Racing & Sports expert selections.
RACE 1 - MASAMUNE (3) has returned to racing with two narrow defeats and is further improved. Strips fitter and will enjoy a soft run from an inside gate. He can go one better. KESHI BOOM (2) also shows plenty of promise. Seeks the hat-trick off the expected CL1 win first-up and Pike sticks aboard. In a top barn and will keep improving. SKYTALKER (4) resumes and impressed in an Open 2 on debut. Owns a big Belmont trial win and no surprise if he's right in the finish. THE BOSS LADY (8) won the Northam Maiden at a short quote and it was a good effort. Tougher here but she has upside.
RACE 2 - RELIABLE QUEEN (7) has been threatening and was heavily bet at York 13 days ago beaten a whisker. The gun jockey sticks from that and hard fit she gets her chance. DARK LOOKS (8) was narrowly beaten at Northam up from a sprint to the mile. That stack up and she will be better for it. Draws inside and the extra 200m shouldn't bother. NORTHEAST EAGLE (1) missed a whisker at Northam over 1400m and has improved for the new barn. Suited this trip and longer and can't be ruled out. ROMANTIC RULER (2) is an improver in a leading barn. Has the rail and CJP is reunited. She's looking for longer and keep onside.
RACE 3 - LONSDALEITE (4) is knocking on the door. Can secure the run of the race and it's hard to go past the potent Pike-Williams linkage. Peaks now and has a fitness edge. PROTEGE (2) would win this on what we saw the brief initial campaign but he's been off the scene for 410 days. Brings a Belmont trial win suggesting he's on track. He's fast and this is winnable if there's market confidence. VENTURO (7) debuts with the blinkers applied and impressed his latest trial. Chris Parnham stays in the saddle and will likely run him along. No surprise if he goes close. DIAMOND TIPPED (8) was tracking well before the latest. Drops back 200m with the blinkers on again. The former NSW galloper is in the mix.
RACE 4 - WRITTEN MELODY (3) impressed with a dominant NMW 2 win at Belmont on debut and was immediately spelled. Resumes owning a Lark Hill trial win and Pike rides and has been with the filly all along. He'll manage the awkward barrier and she won't have to be much improved to be winning. AYUMI (2) also shows plenty of promise and was narrowly beaten at Ascot first-up in stronger. Will be fitter and is on a 7-day return. She's a chance despite an awkward gate. HOBA METEOR (4) rates well on the third-up win at Belmont. Has a sticky gate but can't be ruled out back to a shorter sprint. PLAYING GAMES (7) can enjoy the run of the race and spaced the Northam Maidens second up heavily-bet. Fitter and will give a sight.
RACE 5 - Competitive. APACHE BLUE (8) runs along and spiked his figures winning the CL3 at Northam. He can lead or box seat from an inside barrier and looks capable of repeating the dose. DANUBE RIVER (6) resumes off a career peak and that stacks right up. Has won fresh and brings a solid trial hit out. Is likely to have come on and can make the finish. EEVALINA (5) got too far back her latest off a wide gate and go on the CL3 win prior. CJP sticks in the saddle and she should get every opportunity to bounce. MILITARY POWER (1) improved again narrowly beaten at Belmont and then was fractious in the gates there following and over raced. Has been freshened and has trialled since last seen. Has a handy 3kg claim in easier and will push forward. A hope with improved manners.
RACE 6 - DEETEA (6) was spelled off the deserved CL1 win and her figures stack up. Has a handy barrier and Pike sticking in the saddle is a decent push for her chances. She will have come on and gets the nod. BONNIE LAD (4) was narrowly beaten here first-up in stronger and is further improved. Strips fitter and draws to advantage. In a leading barn and rates to go close. THE GREAT HOYA (5) is third up seeking the hat-trick and was heavily bet his latest in a Northam CL5. This looks a bit tougher but he will be further improved. CITY ANGEL (9) is a leader who has to skip across from a wide barrier. Was tracking well before the latest effort in better grade. Presents fully fit and will give a sight.
RACE 7 - ODIN OMEN (11) belted the Northam Maidens first-up and then went back and improved again beaten a whisker. Has weight relief at this level and Pike is a key jockey switch. Should secure a soft run and presents fitter. WANGO AWARD (1) has been narrowly beaten her last three and a 2kg apprentice replaces Pike. Has an inside barrier and the blinkers are applied the first time. Peaks for the top barn and is a danger. PARIS CALLING (7) brought good form to resumption in stronger and will be better for the outing. She has more to give and can sit forward from a handy gate. KERMIT'S LUCK (10) impressed winning on debut and brings a trial win. Promising but draws the outside gate and needs a clever CJP ride.