The following is a survey of Australian racing tips for Saturday, January 2. The focus is on the feature races at Ascot and Eagle Farm. More tips and previews will be added as they become available.
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These may change leading up to the race day as more tips come in.
Ascot Race 7, 6. Indian Pacific
Eagle Farm Race 7, 13. Gotta Kiss and 8. Palladas
CHANTREA (2) Third up from a break. Really dug deep when winning three runs back at Belmont and can find a nice position from the draw. This suits. DANCE MUSIC (1) Won last run at this course. Expecting to settle positively. Will take plenty of beating. NAUGHTY BY NATURE (6) Displayed potential when winning three runs back at this course. Always seems to find the line well. Contender. SPECIAL CHOICE (7) Brave effort to win three runs back at this course. Racing consistently this campaign. Wouldn’t leave out of multiples.
INDIAN PACIFIC (6) Won narrowly three runs back at this course and shows good early pace. Interesting to see the winkers go off for the first time. Surprise if it doesn’t win with room to spare. MERVYN (9) Gave a strong sight when 2nd two runs back around here and expecting to settle positively. Should be very competitive and is a genuine threat. SAMIZDAT (7) Should be ready to fire fresh with 3 wins from 5 starts. At $9.5 average effort when beaten by 3.7l at Belmont last time on a good surface. Happy to overlook that run and blinkers go off for the first time. Ran 3rd in a barrier trial at Belmont on Dec 21st. Likely to fill a place. ESSENTIAL SPICE (5) Rocketed home into 2nd three runs back at this venue and going down in class. Displays good closing speed. Watch market moves.
Thinking this is suitable for NAUGHTY BY NATURE. Encountered traffic in the Jungle Dawn Classic two back, before charging home with some brilliant closing speed in a slowly-run Starstruck Classic last start. Hoping she can land a pair closer from this low draw and she does have a black-type placing over the Ascot 1800m as an autumn 3YO. Just needs to be within striking distance. CHANTREA was a little plain when a beaten $2.60 fave in the Starstruck, but she’s worth forgiving and 1800m third up should be to her liking. DANCE MUSIC got away with a bit out in front when winning the Starstruck, but there’s every chance she’ll enjoy another soft lead, while ABERDEEN QUEEN was luckless last start and although rising in grade, you get the impression she can measure up.
Selections: 6. Naughty By Nature (value bet), 2. Chantrea, 1. Dance Music, 9. Aberdeen Queen
Great to see Neville Parnham bring INDIAN PACIFIC back for a crack at these summer sprints after a Winterbottom Stakes campaign, and if he’s right the exciting 4YO should be very hard to beat. A weapon over the Ascot 1000m, this natural on-pacer should either lead or more likely follow noted frontrunner MERVYN in transit, and from either of those positions Indian Pacific should be well positioned to salute. A fresh Mervyn knows no other way and will be looking to run them off their feet out in front. ESSENTIAL SPICE is also back after a Winterbottom prep and with Pike on back to a 1000m she always commands respect, while the lead-up trial of high-quality performer SAMIZDAT suggests Gangemi Racing have this fellow ready to let rip first up.
Selections: 6. Indian Pacific (top tip), 9. Mervyn, 5. Essential Spice, 7. Samizdat
Following up a powerful G1 Kingston Town Classic triumph with an arrogant victory in The Ted, TRULY GREAT is being asked to carry a significant 60kg over the Ascot 2400m, and the barrier draw made things even more interesting as well. Still, this fellow improves with every start and could simply be one out of the box, so with even luck Truly Great can confirm his greatness with a history-making Perth Cup performance. NEUFBOSC stands out as the biggest threat coming off a strong ATA Stakes win, drawing well and sliding down to a neat 54kg. He’s already a two-time 2400m winner also. If class Victorian mare PRINCESS JENNI travels across well and is anywhere near right, she has to be a major player. Her peak form is outstanding, as was her last-start Flemington effort with 62kg, and this low draw is perfect, while emerging staying talent MIDNIGHT BLUE may announce himself on the big stage.
Selections: 1. Truly Great (top tip), 4. Neufbosc, 3. Princess Jenni, 13. Midnight Blue
Race 8: Midnight Blue (8.00)
Race 6: Chantrea
Race 7: Indian Pacific
Race 8: Midnight Blue each-way, saving on Truly Great
GOTTA KISS (13) Flew home into 2nd last time at Doomben and has a great burst of speed late. Key player. PALLADAS (8) Solid win last run at this venue but racing in stronger company today. Always seems to find the line well. Looks promising in this race. PORTLAND SKY (2) Resumes after a break. Bold effort to win last run at Moonee Valley. One at a bit of odds. STAROSA (14) Game effort to win two runs back at Doomben but racing in stronger company. Gets back and needs luck. Has claims.
TAILLEUR (12) Pulled away to win two runs back at Moonee Valley and should be going forward early. Has the ability to take this out. KISUKANO (18) Finished on top two runs back at the track and shows good early pace. Big chance. ATHIRI (2) Left nothing to chance when winning last run at Randwick and displays good tactical speed. Very competitive this preparation. Must respect. WILD VIXEN (1) Flew home into 2nd last run at Pakenham. Has run into the money 3 from 4 attempts this campaign. Keep in mind.
Race 7: Gotta Kiss
Race 9: Kisukano
Terrific bunch of 3yo’s to go around in the Vo Rogue however some of the better chances have drawn poorly. Expecting Apache Chase to lead with 2 & 11 looking the other main players up front, 4, 9, 14, 15, 17 & 18 can all park handily. One of those drawn out is PALLADAS however he’ll likely get cover in the run & was just so impressive here this trip latest I can’t go against him. The time was quick & note Michael Rodd only had him idling to the line. GOTTA KISS a definite threat, she was terrific behind Isotope latest, handy form line there & 1400m is just ideal. Include 3, 4, 5, 12, 14.
Selections: 8. Palladas (top tip), 13. Gotta Kiss, 2. Portland Sky, 14. Starosa
Barrier 20 Niedorp! Can she cross them this time? Early scr of Epic Girl is a big help, map suggests nos.3, 8 & 9 the main early opposition, she’s clearly quicker than those all things being even however they’re not… Stablemate PERSUADER draws ideally at her second run for the yard & can take up a handy position. She sat wide without cover first up yet still clocked the second quickest final 200m split of the race, yes this is harder however she’s no doubt taken improvement from the run. TAILLEUR’s numbers suggest she’s better than most if not all engaged here, another who maps beautifully.
Selections: 6. Persuader (top tip), 12. Tailleur, 18. Kisukano, 4. Niedorp
Race 7: Palladas (6.50)