5.25pm Brighton Tips & Betting Preview 11/09/2017

Just the two winning favourites in the last nine renewals of this Apprentice handicap and not one trainer or jockey has doubled up in that period, so it looks sure to be a tight fought contest. See our full race preview and selection ahead of the 5.25pm at Brighton.

IN SUMMARY: World Record will no doubt make a bold attempt at following up his win here last season, but he may have to settle for second behind PAPOU TONY. He has been given a good chance by the handicapper after being dropped four pounds and he could be very well handicapped here, especially with the three pound claim of Hector Crouch who rides this track as well as anyone.

1 PAPOU TONY – George Baker’s four-year-old gelding has top weight, but he also has the assistance of Hector Crouch in the saddle which is never a bad thing, especially around Brighton where he regularly rides for Gary Moore. A son of Raven’s Pass, he was last seen finishing third over this course and distance last month and he has been dropped a very generous four pounds for that effort, leaving him on a winnable mark this afternoon and that one connections will look to take full advantage of.

2 SPIRITUAL STAR – Only tenth last time out at Salisbury and beaten 15 1/2 lengths at the line, but that was his first run since being pulled up at Kempton in June and he may be race fit now. All of his best recent form has been on the all-weather tracks, with plenty of places as well as a win at Wolverhampton in March. However, it may well be that he cannot repeat those performances on the grass that he faces here, even though he did win on fast ground at Newmarket back in 2011. He is certainly better handicapped here than he is on the polytrack and could run well off of 59. Nevertheless, the nagging doubt about the turf remains and he is difficult to make much of a case for at present.

3 NONNO GIULIO – Conor Dore’s gelding rarely runs two races the same, but put in one of his better efforts last time out when fourth to King Of Swing over seven furlongs at Chelmsford. He was beaten close to six lengths that day but does run off three pounds lower here on grass. He could threaten them all if he could only repeat his Redcar form away from home at this very different track. That seems unlikely, however, for a stable who are none from five in the last two weeks.

4 INTIMATELY – Only dropped a pound by the handicapper despite finishing over 15 lengths behind Bengal Lancer at Salisbury and he looks to have plenty on his hands this afternoon. The four-year-old has a bad habit of losing any chance with a tardy start lately, which can never be a good thing. In an apprentice race it may be asking that bit too much for George Wood to be expected to get him out on level terms, but if he does he could be very well handicapped here. However, it is also noted that he is yet to win over anything further than seven furlongs which is another negative.

5 ROLLING DICE – A first-time visor is added by trainer Dominic Ffrench Davis to the son of Rail Link who found everything happening a bit too quickly for him at Salisbury last month on his return to the flat after a couple of races over hurdles. The headgear should sharpen him up a little at least, but he has a lot of ground to make up and hasn’t won on the flat since August 2014. That suggests that he should go off at a big price today, despite the excellent Callum Shepherd in the saddle.

6 WORLD RECORD – The only course and distance winner in this field after taking this race last season at odds of 7/4 for footballer-turned-trainer Mick Quinn, although Kieran Shoemark replaces Lulu Stanford in the saddle for 2017. Just the three races this season have seen him finish second twice; here at Brighton and more recently at Lingfield, after which he was dropped a pound and is now on the same mark as he won off last season. His small stable have a one in five strike rate recently while his jockey sits on 10% thanks to two wins from his last 20 mounts. He is impossible to write off at a track he knows well and should go close this afternoon.

7 THE FIRM – 16 runs since his last win in February 2016 and he has since changed hands from Daniel Loughnane to John Jenkins. A nine length sixth over the Yarmouth mile last time out doesn’t look too good in the context of this race and a drop of a pound seems less than generous. That said, Gina Mangan is good value for her seven pound  claim and has ridden the gelding four times in total, so she at least knows the horse. All five of his wins have been on the all-weather at Southwell (twice), Dundalk (twice) and Wolverhampton, so this would need a first ever win on the grass. However, he could still go well off this weight and surprise a few better fancied rivals.

8 EDE’S THE MOVER – Still a maiden after nine runs and places at Goodwood, Brighton over seven furlongs and, more recently, on the Lingfield polytrack are all that she brings to the table. Last time out she tried the undulations at Epsom in a Class 5 handicap and finished last of six, beaten eight lengths at the line. She clearly needs to do plenty more than that and may still be better off dropped back into maiden company before she will get her first career victory.

9 MEGALALA – John Bridger looks after the veteran who is still racing at the incredible age of 16. Today will be his 147th start as he looks to add to his 20 career victories (eight of them here) and over £73,000 in win and place prize money. He hasn’t won since June last year on the Lingfield polytrack and not on turf since October 2015 here over a mile and a half. That said, he has never won over this distance, despite eight attempts, and, much as everyone would love him to win, it does seem extremely unlikely.

10 PORT LAIRGE – Trainer Michael Chapman is winner free in the last two weeks while his seven-year-old hasn’t won since August 2015 when he scored here over seven furlongs off a rating 15 pounds more than he suffers today. Sadly, he has been going backwards ever since and also seems extremely unlikely to have the speed for this trip having been over hurdles as well as running over up to a mile and six on the flat. That makes him a good ride for apprentice Phil Dennis, but surely a win should prove beyond him.

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