This weekend in Perth the sole black-type is the Scenic Blast Stakes 2016, betting odds and insider tips on the Ascot sprint feature detailed below.
Due to run as Ascot Race 6 at 4:05pm (WA time), this year’s $100,000 Listed Scenic Blast Stakes (1200m) field is down to just seven starters after the early scratching of the Gavin Foster-trained Silver Plated (4).
The short-priced favourite in Scenic Blast Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $2 for the win is the Simon Miller-trained Exceed And Excel four-year-old First Among Equals.
Peter Knuckey retains the ride on the ultra-consistent gelding who has won three from three over the 1200m.
He ran a first-up fourth to Sheidel in the Listed Summer Scorcher (1000m) on Perth Cup Day before his improved second when just a long neck off Lucky Street in the Listed Miss Andretti Stakes (1100m) on January 16.
The two weeks between runs again looks ideal and he’ll relish getting back up to 1200m for the first time since a Belmont win over the distance as the odds-on favourite back in June last year.
The second best in fancied in the latest Scenic Blast Stakes odds at $3.20 is Daniel Morton’s returning Due Sasso four-year-old Red Ora.
The galloper is an Ascot track specialist with five wins from as many starts, including three-from-three over the track and distance he’s first-up over this weekend.
The 1200m is ideal and Red Ora has four wins and a second from five previous starts at the distance so the statistics are imposing as he prepares to jump from barrier four with Perth’s premier hoop William Pike in the saddle.
The last of the single figure Scenic Blast Stakes contenders this summer at $6 is Rebel King drawn the outside alley.
Darren Mcauliffe prepares the Universal Ruler four-year-old from his Lark Hill base, the gelding coming off a half-length third in the Summer Scorcher.
He is second-up this weekend then and has a solid second-up record to date (3-1-1-0) that he’ll be looking to add to for his first win since the Listed HG Bolton Stakes (1200m) at Belmont back in the winter.
So will the first three in betting be the first three over the line on Saturday or is there an upset Scenic Blast Stakes result on the cards from the likes of Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes winner from November Rock Magic ($11) or the Grant Williams-trained Miss Andretti Stakes third placed mare Silverstream ($13) who could be ready for a spell?
#5 Red Ora ($3.20)
Think Red Ora is the better value in what is sure to be a close result, the gelding’s flawless Ascot record hard to go past. Five wins from as many starts at the track, plus he is undefeated over this distance at Ascot. Was third last time out back in late September so it’s been a notable time between runs, but if he comes back as good as he went out he’s the one to beat especially with Pike in the saddle in this small line-up.
#2 First Among Equals ($2)
Race favourite at a short but possibly deserving price. Knuckey knows the horse well and stays on for this as the galloper looks to break through for his first win since the winter last year. His two lead-ups have been strong and show improvement including the Miss Andretti Stakes second last time out. Getting back out to 1200m is a big plus and could be hard to hold out as the punters look to clean up.
#4 Rebel King ($6)
Think the order of the odds is about right with Rebel King in third. Black-type winner at the distance, second-up so will strip fitter off the Summer Scorcher third first-up. Well weighted on the 54.5kg minimum and is another that will appreciate the extra sprinting metres in this.
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2016 Scenic Blast Stakes Odds