DEVIL'S LAIR PLATE Tips (Race 3)
Ascot Next Best Bet - Race 3 No. 4 Iseered Iseered
The Fernie stable landed a big plunge on Kalgoorlie Cup Day last year with this gelding who trailed the early leader Bosnipp, an opponent that was setting a good clip up front and although that looked to leave him vulnerable to the off-speed chasers, he clicked into gear late and powered away for a strong victory.
Iseered Iseered was immediately tipped out following that win and trialled up well in his first public hit-out ahead of this campaign behind the handy Last Of The Line, a winner on last Saturday's program and although this three-year-old bolted in following that on January 11, he did go hard with the blinkers on there, so they'll keep that gear change up their sleeve for another day.
Jockey Mitchell Pateman has a strong association with this yard and given they elected to scratch from what looked a near shoo-in fresh assignment with this galloper in a weaker event on Wednesday, he's obviously going well and has drawn nicely in three.
WESTERN RACEPIX HANDICAP Tips (Race 6)
Ascot Favourite - Race 6 No. 3 Queen Takes King
While the big first-up price is nowhere near on offer on Saturday, this lightly raced mare was enormous on return via that January 9 program which came off the back off a good second trial in December prior to that return run.
Taken straight to the rear of the field early on that occasion as a result of drawing the widest, Queen Takes King got to the outside when approaching the final furlong and was doing her strongest work late when balancing up to finish just over half a length off the winner.
At 34.64, she has clearly rattled off the fastest last 600m of that event and stepping up to a more suitable 1800m here from a better gate, the daughter of Charm Spirit now gets the services of "The Wizard" William Pike for what is a rather thin race.
MORLEY GROWERS MARKET HANDICAP Tips (Race 8)for
Ascot Value Bet - Race 8 No. 3 Mastering
Although a speculative chance given we haven't seen the best of him for quite some time now, the pair of Western Australian outings have been okay and this gelding had genuine excuses second-up on January 2.
Returning on December 16 with 60kg and barrier nine, Mastering missed the start there and although never in winning calculations, was still the only runner in that field to break 34 seconds for the last 600m (33:97) for what was only a two-length defeat on the line.
The six-year-old received a bump at the start via his most recent run and from there, was racing wide throughout, so was entitled to tire when peaking about 150m out, but from a better gate here and with a little drop in grade, he's capable of a competitive showing with a little more luck.
ASCEND SALES TROPHIES HANDICAP Tips (Race 9)
Ascot Best Bet - Race 9 No. 1 We've Got Dreams
Over the last 12 months, trainer Michael Lane has prepared 13 winners at an excellent strike rate of 29.5% at Ascot and he'll be looking to build further on that great record with this talented four-year-old that is set to return via the last event this Saturday.
We've Got Dreams has worked through the grades over 14 starts to date and added four wins to her tally over the winter which included victories both first and second-up with her work at the trials in readiness for this return assignment indicating that she's ready to fire again fresh.
Following a quieter piece of work on December 29, the daughter of Universal Ruler tuned up in much stronger fashion on January 11 when leading and bolting in by a big margin to win her 950m heat in 55.42, bettering the second quickest trial that morning by more than seven lengths.