AMELIA PARK LODGE MAIDEN Tips (Race 1)
Ascot Value Bet - Race 1 No. 10 Freedomofthepress
Despite being beaten badly for speed early, it was hard to miss the January 14 debut from this three-year-old who made up a stack of ground late over the 1000m at Pinjarra where despite finishing seven of 12, was only a stride or so off grabbing third on the line.
By the 2015 Caulfield Guineas winner Press Statement and out of a versatile mare who won over as far as 1800m, the step straight to 1400m should suit Freedomofthepress who had just the one trial leading into that January 14 outing where at 33.87, was the only runner to break 34 seconds for the last 600m of that event.
Ideally over this longer journey, we're looking for jockey Jade McNaught to have him closer on settling from a good draw and in quite a weak maiden, this is the runner with the least convictions and potentially the most improvement.
TABTOUCH – BETTER YOUR BET MAIDEN Tips (Race 2)
Ascot Next Best Bet - Race 2 No. 3 Surf Point
Although he was held throughout the majority of his fiorst racing campaign, this gelding from the Dan Morton showed glimpses of potential and whilst peaking on the fresh effort over 1200m, he was only beaten just over two lengths in the finish.
They opted to ride him colder in his second-up effort at 1400m and although the margin doesn't reflect it, the performance was strong and it every bit as merit as the runs of Mischievous Diva and Mini Coat, who after finishing fourth and fifth in that event respectively, franked the form by filling the quinella in a Bunbury Maiden following that.
For a second consecutive outing, Surf Point has recorded the fastest last 600m of his respective race but just left himself with too much to do on January 14 but with Chris Parnham back in the saddle and finally drawing a gate, he can breakthrough here with a closer sit in transit.
SALINGER HANDICAP Tips (Race 4)
Ascot Best Bet - Race 4 No. 5 Hot Technique
While it visually wasn't excellent, the trial at Lark Hill for second was a similar a piece of work to that of her June hit-out last year, which came prior to her debut win at Northam and Double Spice was a strong Wednesday winner that came out of the same January 11 heat.
Hot Technique was unlucky not to remain unbeaten via the July 16 attempt that followed it, losing crucial early ground as result of inconvenience from the eventual winner Ladies Of London (won twice this campaign) and the runner-up Comfort Me has also performed well (won two in town at the end of that preparation).
The form through that quinella are the best references in this race and William Pike's record for the Daniel & ben Pearce stable is a very strong one, with this combination netting 14 winners at an excellent strike rate of 35.9% over the last 12 months.