Scott Embry’s Good Friday Ascot Preview


CHER loomed large first-up before being swamped in the final 50m. Takes benefit from the outing, comes back to 1000m and can sit close handy in a small and competitive line-up. Don’t think there’s much between any of these 7 acceptors and it likely comes down to who gets the best flow in transit. IF I DIN HAVADIME hasn’t won a race at Ascot after 7 attempts and young apprentice Ava Catarino is looking for her first metro winner, however, she’s got the best race form of the lot. Accepted Saturday so may scratch? CESSATION is 2 from 2 undefeated. Drawn sticky but has tactical speed to get across. SHILLING LANE trialled really well at Lark Hill.

Numbers: 3 – 1 – 2 – 5

Suggested Bet – CHER WIN


BELTA OF A SONG was pretty close to a good thing beat at Pinjarra down the straight in a C1 last start. She drops back into a maiden, she drops 1kg in weight and she’s clearly got above average ability. Fingers crossed she isn’t just a one tricky pony who excels down the straight course because this looks very winnable for her over 1200m round a bend. Drawn to get every chance and looks talented. Be plenty of punters waiting to pull the trigger on opening.  CRUISE TO RIO and MAJESTIC PRINCESS both trialled over 1000m behind Ocean Outlaw who goes straight to the C1. They were both impressive chasing trials. CENTRE BOND looked a bit lost down the straight on debut. Trials were excellent.

Numbers: 8 – 11 – 14 – 3

Suggested Bet – BELTA OF A SONG WIN


SIMPLY gets a 1.5kg weight swing and a set of blinkers added to his race gear in an attempt to turn the tables on SAVORSKI and HIERONYMUS BOSCH. He looks an out and out stayer and hopefully the shades have an effect on him. Could still head to the WATC Derby as a point of difference runner if he’s able to beat the older horses here. SAVORSKI would have been a good thing beat last start if he didn’t get clear when he did. Was bolting in behind them and had to wait for a gap to appear. HIERONYMUS BOSCH has proven at his last two that he stays. Not far from another win. WHEATSTACK THIEF has Esperance form but up until the Cup (genuine excuses) he was going super.

Numbers: 6 – 1 – 2 – 3

Suggested Bet – SIMPLY WIN


BEACH PAD is the first emergency for the Melvista Stakes, however, with the early scratching of Why Me he has actually already gained a start in the Listed feature. If they start here he’s the horse to beat considering he went straight from a debut maiden win into the JC Roberts (this track/distance) when only beaten 4L by Lord Vampi, Alaskan and all the other good 3 year olds. WIN TO RETIRE broke her maiden in style and Paul Roberts team is going great guns. Looms as the biggest threat and in the event that Beach Pad heads to the Melvista Stakes then she would become very popular. SABBATICAL SILK beat home WIN TO RETIRE two starts back and can be forgiven for one poor performance most recently. HE’S ARCHIE is no star but he’s trying hard and gets a soft run.

Numbers: 2 – 7 – 1 – 4



AHYEAHRIGHTO looked good at trials alongside Kraken Time (held up the majority at both outings to date) and won well on debut down the 1000m straight. This race has a tonne of speed (Exporose, Close Talker and Miss Esprit) and this should allow Paul Harvey to punch up in behind them and stay within striking distance. Looks a handy horse. MISS ESPRIT has 60kg and barrier 11 of 12 to contend with, however, she’s quick and as she displayed in the Pearl Classic she’ll be winning better races than this. CLOSE TALKER was only beaten 1.7L in a 3 year old 62+ by Tycoon Harry, Salt Lake Shake and If I Din Havadime. This is easier. OCEAN OUTLAW trialled well.

Numbers: 4 – 1 – 8 – 6



JUSTAMIDDY looks to have found a very suitable assignment as one of only two horses in the entire field to have actually won a race at Ascot. Comes through the Our Rocky Bay race which was run 3.5L faster than C3 average and he was forced to do a fair bit of work throughout. Should enjoy a soft run close handy and has been knocking on the door recently. OCEANZARA kept coming behind Rogue’s Point last start on a day where it was difficult to make ground. She’s in career best form and gets the right run. MY FURY lumped 60kg in the Ladies Bracelet and did a stack of work to get across early. HIS EMINENCE is a great chance if he can reproduce his fresh run.

Numbers: 10 – 5 – 7 – 9

Suggested Bet – JUSTAMIDDY WIN


IN GOOD ORDER got to the line strongly through traffic under little riding in the JC Roberts Stakes and looks suited by stepping up 400m to 2200 here in the Melvista. Drawn in the middle of the line and should find a nice spot midfield with cover to give himself the best chance of stamping his potential Derby claims. LORD VAMPI was far too big and strong for them in the JC Roberts and at SWP only concedes the field 1kg. Can definitely win again. ALASKAN was big in the same race when covering plenty of additional ground. Another who has strong claims. A LOT OF GOOD MEN will divide opinions. Will he stay?

Numbers: 8 – 1 – 4 – 2


Same Race Multi – Lord Vampi (Top 3) + In Good Order (Top 4)

Given how open and even the 2024 Melvista Stakes is we don’t have to be too aggressive in the Same Race Multi to get a decent price. Lord Vampi put on a galloping exhibition in the JC Roberts (1800) to power away from a vastly similar line-up. In Good Order worked home well in the same race and looks like he’ll appreciate the extra ground.


FLY WITH CAUTION resumed first-up at 1300m and parked up outside of winning machine Influencing (4 from 4 this time in) and only peaked on the run over the last 100m. Should only improve second-up and this C3 1400 looks weaker than a 3 year old 0MWLY even though they’re handicapped the exact same. Looks to have plenty of upside in a thin race. PANDORA GIRL finally broke through last start and she’s been competitive in 60+ Graduation company in the past. Danger. NOBEL LAURENCE has turned back the clock and returned in good order. ROMMEL’S JEUNEY is an important E1 for the speed map.

Numbers: 4 – 13 – 1 – 15


Quaddie (Race 5 – 8)





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