The RJ Peters Stakes 2015 is one of two Group 3 features on the Ascot race card this weekend in WA and insider betting tips on the handicap clash are detailed below.
Set to run as Ascot Race 7 at 4:40pm (WA time) there are nine middle-distance types in the line-up for this year’s $150,000 Group 3 R.J. Peters Stakes (1500m) with the betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au led by Battle Hero at $2.50.
Drawn in barrier eight, William Pike has the mount on the in-form Grant Williams-trained Stratum four-year-old who has won six of his nine career starts.
His Ascot record is solid (4-2-1-0) and he has winning form up to 1800m.
He drops in distance from a second in the Listed Northam Cup (1600m) over the mile on October 25 and runs at Ascot for the first time since an unplaced effort behind Boom Time in the Listed Melvista Stakes (2200m) back in March.
There are two other runners following closely in the RJ Peters Stakes odds this season with Hazzabeel ($3.20) and My Sister Lil ($3.50) both coming off top three runs.
The Daniel Morton-trained Zabeel five-year-old Hazzabeel ran third behind Real Love in the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) on October 31 and is drawn well in gate four with Lucy Warwick retaining the ride.
My Sister Lil has the outside barrier nine draw this weekend on the back of the Ross Price-trained Snitzel mare’s second in the Asian Beau Stakes.
So can the best in betting salute for the punters this weekend or is there value in a roughie shot for the RJ Peters Stakes upset such as the returning Respondent ($11) in barrier two, the Adam Durrant-trained five-year-old last seen running seventh in the Group 3 Strickland Stakes (2000m) during the winter.
#2 Battle Hero ($2.50)
The lead-up form of this progressive four-year-old is very good, the Northam Cup second a luckless finish off a strangely run edition of the mile showdown. He returns to Ascot for the first time this season boasting previous stakes winning form at the track and drops two kilos in the weights to 54.5kg. Pike aboard is another plus and if this race is run to suit he can atone with his third win at his fifth Ascot assignment.
#6 Hazzabeel ($3.20)
Plenty of boom surrounding this son of Zabeel who only started racing at the start of the year. He’s a five-year-old but has had just a year of racing and nine runs for five wins. From three Ascot runs he has had just one third place finish when beaten only 1.25 lengths in the Asian Beau Stakes last time out. Is a winner over a mile so the 1500m is a non-issue and looks back in top form as he heads towards Saturday week’s $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m).
#9 Respondent ($11)
Durrant’s five-year-old returns to racing and is yet to win first-up, but has place claims here. Has 15 previous Ascot runs on his record for 10 top three efforts including a hat-trick of wins. Has been a while between drinks but is well-weighted on 54.5kg, drawn nicely in gate two and could surprise.
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