Ascot will run a nine race program on February 13 and our free betting tips along with our preview is available below.
TABTOUCH - WESTSPEED PLATINUM HANDICAP Tips (Race 5)
Ascot Best Bet - Race 5 No. 4 Pletto
I'm not convinced this is any harder than what she faced first-up in the Pearl Classic at Pinjarra, when rattling home as the eventual runner-up and off the big peak performance second-up last campaign, this looks well within her grasp.
Following a similar return when wide and just peaking late on July 15, Pletto was able to explode off that platform 14 days later (same pattern here) where although she admittedly didn't beat a whole lot, the overall 1200m time stacked up well for that program and barrier eight here suits, as she will get galloping room.
While this is her first time stepping up past the sprint journeys, she's always looked a seven/eight furlong galloper and with William Pike riding in Melbourne, it means we are getting a better opening price for the daughter of Playing God.
Race 6 - 3:32PM AMELIA PARK HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES) (Race 6)
Ascot Value Bet - Race 6 No. 1 Not To Be Mist
After recording six wins from his first nine starts, this Adam Durrant-trained gelding did start getting costly for punters throughout his last campaign although he was still very competitive versus stronger company to what he faces here.
Following a second to Mankind first-up last winter, Not To Be Mist ran into Showmanship over this trip, where he was the only other runner to break 35 seconds for the last 600m of that race and that winner won his next two starts in Melbourne, which included a dominant Listed victory.
That form reads superbly for this and while he's drawn out, there is plenty of speed in this contest so with a cold ride and with a strong return run over 1200m under the belt (only runner to break 34 seconds for the last 600m), this striking grey can pounce at an each-way quote.
STORK TECHNICAL SERVICES HANDICAP Tips (Race 7)
Ascot Nest Best Bet - Race 7 No. 2 Cousin Ivan
He was well suited getting up to the ten furlongs third-up at Pinjarra last start and while William Pike was aboard, it wasn't the champions finest ride aboard this lightly raced four-year-old from the Holly Taylor yard.
After landing in a plumb position behind the leading quartet, "The Wizard" was caught napping when those off the speed were looking to blend in and instead had to rely on a turn-of-foot that isn't really there with Cousin Ivan, rather than taking off and trusting his staying prowess.
The son of Fiorente won two of four starts in his first preparation which culminated in victory via the Listed Aquanita Stakes in July last year, a strong performance as he was challenged in the run home and now nearing peak fitness, he can get a deserving win this campaign.
DETONATOR STAKES Tips (Race 8)
Ascot Favourite - Race 8 No. 16 Montelena
This Listed feature from Ascot on Saturday sees a mostly competitive field line-up over the 1800m and while this is a step up off the winter form (and return run), this lightly raced mare does look the one on an upwards spiral still, compared to many of her well exposed rivals.
Montelena isn't exactly a stranger to Stakes level, with a Listed placing as a three-year-old but she was still very much a work in progress via those earlier preparations, so coming back in grade last time in, she was able to really furnish as a racehorse and improved with every outing.
With a low weight and looking to chime in off a good tempo, this is a great opportunity to get a black-type win on the board.