be a little too classy for this lot.
KIRIN MEGUMI HANDICAP Tips (Race 6)
Ascot Value Bet - Race 6 No. 6 Comfort Me
If there's a major knock to his chances third-up this Saturday, it's whether he's perhaps looking for a little further than 1400m now but as was evident last time in, this son of Playing God got stronger as the preparation wore on which culminated in consecutive victories at Belmont before being spelled.
A lightly raced four-year-old with just the nine starts to his name, Comfort Me has upside and after a solid return behind a good trio (winner has since prevailed again), he competed in the $100,000 Mandurah Cup on New Year's Day where he was the favourite in the early betting but drifted out a little in the market before the jump.
Under Craig Staples who is on again this Saturday, he just had too much to do after settling at the rear from a wide gate and whilst being drawn a shade more in here would've been ideal, that strong seven-furlong effort would've brought him on further physically and with even luck, is well in the mix here at an each-way quote.
GLENROY CHAFF HANDICAP Tips (Race 7)
Ascot Next Best Bet - Race 7 No. 2 Beat The Bro
After finishing outside the placings in his first two career starts, this very honest galloper hasn't missed the top three in his next 10 outings and following a string of five second-placed finishes in a row, got a much deserved second career victory at Pinjarra on December 28.
The catalyst for that win did appear to be the step up to 1500m following a close miss over the seven furlongs, where he was strong through the line at the end of that trip and it gave every indication that the mile journey of this contest should be favourable where from barrier five, can get a nice midfield trail into it late.
Beat The Bro has had the run one run past a mile (1700m) where he was safely held into second behind Fuhrer, but he's quite a progressive runner who's at least a few rungs above anything in this line-up and following that win, went back-to-back when accounting for Juicing Carrots, a December winner who then placed at Listed level.
MORLEY GROWERS MARKET HANDICAP Tips (Race 8)
Ascot Roughie - Race 8 No. 10 Indigo Wild
From a kinder draw than gate nine, the confidence levels would've been higher in the last race from Ascot on Saturday with this daughter of Viscount but fitter now third-up and with the ability to settle closer to the speed than where they landed second-up, she still has claims.
Indigo Wild clashed with Dew West (third favourite here) on December 2 where first-up and with that runner having the race fitness over her, it told late as this mare just peaked on her run over the concluding stages which allowed Pike on get the winner home in the last few strides (she meets her a kilo better off and fitter here).
The Boxing Day performance following that had much more merit than sixth-place finish suggests, as the first four on settling in that contest all filled the first four positions in the finish and coming from last, this mare was the only runner making any inroads out wide and was within two lengths of the winner in the end.