Racing & Sports expert selections.
RACE 1 - HOSTILE TALK (10) debuts for a top barn with Pike sticking off the easy trial win. Draws for the run of the race and finds a winnable assignment. MARCHING (7) resumes and has switched barns from Waterhouse-Bott in Melbourne. Missed a nose two-back at Bendigo (first-up) and that stacks right up. Should have the speed to manage the sticky gate. CANNY ROCK (1) led first-up and found one better. He has more to give but needs some luck pressing forward from an outside barrier. BRONTE'S DREAM (12) is also second-up and draws to advantage. In the mix.
RACE 2 - EMPRESS OF INDIA (2) resumes and threatened at Belmont all five runs last preparation. Drops plenty in grade and has a handy 2kg claim. Goes fresh and will take beating using the low barrier. CRYSTALIST (3) just missed at Ascot first-up in a CL1 and hasn't missed a beat. Has a small claim and fitter can get into the quinella. ZING TO WIN (5) is a leader who won the Maiden easily and followed with a lip defeat also at Bunbury. Pike is reunited in a key jockey switch. Is sure to give a sight. EXPOROSE (7) was plain at Ascot but impressed first-up prior narrowly beaten in a CL3. Will push forward and will have come on.
RACE 3 - LOST CITY (6) won a trial with Pike up and then led and comfortably won the Maiden on debut heavily bet. Has the rail and fitter can be winning again for the lethal Pike-Williams linkage. SIBERIAN SIREN (7) was good making the quinella here on debut and won a recent trial over 1000m at the track. She'll be naturally improved and should be right in it. AMARLIE MISS (8) won first up and then was beaten a half-length after at Ascot at this level. Comes back to the shorter sprint but ran a strong figure and is a chance if the awkward gate is managed. OCEAN OUTLAW (2) missed a nose on debut owning an easy trial win. Has a low gate today and positions forward. Will have come on and deserves consideration. ROCKET JUICE (1) brings a heavily bet Maiden win and can build on that.
RACE 4 - IMA WILD GIRL (8) improved again beaten 1L this grade at Ascot and then was out-graded there in a Group 3 over this trip. They obviously have an opinion and Chris Parnham is a key jockey switch. She can bounce back. NEW MUSIC (9) has won and placed her last two both at Bunbury. Draws low today and Pike sticking is a positive. Has been heavily bet and is ready for the mile. THE RUSH (4) spikes her figures again narrowly beaten at Ascot. The mile will suit and keep safe. ROCK DEE JAY (6) has been racing well without winning. Sits handy and will be around the mark again. WOLFMAN (3) is still a Maiden but is showing enough to suggest he can get some of the minor cash.
RACE 5 - Competitive on paper. SECRET ATTRACTION (10) resumed at 1400m and made a place. Has come off two nice efforts in Listed grade over middle distances. The mile suits better and she has plenty up the sleeve. Fitter and should go close. DISTRUSTFUL AWARD (2) resumes for the top barn and has switched from a Victorian barn. Has raced at Group level over further and has had two warm-up trials. Draws wide but Pike's booking suggests he's pleasing and will go well. MANHATTAN STRIP (3) impressed placing first-up and then found the grade a bit tough at Ascot. This suits better and 2x winning rider Parnham is reunited. Has raced at Listed level and the mile is ideal now. MR MT WALKER (12) races forward and is going a lot better than the numerical form suggests. CJP goes on for Pike and he deserves consideration. NUNES (8) peaks and is also going well enough to consider.
RACE 6 - A good contest. YALLINGUP GIRL (9) resumes off the deserved and comfortable Maiden win here. Has won a recent trial this track over 1000m and kicking off at 1400m should hold no fears. Will be naturally improved and can take the next step. PRO LATTE (8) went close last preparation and presents first-up owning two trial wins. Draws low and it's hard to risk the lethal Pike-Williams linkage. Looks primed and is sure to be fancied. LA DETTE (4) won the CL1 at Ascot as expected over this distance and has more to offer. Has an awkward gate but count on CJP to manage. ANTIQUE MISS (2) resumed off a 1.5L defeat in the Listed Belmont Oaks and was narrowly beaten in stronger than this. May need longer now but is in well with the 3kg claim and will likely settle back today and hit the line.
RACE 7 - Tricky. NOD AND SMILE (5) resumes in easier and goes on the fresh side. He races forward and is likely to present further improved. Pike's booking suggests he's going well and he get the nod. REGINALD (10) brought strong figures from NSW to the new barn and surprised the market first-up beaten 1.2L at Ascot over 1200m. The mile is right up his alley and fitter keep him very safe. BIRKETT BOY (3) resumes and owns a Lark Hill trial win. Has shown good ability and a bold return is likely. THEHORSEMAN (6) was back to form winning the Maiden at Bunbury over this distance. It was a good effort and he can build on that.