Expert tips: Ascot - 9/12/23

Racing & Sports expert selections.

RSN Racing
RSN Racing Picture: RSN

RACE 1 - MADHI GIRL (5) has looked very impressive at the trials, bolting in by 5 lengths at Lark Hill most recently. Parnham was on board for both trials and sticks with the filly today. Looks to have plenty of ability and is the one to beat. BIG SHOTS (2) ran on well after being slowly away on debut, finishing 1.8L away. Better for the run there and can be closer from a better draw this time with Oliver on board. Will make his presence felt. PASS THE BUBBLES (6) was beaten handsomely by Madhi Girl in a trial in November, before winning her latest trial at Belmont. Draw might make things tricky, but she's a winning hope if she runs up to her trial form. SINFUL LIVING (7) has taken care of two trials coming in with Pike sticking from the latest. Pike strikes at 25% when riding for the barn and market moves must be respected. BATTLE COMMANDER (1) is the most experienced of the field and is worth including.

RACE 2 - PETULA (4) ran on well in the Placid Ark which looks a key formline for this. Draws an inside barrier today which can see her settle a little closer and she's sure to be strong at the finish. Still has plenty of upside and can return to the winners' stall. FINAL SIREN (6) has been very impressive in his two starts, winning his most recent by 3.5L from the front at Albany. This is a big jump in grade, but his figures stack right up and he'll be making his own luck out in front. Form behind him has stacked up and he can continue his unbeaten streak. KRYSANOVA (3) found the Placid Ark a bridge too far and back to this trip suits. Wide draw is some concern but she does possess good early speed. Best form would see her about the money. SONOFTHEBOSS (7) is progressing with each run and wasn't far away in a strong race last start. Keep safe. SNIPPY WHICH (5) looked good in a recent trial and is not to be discounted.

RACE 3 - DUN WITH THE BLUES (8) had too much work to do off a slow tempo last start and did well to finish as close as he did. He's won on the quick back-up previously and he drops 1kg despite the strong effort last week. Can go one better this time around. His form somewhat ties into BERNBRAE (7) who was beaten further by the same horse 4 weeks ago. Pike hops in the saddle this time and he has options from barrier 5. Still has improvement to come being lightly raced and can take the next step in this suitable event. PLAYHOUSE PATRON (3) comes through the same race as the top pick where he was beaten 4.1L. He too found himself too far back and with a nice draw today, he can play a major role in the finish. TONI'S SPIRIT (4) is in good form of late and finished right behind the top pick last time out. Awkward alley but must be included. DEMOLISH (2) steps up in trip and is not to be discounted from a favourable alley.

RACE 4 - BLACK FANTASY (4) led them up in the Scahill but was collared late, finishing only 2.2L off the winner. He drops in weight for today's assignment and gets Pike in the saddle from a perfect draw. Fitter again now and can return to the winners' stall. QUEEN ALINA (8) just got too far back in the Scahill but was savaging the line late. Slightly better draw this time and did run a career-best at this trip to end the last campaign. She appears the main danger. ANOTHER CHINO (2) pulled up with an issue last start which justifies the poor performance on that occasion. Expecting a much better effort this time, especially with the handy draw. Racing well and is sure to make his presence felt. STARTRADE (1) wasn't disgraced in the Railway and now steps out to his more favourable trip. Must include. NEUFBOSC (6) has been sneaky good his past couple at big odds and is a must for exotics players.

RACE 5 - PLAYZ WITH FIRE (7) has been superb all campaign, going down narrowly his past couple at this course. He's nicely weighted with Pike riding from a favourable alley and he has settled closer in previous outings. Set to peak now and if he does, he'll take plenty of beating. KINGS SICARIO (6) got a long way back here a fortnight ago but was very eye-catching in the straight. Suspect the same tactics will be adopted today with the in-form Brad Parnham in the saddle. Can launch over the top and land the knockout punch. HERE FOR CHEQUES (5) wasn't far away a week ago when beaten 2.4L after jumping right in the market. Still improving and with an inside draw again, he should get every chance to run to his best third-up. FOREVER DREAMING (1) got the job done here a fortnight ago but does meet his opponents worse at the weights. Still a key player. SUCCESS PLAY (4) can run into the money if he's at his best.

RACE 6 - STORMY TAWNY (13) is searching for the hat-trick after a good win at Bunbury last time out. This is tougher than what she's been up against of late, but her form stacks right up and Pike sticking is a good push for her chances. Continues to improve and looks a horse who will be better than this grade in time. ROCK THIS TOWN (5) went under narrowly over 1000m at Bunbury and steps out in trip for the first time. Drawn to get every chance and will make his own luck up front. Will need to stretch his form, but rates a leading chance if he can. VAMPI AT PLAY (14) has been off the scene for a year after a 3L defeat in Listed company. Good trial coming in and she has placed in all fresh runs. Class horse of this field and can make a statement on resumption. EXCELTRAIN (8) is another who looked good at the trials coming in and won't be far away. ROCKIN' RUPERT (7) is better than what he showed last start and is worth including.

RACE 7 - HANCHI (10) ran on strongly in the Placid Ark and now drops back in trip where he produced a career peak first-up. Right in the market against two who just placed in the Winterbottom reads well for this. Inside draw holds the key and a return to his best would see him hard to hold out. METALLON (6) finished 1.3 lengths behind Playthatfunkymusic a fortnight ago and gets Pike back in the saddle this time from an inside alley. Hasn't showed the early speed as yet this campaign after sitting close-up all last prep. Big chance if he gets conditions to suit. PLAYTHATFUNKYMUSIC (3) just keeps on winning, bringing up four in a row last start. He meets Metallon a little better at the weights this time but the drop in distance is a slight query. Winning form is good form though and he's sure to threaten. SKY DUKE (11) produced a game win fresh at Bunbury and must be respected. CUT THE TALK (4) hasn't been far away his past couple and is not to be discounted.

RACE 8 - The feature of the day and class runner ZAAKI (1) is the one to beat. Has been solid in all runs this campaign despite not winning, finishing just 1.5L away in a Cox Plate and 2L away in the Champions Stakes recently. He'll make his own luck up front and 'J-Mac' comes down from Hong Kong to ride. ALSEPHINA (11) has been a heartbreaker for punters this time in, finishing 1L away in the Railway last time out. She appears poorly weighted under the conditions, but Team Williams and Pike have a knack of knocking off big races. Drawn ideally and is sure to be in the finish. DOM TO SHOOT (5) looks set to peak third-up with a very eye-catching run in the Railway. Out in trip suits and if he can improve again, he's sure to run into the placings. ZOUMON (3) is probably being targeted toward the Perth Cup but this is a suitable stop along the way. Good in the Five Diamonds and must be included. BUSTLER (10) was too good in the Railway and is not to be discounted.

RACE 9 - STARRY HEIGHTS (6) made it five wins in a row when a 0.6L winner on resumption. He does rise in weight off that win, but gets out to the mile where he is undefeated, with Pike sticking with the gelding. Drawn to get every chance and can get the job done. SENTIMENTAL HERO (9) was a brave run last time out when charging home from near the tail, beaten just 0.9L. He'll get a long way back from the draw, but if he can replicate his last-start finishing burst, he'll be storming home right over the top. CURRIMUNDI (7) finished a long way behind Starry Heights a fortnight ago, but getting back to the mile may bring the best out of him. Form over the mile from winter reads well and he's sure to make his presence felt. IHTS CLOSING INN (5) resumed in Listed company and will find this much easier. Nice draw and looks an improver. BILLY RAY (3) was tried in G3 company last start but the win two back stacks up nicely. Keep safe.