High quality mare Prompt Response is in the mix...
Irish Constabulary drawn the rails for the Doomben black-type on Saturday is narrowly holding off two other top fancies in the Ascot Handicap 2017 field and betting markets in Brisbane.
A dozen sprinters make up the field for Doomben Race 5 at 2:28pm (AEST) on the weekend, with Irish Constabulary to jump from barrier one in the $100,000 Listed Mandate Ascot Handicap (1200m).
Jeff Lloyd is booked to ride the John Symons & Shelia Laxon-trained veteran eight-year-old who is first-up and back to racing after an autumn break.
A winner of two of his three January runs during the summer, Irish Constabulary was last seen finishing third when under a length beaten at the Sunshine Coast.
He has a stellar record at the Doomben track with two wins and a third from three starts, and looks very well-weighted getting in on the 54kg minimum.
Irish Constabulary pays $4.80 in the latest Ascot Handicap odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, but two runners are hot on his heels with early market mover In His Stride ($5) and Sweet Serendipity ($5.50).
Toowoomba trainer Rex Lipp has Group 1 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival ambitions with Rothesay four-year-old In His Stride who could be set for the Doomben 10,000 (1200m) in mid-May.
The progressive gelding was runner-up in a million dollar Gold Coast Magic Millions race over 1300m behind Madotti in mid-January before a third to Sir Moments in the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup (1400m).
His latest run back home at Toowoomba a fortnight ago produced a close second over 1100m where he did his best work late, suggesting the step back up to 1200m here will work in his favour.
Sweet Serendipity is a Jason Coyle-trained Excites six-year-old who has also been racing well in the autumn in Sydney.
A winner over the 1200m on a Heavy (10) Warwick Farm track, his latest run produced a devastatingly close second at Randwick over the same metres he returns to in Brisbane on Saturday.
Kathy O’Hara retains the ride from a nice barrier four draw and Sweet Serendipity is sure to appreciate the drop back from 56.5kg last start to 54kg on Saturday.
Rounding out the single-figure fancies at $7 is the 59kg top weight Into The Red who the bookies remain wary of despite the Kelso Wood & Patricia Gesler-trained gelding giving away the kilos.
Six-year-old Into The Red hasn’t won a race since June last year when holding on in a tight finish to defeat Saluter at Eagle Farm in the Group 3 W.J. Healy Stakes (1200m).
His latest run was a disappointing tenth as a $51 roughie in the Magic Millions Sprint (1200m), with a subsequent Sunshine Coast trial bringing the experienced sprinter on fitness-wise for the Ascot Handicap.
Value bets in the mix shape-up as Stuart Kendrick’s I Am Invincible mare Divine Centuri ($10) who is out to atone for an unplaced Gold Coast run last time out back at her preferred track and the ultra-consistent Tisani Tomso ($13) coming off back-to-back thirds over 1050m at Doomben in April.
Check out the full Ascot Handicap 2017 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and latest Doomben odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au below.
2017 Ascot Handicap Field, Barriers & Odds
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