2016 A.J. Scahill Stakes Betting Tips

December 9, 2016 by Posted in Horse Racing Tips

Ascot
The Group 1 carnival in Perth may be over but the Group 3 A.J. Scahill Stakes is the first of a number of good races leading up to the Perth Cup race day on New years Eve.

This race sees a number of horses come out of the big races from the last few weeks and subsequently we have a very good field assembled for the 1400m event.

Expect either Lusaha or Vega Magic to lead here with the lack of pace, with Lusaha maybe the likeliest given his 5kg weight advantage. Lit’en In My Veins will box seat from barrier 1 and possibly First Among Equals will sit outside him in 4th. Chocolate Holic will go back despite his inside draw and Bass Strait will slide across to sit outside him from barrier 6.

The small field may mean a lack of speed, which could sit those best suited to a sprint home. First Among Equals and Vega Magic both come out of the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes two weeks ago, with First Among Equals the better performer on that occasion. The lack of speed could suit Vega Magic the best, however, especially if he is leading or sitting outside of the leader. The 1400m must be a big query or Vega Magic though, who runs over this distance for the first time. First Among Equals has placed two times from three starts over this distance, and his last 200m in the Winterbottom suggests he will be suited by the extra ground.

Bass Strait is the sole horse to come out of the Kingston Town Classic last weekend where he finished well back in the field. His record would suggest the 1400m is not his go, with just the one placing from 11 starts, but that placing was only two starts ago.

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The horse that beat him on that occasion was Chocolate Holic, who bounced back after a disappointing run two starts ago. This horse appears to be absolutely flying, despite the trainer suggesting after his flop that he would be going straight to the paddock. This horse has a tremendous record over 1400m with 4 wins and a 2nd from 5 runs, and William Pike is once again booked to ride. He may need to weave his magic given the possibility of the horse ending up last on the rails.

Lite’n In My Veins is the only horse to come through the Group 1 Railway Stakes three weeks ago, where he was heavily backed before finishing midfield, beaten just over 5 lengths. He drops back to the 1400m here which is a major positive for him. He’s won three from four at the distance, and gets all the favours from barrier 1, but I’m not sure he’s going his best based on his last two runs. If he were to rediscover the form that saw him win the Northerly Stakes three starts ago he would be favourite to win this.

The last horse in the race is the one that adds the intrigue and that is Lusaha. As the only three-year-old in the field, this horse carries 5kg less than every other horse under weight-for-age conditions. He comes off a good win last weekend over the talented Caipirinha, which was over this track and distance, and with the light weight I expect him to lead and control the race to suit himself. I’m not convinced he has the same ability as these horses though, and despite the light weight he may need another 6 months to become the full package.

I do think this race is at the mercy of First Among Equals. He may not be the best horse at the distance but he’s the horse with the best ability in the race and that could count for more here. At $3 fixed he’s worth backing to win here. Chocolate Holic is the biggest danger with Pike in the saddle and a phenomenal record at the distance.

1st FIRST AMONG EQUALS
2nd CHOCOLATE HOLIC
3rd VEGA MAGIC
4th LITE’N IN MY VEINS

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