Racing & Sports expert selections.
RACE 1 - IDYLLIC RULER (3) led and deserved the comfortable Maiden here over 1400m. Is likely to control the race again and should run out the mile with the extra fitness and learning. EXPELLIARMUS (2) is third-up and ready to show his best. Can stalk the leader and has compelling figures at this distance. STOP DREAMING (1) is an improver in the top barn and needed the first-up outing following a long break. Missed a whisker here two-back over this distance and can be a quick improver. MERITIA (4) will be fitter and has a 3kg claim. Looks next best.
RACE 2 - ROCKIN' THE SILKS (2) improved here after a slow start and then came back and was narrowly beaten by Idyllic Ruler. Settles back in the field and the mile should be right up his alley. In a top metro barn and Chris Parnham stays in the saddle. PLAY WITH DESIRE (4) comes out of the same race and just missed a place. Spiked his figures and Pike sticks. Draws for a soft run and is sure to be fancied. DUO MUSO (9) loses Chris Parnham but gets in light with the claimer aboard and is going well enough to get some of the money. MIRRORSCHINO (6) has an awkward barrier but is on the improve and will be around the mark.
RACE 3 - SOUND THE CHARGE (1) resumed beaten 1.5L here over 1400m after dislodging the rider pre-race. Hit the line determinedly and will have taken fitness and learning. Has an outside gate again but CJP sticks and count on him to manage. THE RUSH (6) resumed at Ascot and needed the outing. Has been unlucky not to have broken through and will be much sharper second-up. Has the tongue tie applied for the first time. UNDERCOVER SNIPER (9) didn't do a lot on debut but will be better for it and Pike goes on for CJP. Has an inside barrier and no surprise if he improves into the money. ROCKET JUICE (7) resumes gelded and has the winkers on the first time. The two starts have been in stronger city class and he looked good just missing in the recent Belmont trial. Keep him onside.
RACE 4 - Tricky. MANZOR MAGIC (4) debuts and has been well trialled. 32% stable-striker Pike sticks from the latest and that's a decent push for his chances. Has an awkward gate but finds a winnable assignment. KERMELIA (10) debuts and owns a pair of sharp trials. CJP is a positive jockey booking and the filly should go close bringing the form to race day. BONDI BUBBLES (1) was outgraded at Ascot but was beaten a nose here prior and that would see him very competitive. SPREAD THE RUMOUR (3) missed a whisker at York on debut when expected to need it. She runs along and has a small claim. Fitter, he will give a sight.
RACE 5 - GAGE ROADS (3) looks like another decent winning chance for the potent Pike-Williams linkage. Was close up twice at Belmont finding the grade a bit too strong at Ascot. Draws for a soft run and the mile won't bother. Suited. SPECIAL SORT (6) is third-up and brings two Geraldton wins with the latest at this level. In a leading barn and CJP is reunited. Has a handy gate and has more to give. MEGAMI (1) is up to this but has been racing off his peaks. Hard fit and is on a 7-day return. Chris Parnham sticks and will give her every chance. AWESOME CHATTER (2) is fourth-up and comes out of the same race. Has a 2kg claim today and the winkers come off. Has the ability and also needs to be kept onside.
RACE 6 - SONOFTHEBOSS (6) debuted with a 3L defeat in an Ascot Open 2 and was immediately spelled. Brings two sharp trials to resumption and won't have to be much improved to take this out. No surprise if the newcomer KING'S ARTILLERY (8) proves the danger. Looked sharp in his latest trial and the gun jockey is booked. Has the blinkers on and looks ready to go. LOST GRAVITY (1) and VALDARENA (5) both resume and have shown enough to consider. The former is speedy and appeals most. May control the race and can give a sight.
RACE 7 - Pike rides UNDER INFLUENCE (4) and he can round out another good day for the top hoop. Missed a whisker here this grade/trip before the spell and then came back and was beaten 1.3L with Pike up. Won at Belmont his only second-up outing and fitter can take this out. PACIFIC BOXER (2) went close twice at Belmont and then lacked a knockout punch in stronger at Ascot. This suits better and he has the tongue tie applied the first time. Has an awkward barrier but a bounce is on the cards. KINGS FLIRT (5) races forward and go on the expected CL1 win at Belmont two-back. Was slow to recover last time and has since trialled satisfactorily as required. Also has the tongue tie on the first time and can't be ruled out. CATCH THE RED EYE (3) has a handy 2kg claim and is going well. Finds easier than Ascot and also deserves consideration.