PADDOCKS PATENT (TUESDAY)
Southern Strife was a winner on handicap debut last time out and has a 5lbs rise to contend with here, but won over a longer trip here at Catterick on racecourse debut under NH flat rules. Both career wins have come on good-to-soft ground and he looks to have the potential to improve further having regained the winning threat and now stepped up again in trip.
Henry Smith must enter calculations having made the frame in all nine previous attempts over a similar trip to today, winning four times. He has placed in his last two runs and runs off the same mark again, making me think he’s more likely to occupy the minor placings again today unless he can show some improvement.
Sherman Mccoy has won three and placed four from fourteen at Catterick and is 2lbs lower than his last winning mark, although hasn’t won in over a year and has been largely inconsistent this year so cannot be backed with too much confidence.
Southern Strife (WIN)
Trainer George Baker has has sent 60 runners to Brighton over the last three years, posting twelve winners and an overall place strike rate of over 71%. He has a couple of runners here today and I feel his best chance of a winner comes from African Showgirl who has won and placed over todays’ trip at Brighton and has made the frame in all three runs over a mile when racing on turf. She disappointed last time out but that was over ten furlongs so she should be much more at home back over a mile at a track she seems to have a liking for.
Music Major has been a model of consistency on the all-weather, making the frame in seven from eleven and winning two. He has gone up a couple of pounds for a fourth place finish last time out but would have to be considered a danger if taking to turf.
Of the remainder, Cahala Dancer is listed as a doubtful runner but was a fourteen length winner over course and distance on penultimate run and although this would be her first run in over a year, off a 10lbs higher mark, she could be a fascinating contender if taking her place.
African Showgirl (E/W if 9/2+)
Memories Galore is the early favourite and has made the frame in four from five on an all-weather surface, with both career wins coming on the AW over todays’ trip. He finished second on his only previous visit to Kempton and looks likely to give a good account of himself here, however both wins came off marks of 70 and 75 and so he may again prove vulnerable off a mark of 85.
Upstaging won over course and distance on October 2014 but has only won twice since, both on turf, and races today off a career high mark. With jockey Jim Crowley in such good form he has to be considered but may have to settle for minor honours.
Red Artist won on his only previous run on an all-weather surface and has won two and placed once from four over a six furlong trip. He is still 3lbs higher than his last win but it could prove significant that Silvestre De Sousa hangs around to ride the selection in very last race of the day, for a trainer he has a 34% winning strike rate for over the last twelve months.
Red Artist (E/W)