Expert tips: Ascot - 18/11/23

Racing & Sports expert selections.

RSN Racing.
RSN Racing. Picture: RSN

RACE 1 - ABOVE THE PEG (5) disappointed last time out over 1400m when well off his eye-catching first-up effort. Out to the mile now from a much better draw. Happy to put a line through last start as he's won 2/4 third-up and can bounce back to winning form. SENTIMENTAL HERO (4) ran on fairly from the rear in the Asian Beau which was dominated by those up front. Back to this grade suits, as does the rise back to 1600m. Main danger. MOUNTAIN ASH (7) just missed over this course and distance a week ago, making it two narrow losses in a row. He drops in weight as he rises in grade and the draw can see him get to the front easily. Can go one better this time. CHEVAL DE VAGA (1) scored a gutsy victory last time out but stepping out to the mile is some query. Can't be ruled out. HOLY ENCHANTMENT (8) resumes today and is worth keeping an eye on for future racing.

RACE 2 - SPECIAL SORT (2) just keeps on winning, posting a 1.2L victory here a fortnight ago when favourite. He only rises 0.5kg and maps to get a nice run in transit once again. Can continue building his picket fence in this suitable assignment. BLACK SPIRIT (4) showed good improvement last time out and now rises up to the mile where she's performed well previously. 3kg's come off for Gaerth and the inside barrier can see him sit closer in the run. Can win on her best form. LITTLE SILVER (6) led all the way and absolutely bolted in at Albany, scoring by 4.6L. That was much easier than this and the wide draw does throw a spanner in the works. That win was no fluke though and he merits plenty of respect. JUSTAMIDDY (9) steps out to 1600m for just the second time with a solid grounding under his belt. Won't be far away. WANGO AWARD (7) ran on strongly last start and a repeat effort will see her running into the placings.

RACE 3 - YONGA LASS (12) was very impressive at Northam last time out, bolting in by 3.8L and now drops 4kg as she makes the trip to town. Pike sticking adds confidence and although this is tougher, she's on an upward trajectory. Can keep improving and score again. DEMOLISH (3) turned in a superb fresh effort when he usually takes a run to get going, beaten just 0.3L. That sets him up for a fantastic campaign and he's never missed the placings second-up, while also being a two-time winner at the trip. Sure to make his presence felt. MANHATTAN STRIP (10) returned in good order at Bunbury and the rise in trip is sure to suit. Drawn ideally down low and she's sure to feature with the added fitness under her belt. WAR GEM (4) ran on well from the back and suspect the same tactics will be adopted from the draw today. Watch for him late. Ditto STARRING KNIGHT (2) who'll be flashing home at the finish.

RACE 4 - One-time Railway favourite ALSEPHINA (1) just missed first-up when the race was dominated up front and now needs to win this to secure a start in next weeks G1 feature. Fitter for that effort and drawn to get plenty of favours for Pike. Can go one better today. MAGNIFICENT ANDY (6) scored a good win in the Hannans and wasn't disgraced last time out in easier company. The Hannans win stacks up well here and back out in trip suits. Nice drawn and will make his presence felt. ADMIRATION EXPRESS (8) was only fair on resumption but is much better than she showed on that occasion. Can put herself into the race this time and her second-up record is solid. Expecting a much better effort this time around. LET'S GALAHVANT (4) has form through Magnificent Andy in the Hannans but meets him worse at the weights here after his last start win. Going well though and must be included. BLACK FANTASY (7) was good fresh in the Asian Beau and won't be far away.

RACE 5 - All eyes are on KESHI BOOM (3) as she toyed with her opponents at just her third start in the Burgess Queen, rounding them up to score by 1.3L. Clearly the most talented of this bunch and looks to get a dream run again for Pike. Can continue her unbeaten streak. GENEROSITY (6) closed off strongly behind Keshi Boom last time out and will be much suited by an inside alley this time around. Out to the mile should suit this daughter of Divine Prophet and she appears the main danger to the top pick. PARIS CALLING (4) was caught three-wide and without cover from the draw last start in a complete forgive. Different set up for her this time and a much better effort is anticipated. BRAVE STRIKE (2) reaches the mile for the first time and her ratings jumped when out in trip last campaign. Include. THE BOSS LADY (5) is on the back-up from last week and merits plenty of respect having won three on end.

RACE 6 - BABY PARIS (1) got back and stuck on fairly over 1000m last time and comes into this off a similar setup that saw her win the Black Heart Bart two back. The wide draw is some niggle, but her recent form is the best in this field. She looks the one to beat. DUCHESS OF GOSSIP (7) may be the new girl on the scene, working through her grades impressively prior to a break. Comes here off a 98-day let-up and one trial, with Pike happy to stick in the saddle. Can continue to improve and will give the top pick something to think about. FLYING MISSILE (2) is another who returns here off a break, winning her last start over 1400m. The inside draw suits and she does perform well fresh. Won't be far away. RUSTY DREAMS (4) stuck on well as favourite first-up and has claims despite the tricky alley. GODDESS OF GIVING (3) Looks set for this third-up and out to 1200m. Must be included.

RACE 7 - MY BELLA MAE (6) looks ready for this at the peak of her powers and stepping out to 1200m. She was sound when running on from the back last time out but has settled much closer over this track and trip previously. Can get back to winning form, although she does meet RED CAN MAN (5) worse at the weights despite finishing behind him in both runs this campaign. Everything sets up nicely for McGruddy once again and he's sure to put his best foot forward. LAVERROD (8) wasn't far away in the Prince Of Wales last time out and will be fitter for the run after a long layoff. Blinkers go on now with Pike happy to stick with the gelding. He'll be about the finish. CLEMENCEAU (3) comes over to WA with some handy form under his belt. Goes well fresh and must be included. MAN CRUSH (4) just missed in the Prince Of Wales when leading and will prove hard to run down once again.

RACE 8 - The last of the features and we're siding with HANCHI (4) to reverse the result of his first-up effort. The wide draw is some concern, but he returned in great order and should only be better over the 1200m journey. Fitter for the fresh run and can win the Placid Ark. OSCAR'S FORTUNE (3) remained undefeated when winning the lead-up as favourite last time out and now stretches to 1200m for the first time. That is the query, but Pike sticks and he should have the pace to burn across and lead. Should be finishing in the quinella. AUGMENT (12) brings different form through the Belgravia and maps to get a lovely run. Already ticked the 1200m box and it wouldn't surprise to see her jump out of the ground to score. PETULA (14) comes through the Belgravia and wasn't far away. Worth including. KRYSANOVA (13) has claims on recent efforts.

RACE 9 - REAR ADMIRAL (13) just faded late last start over this course and distance and gets the blinkers on first time today. Fitter for the first-up effort, he drops in weight and draws a softer barrier this time. Can bounce back and return to winning ways. SALOON BAR (7) beat home the top pick last time out but does meet him slightly worse at the weights this time. He does draw inside today which can see him sit closer and he's sure to be in the finish again on recent form. METALLON (6) had good support on resumption and only finished 1.6L away. Blinkers go on again and out to 1200m with a strong second-up record and Pike riding looks a recipe for success. Winnable for him on best form. BROOKLYN PIER (2) just missed last time out and is sure to go close once again. CAPRICORN MAN (9) is looking for three in a row and merits plenty of respect off the inside barrier.