Trainer Simon Miller could have a commanding hand to play in the Listed Tabtouch Placid Ark Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday with a triple assault.
Miller has special affinity with the half-a-million dollar race, the love affair going back to a decade ago when Miss Bux won in 2013.
The trend continued when Liberty’s Gem (2015), Caipirinha (2017), Ocean Jewel (2018) and Dance Music carried the mantle for Miller.
Augment ($3.40), Petula ($10) and Alotofbanter ($23) will be Miller’s representatives in the Placid Ark Stakes on Saturday and they rate highly he says.
“These are the ones you want to win and it’s good representation across the board,” Miller said on Tabradio.
“And they have drawn gates which helps our cause a little bit further.
“All have been trained for it and they’re ready to go.”
Augment and Petula have met solid support, tightening behind $2.10 market elect Oscar’s Fortune who has not been beaten in four career starts.
The explosive Dion Luciani-trained gelding extended his unbeaten record in the Placid Ark Prelude (1000m) when punched home by jockey William Pike.
Augment tackled the Listed Belgravia Stakes (1200m) and it took the calibre of Super Smink to get over her when she shared second place with Almighty Class.
While respecting the manner in which Oscar’s Fortune has gone about winning, Miller believes the Belgravia Stakes holds superior form reference.
“Everyone gravitates to a winner, but I know whose form line is stronger, the Belgravia Stakes is the best form all the time.” Miller said.
Augment has drawn perfectly in barrier five. Regular rider Pat Carbery keeps the mount.
While the market identifies Augment as the pick of Miller’s three runners, he insists Petula has to be considered a winning prospect.
Awkward barriers affected her 3YO Classic (1000m) and Belgravia Stakes (1200m) efforts, but she did run home solidly in both races.
“She’s run two really good races without having any luck,” Miller said.
“Sticky gates have been her Achilles heels both times.
“She’s finally drawn one and look for her to turn it around.
“She’s a sleeper in this race for sure and is a massive danger.”
Brad Parnham’s starting position on Petula is barrier six.
Alotofbanter has barrier one to follow around. Holly Watson the jockey.
“I thought his run was good the other day,” Miller said.
“He’s back to 3YO racing and got a gate.
“He’s not there to make up the numbers.”
Meanwhile, Miller is firm of conviction that the Group 3 Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m) is not a race in one with Keshi Boom the raging $1.38 favourite after dominating the Burgess Queen Stakes (1400m).
After winning well first-up, Generosity has been beset by bad luck with that trend continuing in the Burgess Queen Stakes when she finished fourth to undefeated Keshi Boom by just under three lengths.
With even luck in running, Miller gives Generosity every cause to spring a surprise.
“She’s going well and has to be a massive chance in this,” Miller said.
“She’s drawn a gate and will get the mile.
“Strong through the line without much galloping room the other day (Burgess Queen Stakes).
“She’s a really good filly.”
Chris Parnham replaces Pat Carbery on Generosity and has barrier three to work from.
In current Tabtouch markets Generosity’s $8.50.
Miller’s second Champion Fillies entrant, Brave Strike, is $23.
He says barrier 12 makes it difficult to win, but she’ll finish ahead of more runners than beat her home.