Two winning favourites from the seven runnings of this race, but a 16/1 shock for Mark Brisbourne’s Storm Lightning last season so punters beware. Run over the fast five furlongs plus on the Brighton track there will be no prisoners taken and we should be in for a fast and furious renewal from start to finish. Read on for our full race preview ahead of the 2.30pm at Brighton this afternoon.
IN SUMMARY: Had a bit to find with our original selection Taajub at the weights but thankfully that horse is now a non-runner so THE BIG LAD should be able to take this race by the neck. Nicola Currie takes seven pounds off which is a big help and he has been eased in the weights. It could turn into a tactical affair as it is a four runner race now, but he has as good a chance as any in the field.
1 THE BIG LAD – Top weight today for the Richard Hughes horse, though Nicola Currie takes seven pounds off which may well help his chances. His last two runs have seen him finish sixth at both Sandown and Windsor, but the eyeshields are back in place now as they were when he ran a solid third to Brother Tiger at Lingfield. If they have the same effect again he won’t be far away having been dropped two pounds for his last run.
2 SANDFRANKSKIPSGO – Five wins from 24 starts over this trip and one from three here at Brighton suggest that the son of Piccolo will go well again this afternoon for trainer and owner Peter Crate. Last time out he finished fourth over this course and distance but was only a length and three quarters adrift of winner Ginzan. His best win was off ten pounds higher in a better race at Newmarket. He seems sure to put in a big effort for his small stable back at a course he performs well at.
3 UPAVON – Stuart Williams heads the trainer percentages here with two wins from his last 18 runners (11%). However, he’s had no wins from this horse since August last year when he won here over a furlong further, a run of 11 losses now. That win was off a rating of 75, the same as this afternoon. With a 100% win record at this specialists’ track with two from two (both over six furlongs) he has to be considered. Having said that, he does usually run on late and may yet find this on the short side. Also down to run at Yarmouth on Wednesday.
4 BRONZE BEAU – 12 wins from a massive 118 starts over a period of over eight years now for the ten-year-old, the latest as recently as early July at Hamilton. He was raised five pounds for that and hasn’t scored in three races since. He also hasn’t been dropped a pound by the handicapper, despite a 12 length 12th at Beverley last time out. A drop in the weights may be needed before he scores again.
5 WILEY POST – Formerly trained by Richard Hannon where he won two of his races, one each at Chepstow and Goodwood, but now with Tony Carroll in Worcestershire. Yet to win for his new handler, he has placed twice in three starts with a third at Nottingham and a second at Windsor last month. Kindly left on the same rating this afternoon, the booking of Jim Crowley to ride suggests that they mean business. However, he is yet to win off a rating this high and has a little more to find to get competitive for a stable a bit out of sorts; they’ve had just the one win from 28 attempts in the last two weeks.
6 TAAJUB – The second runner from the Peter Crate yard and undoubtedly well weighted off a rating of 70, having won off as high as 95, although that was back in 2012. His last win was here in May over this trip when accounting for The Big Lad by a couple of lengths. As he is actually a pound better off here he should be able to confirm that form if he can repeat that run today off five pounds higher and, sitting off a feather weight, he looks to have an excellent chance this afternoon.