Hot Line Stakes minefield
Betting for Saturday's Hot Line Stakes could favour barns such as Philip Feanny and Anthony Nunes. However, tickets don't win races, especially events with improving and unproven fillies, non-winners of two races.
Nunes' ROYAL ASH and VOLATILITY return off lay-ups against race-fit rivals, three of whom will run on lasix for the first time - ACKNOWLEDGEME, SPEEDIE HARE and BAZINGA.
ACKNOWLEDGEME and SPEEDIE HARE are not to be underestimated. Similar to Feanny's BAZINGA, they report with lasix administered and could be anything after recording contrasting victories when last out.
ACKNOWLEDGEME, who fought off SHE'S A MIRAGE at five and a half furlongs, placed second to BURLAP at the same trip on her fifth outing, having a foreigner, FRED THE GREAT, behind her that afternoon.
SPEEDIE HARE might have won at five furlongs straight but won easily. She totally outclassed TRULY BEGOTTEN SON and CURLIN'S NOON, taking down a field that included SHE'S A MIRAGE.
Hence, don't play hero and get burnt. It's better to spread than be sorry in what appears a minefield for punters. Fillies with topweight in a speed duel could lead to a pace breakdown, giving Gary Subratie's mile-winner ALL FOR LOVE a look-in after chasing United States-bred DIVINE FORCE down the backstretch and into the lane at seven furlongs on January 29.
Though returning off lay-ups, Nunes' ROYAL ASH and VOLATILITY kept company with top two-year-olds last season. VOLATILITY proved her class off a four-month break in early January, making all against WHIZZ KID at five furlongs round.
ROYAL ASH hasn't raced since October's Cash Pot Trophy, but it should be noted that was her third outing, and she had won on debut, beating VOLATILITY at four furlongs straight. Nunes has booked leading rider Tevin Foster astride ROYAL ASH, who has worked reasonably well, clocking 1:02.2 for five furlongs round.
Feanny's BAZINGA also posted 1:02.2 on the round, the same morning ROYAL ASH galloped, suggesting she has improved and could use speed displayed against AWESOME ANTHONY to run rivals into the ground.