North Could Rule Down South If Rain Arrives

Afatcat looked to be travelling ominously well into the race up the inner at Galway as they approached the turn for home, but Stephen Mahon’s charge got chopped off at the worst moment possible and any chance he had was gone. Conor Brassil went for the brave man’s route, but there is a thin line between bravery and stupidity. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for him (or us) on Sunday, but I still rate him as a good jockey and the ride he gave Back Before Dawn for us earlier this season means he is still in the good books.

Jim Boyle is likely to have trained Duke Of North for this race.

Tomorrow I like the look of one at a massive price in the feature race at Brighton, and I think Duke Of North looks well overpriced for Jim Boyle with Jack Mitchell taking over in the plate. This 5yo son of Danehill Dancer was an extremely unlucky 5th in this race last season for Rhiain Ingram and with a clearer run he would have gone very close to winning. There isn’t many 20k races for horses of this quality to run in, and I think it is very likely that he has been trained with a repeat bid firmly in mind.
The worry would be that the ground is currently described as good to firm at Brighton, but there is lots of rain forecast to fall before this race at 15.20. Jim Boyle has probably been performing a rain dance for the last couple of days, and hopefully his wish is granted. This gelding has shown his best turf form on good or good to soft so it makes sense to wait and see if the rain materialises before having a flutter.
Duke Of North races off a mark of 69 today, just 3lb above his last winning mark. He last emerged victorious in a class 4 handicap at Lingfield back in May off 66 and he has been lightly raced since. He ran over an inadequate 6f here 11 days later and was well beaten off 70 and he was given a nice break after that run. He made a pleasing enough return to action at Sandown a couple of weeks ago when beaten 4L after a slow start and racing wide (7f gd/sft) and that should have sharpened him up nicely for this contest.
Jack Mitchell takes over in the saddle and he has 9 wins and 7 places from 51 rides for Jim Boyle. Mitchell has ridden 7 winners and had 17 places from 74 rides at Brighton so he usually enjoys his trips to the seaside and he knows how to get the job done at this tricky track. Duke Of North has also shown an affinity for the track with a course and distance win, a 2nd, a 3rd and an unlucky 5th in this race last year from just 5 visits to the track.
He is drawn out wide but he is a hold up type so that shouldn’t inconvenience him. He is 5lb better off with last year’s winner Cricklewood Green for a 1.5L defeat so he is handicapped to turn that form around. The unexposed 3yos are obvious dangers, and given his hold up style he is likely to require luck in running and he also needs the rain to arrive. If the heavens do open I can see Duke Of North going off a lot shorter than his current odds of 25/1, and at that price he has to be worth chancing each way.


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