2015 Festival Stakes and A.J. Scahill Stakes Preview & Tips

November 28, 2015 by Posted in Betting Tips, Horse Racing Tips

FrespanolToday marks Day 2 of the Perth Spring Racing Carnival and the feature race on the card is the Group 3 A.J.Scahill Stakes over 1400m. With no Group 1 races until the big Kingston Town Classic meeting next weekend, our racing tips can also take a look at the feature race in Sydney, the Festival Stakes,

The Ascot track made headlines last week with the 3m rail being used for the first time, and as expected the track was biased towards the runners up on speed. With the rail back in the ‘inside position’ for today’s meeting, we should see the track play more evenly. The A.J. Scahill Stakes only sees a field of 7 line up and the market suggests there is only two horses that can win the race. Waterman’s Bay currently sits at $1.70 while Magnifisio is next best in the market at $4.60.

Dawn Approach will definitely lead the field, and from the good gates Battle Hero, Checkpoint and Magnifisio should all push forward to take up a handy position. Respondent, Rommel and Waterman’s Bay will settle towards the back of the field. Aside from Dawn Approach there doesn’t look much speed in the race so the tempo could depend on how well the leader settles.

WATERMAN’S BAY picks himself after his huge run behind Group 1 superstar Buffering in the Winterbottom last weekend where he came from well back in the field and finished off in eye catching fashion to run 2nd. He only carries 0.5kg more today with the WFA scale and the 1400m is sure to suit him. He will probably be towards the tail of the field but he has a strong finish so he looks the winner.

MAGNIFISIO can completely be forgiven for her run in the Winterbottom. She started from barrier 15 of 15 and got a long way back and traveled wide throughout. She didn’t produce the finish we are used to seeing from her but from barrier 4 today she will get absolutely every chance. Her run two starts back behind Black Heart Bart reads very well and she gets 2kg off Waterman’s Bay. I think the $4.60 available for her is a much better betting proposition than $1.70 for Waterman’s Bay.

Two blowout chances could be ROMMEL and CHECKPOINT. Both horses resumed in the Winterbottom and crossed the line together. Rommel has won 2 from 3 when 2nd up, while Checkpoint has won 3 and placed twice from 5 starts 2nd up. Checkpoint has drawn to get a beautiful run and with their first up runs under their belt they could be the ones at big odds to include.

While Waterman’s Bay somewhat picks himself, Magnfisio represents a much better betting option at the $4.60 availabe.


Over in Sydney, there looks a handful of winning chances in the Festival Stakes. The pace should be fairly hot with all the speed in the race coming from wide barriers with the likes of Nevagotavote and Peace Force. This should set the race up for those running on.

FRESPANOL is racing in terrific form and will be much better suited back on the firmer track. Drops 2kg from his last start 2nd and from barrier 7 he should settle in a great spot. He is the favourite in a tough race but certainly looks hardest to beat.

CENTRE PIVOT put together consecutive wins before striking a wet track first up from a spell last start. Back onto firmer ground he is another one that should improve sharply and his record 2nd up is outstanding. He’s a good chance at good odds.

IT’S SOMEWHAT showed great ability when he won first up in Australia. Unfortunately he has failed to reproduce that effort in three subsequent starts, but they were in much harder company than this. He resumes again today off the back of two trials and if he is tuned up for this he shapes as a strong winning chance.

PHEIDON is one that tends to race well first up and at $41 he is a blowout chance worth including in trifectas and first fours.

The chances don’t end there but I’m happy to be sticking with Frespanol at $4.60, while Centre Pivot is the best value in the race at $12.


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