Ascot will run a nine race program on April 17 and our free betting tips along with our preview is available below.
CROWN TOWERS HANDICAP Tips (Race 6)
Ascot Value Bet - Race 6 No. 9 Highland Beat
While this seven-year-old doesn't win out of turn, he was a very competitive Benchmark 78-88 level sprinter in Melbourne and Sydney over a decent stretch of time, and he was luckless first-up up following a strong trial.
After being held-up until the 100m, Highland Beat got out when it was all over in an event he should've gone close to winning and on the line, was only a length and a half off the in-form River Beau, the race favourite here who he meets 2kg better off from that last clash.
In his first campaign for the Gangemi stable, he was close-up multiple times behind two Listed winners in Money Matters and Jericho Missile, and ended the preparation with a third to the subsequent Group One Winterbottom winner Elite Street, so he's capable enough.
SEACORP HANDICAP Tips (Race 7)
Ascot Next Best Bet - Race 7 No. 4 Big Bada Boom
With 38 winners at a strike rate of 21% this year, trainer Roy Rogers has been a good stable for punters and at Ascot, he's saddled up six winners this season at very profitable ROI of 170%, albeit that's inflated by a few outsiders.
One of those winners was Big Bada Boom, a galloper that made it five in a row when coming to town on February 13 where despite being pestered mid-race by Eurasia (who eventually faded), he pulled out plenty of fight of late to hold off the honest Beat The Bro.
He was always going to be vulnerable with a big space between runs on April 3 but that performance had plenty of merit given there was another pest that was then beaten out of sight and from the front, will be hard to run down with any improvement off that last effort.
W.A. SIRES' PRODUCE STAKES Tips (Race 8)
Ascot Roughie - Race 8 No. 13 Awesome Rival
We now see the two-year-old's in the west step up to 1400m this Saturday via the Group Three WA Sires' Produce Stakes, the feature race on the April 17 meeting from Ascot.
With leading contenders coming from the Karrakatta Plate, which many of these were obviously set for along with a few more progressive types from other races, this is near on impossible one for punters, but we do concede an each-way sniff to this outsider, who should appreciate the seven furlongs.
Following a forgivable debut when racing wide, Awesome Rival has been building well over two 1100m efforts and despite finding those trips too sharp, managed to peel off a strong last 600m (race fastest) behind Featherweight last Saturday, who is currently around a $10 quote here.
SALINGER HANDICAP Tips (Race 9)
Ascot Best Bet - Race 9 No. 2 Billy Ain't Silly
Despite finding the 1000m a little on the short side, the debut of Billy Ain't Silly was a good one and although he was a big drifter in the betting at start two when stepping up to 1200m, he led throughout to score quite easily in a Maiden that rated superbly for that July 15 Belmont card.
Following a solid hit-out when fourth to Celebrity Queen (subsequent Group One winner), he tuned up quite nicely for this preparation behind a genuine city class galloper in Crystal Spirit and having raced a little greenly in the return run that followed, trainer Colin Webster then opted for the blinkers.
That's been a key gear change, resulting in back-to-back victories including a strong seven-furlong effort on April 3 when sustaining a run on a good speed, and in the last from Ascot this Saturday, he drops 1kg for a race that isn't any harder.