Racing & Sports expert selections.
RACE 1 - AUTO SPARK (12) resumed narrowly beaten at Northam and was better again at Belmont despite missing a place. Fitter again and suited in this company. Draws the rail and will ride the speed. HOLY SPY (1) missed by 1L here second-up finding more like his best. At his best over this longer sprint and he will have come on. STAY ASTERN (2) is ready to win but has to manage the outside barrier. Has been mixing trips and comes back to shorter today. AMARLIE MISS (13) debuts for a leading barn with CJP booked. Has an awkward barrier but won her latest trial and keep very safe.
RACE 2 - MAJOR MARIO (2) peaks off close-up finishes at Belmont and Northam and finds easier. Will be further improved and positions forward. The one to beat. MOONIEMIA (12) was good resuming here for the new barn behind Slap. The rail should advantage and he can keep improving. SPECIAL PLAN (13) put in a solid effort first-up and fitter should be around the mark. RANDOM REWARDS (10) can progress off a good effort to place when resuming.
RACE 3 - BOMBAY STYLE (1) has returned to racing in good order and can fire third-up. Carries top weight but will race handy and go close. ARABIAN RICHES (3) comes out of the same race and led swamped late. Was beaten 1L from the front first up and will be fitter again. Drops back 100m and is sure to give a sight. ISOLA BAY (5) resumes for a leading Metro barn and won his latest trial. He can use the rail and CJP's booking suggests he's pleasing. Has the ability and elevate if the serious money comes. BE SEATED (6) is third-up with plenty up the sleeve. Will likely settle back from an inside gate and will need the splits to come.
RACE 4 - SPEED BUBBLE (1) has been narrowly beaten here his last two outings at short odds and hits this at peak. Keeps the handy 3kg claim and the extra 200m won't bother. In a leading barn and finds the right race. ALLABOUTTHECRAIC (9) raced handy and was only beaten 2.3L in stronger at Belmont and then was slow off at Northam the same grade and didn't get into it. Better suited here and no surprise to see her in the finish. NIPPA WHISKEY (10) completely turned the form around second-up winning this grade over 1400m. Raced handy and it didn't look like a fluke. Will be in the mix holding that form. COLOUR ME QUICK (5) is third-up and has more to give. Capable but it's been a long time between drinks.
RACE 5 - LUCKEE FLORAN (1) resumed a 2-1 favourite and didn't have the best of it. The money came again the one after when he was beaten a whisker in a CL2 over this distance. Carries more weight but draws to advantage and fitter can go one better. JUST GOT PAID (4) finished just behind the above in the same contest finding more like his best. Will be better for that and can make the finish again. RUSSIAN SNIPER (5) was well-supported but didn't have much luck in the same contest. Tends to give them a start but CJP is reunited and will give him every chance. THE SLAP (3) switched from a Victorian barn and won the Maiden comfortably first-up. The debut effort prior on the Pakenham synthetic reads well for this and fitter the gelding can't be ruled out.
RACE 6 - MOCHA DREAM (1) won a Lark Hill trial before racing favourite here first-up narrowly beaten from a wide gate. Draws handy today and CJP is reunited aboard the Durrant-trained galloper. Has more up the sleeve and fitter he can go one better. OUQBURRA (7) trialled well and resumed this grade/trip with a tough win after settling back in the field. He's much improved and Knuckey takes over from the 3kg apprentice. Fitter and a repeat can't be ruled out. ROYAL GAP (2) resumes and has the best figures albeit over longer distances. May find a few too quick over the short course but no surprise if he's hitting the line. BOLD PROPHET (4) was good at the back of his last preparation and solid first-up. A wide gate and slow start cruelled the latest and expect improvement off that. His best would have him in the mix.
RACE 7 - The local Willie Parker barn has some decent chances on the card and PATCHWORK (5) may be the best of them. Won the 58 first up and then missed a nose over this distance in a CL5. Fitter again and looks well-placed to take this out. ALBERT (6) is looking to make it four on the trot and is a decent chance to do so racing at peak fitness. MOMBASA (13) has more to give second-up and is also in the mix along with MYSTIC LOVE (8) who is a likely improver off a first-up placing.