TABTOUCH - WESTSPEED PLATINUM MAIDEN Tips (Race 1)
Ascot Best Bet - Race 1 No. 4 Sichern
While the slight drop back in trip and the gate manners are definite queries for this four-year-old, he showed as much on debut as anything in this field has ever displayed and simply, I'll just bank that he's better than this lot.
After showing some promise in two early spring trials, we didn't get a look at Sichern until January 14 at Pinjarra, where he was a little tardy away at the start from a wide draw and was still spotting them a good margin when angling off heels in the last furlong, but proceeded to motor home late.
At 33.98, he was the only runner to break 34 seconds for the last 600m in that entire contest which was taken out by a progressive one in What About Moi and with natural improvement, he can break the Maiden via the opener from Ascot.
SEACORP HANDICAP Tips (Race 5)
Ascot Value Bet - Race 5 No. 13 What About Moi
This gelding was unlucky not have won either side an attempt in a handy $70,000 event at Ascot with a narrow miss on debut (runner-up Prize Pursuit has since won) and was just edged out by a debut Bob Peters runner on December 30, with Pike taking the shortcut on the rail to secure victory.
What About Moi managed to get the better of Smashing on that occasion, a first-up winner in the spring (should've gone back-to-back) and a three-year-old who was competitive in two features over the carnival, finishing seventh of 16 in the Group Two WA Guineas prior to running fifth in the Listed Lee-Steere Classic.
The son of Pour Moi got a much-deserved breakthrough victory on January 14 as our Best Bet at Pinjarra and while this is obviously tougher, he's bred to thrive over this longer journey, has drawn well and there's not much upside with most of his rivals.
JAMES SQUIRE HANDICAP Tips (Race 6)
Ascot Each-Way Bet - Race 6 No. 6 Chesten Flyer
*Chesten Flyer has been scratched from Race 6 at Ascot.
AMELIA PARK HANDICAP Tips (Race 8)
Ascot Next Best Bet - Race 8 No. 7 Amelia's Contraire
Having prepared eight winners in January at an excellent strike rate of 31%, we can do much worse than follow in-form trainer Simon Miller this four-year-old, who should've won first-up on January 16 despite the double figure quote.
A half-sister to a New Zealand Group One winner in Media Sensation, Amelia's Contraire settled midfield via that fresh attempt, a position she was forced to retreat to after so much speed was pushing on outside of her, but was still travelling strongly albeit with nowhere to go.
Held-up until the 100m and forced to change course to the inside lanes under Paul Harvey after being denied a wider gap, she still dived late despite being robbed of that key earlier momentum and with better luck in transit on Saturday, is certainly capable in a race of this strength.