STRIKER TORRES has been hitting the post in recent starts but can score in this maiden ahead of Mark Johnson's newcomer, Toujours Souriante and Kersivay. Having finished second in his last two starts the pick from Bryan Smart's yard looks to have a slightly easier assignment to get off the mark. The form from the last near miss looks solid and should only get stronger and the colt looks mildly progressive. Toujours Souriante is relatively well bred as a half brother to a fair four time winner over two miles. There is also evidence in his blood line seven furlongs will suit and as always with these newcomers the market should guide you to his chances. Kersivay's fitness and aptitude for the ground conditions needs to be taken on faith but he was running well on the polytrack last season and has claims. Desire To Excel will have to show more this time than in his four career starts so far while both Deraaya and Olympic Dream were solid enough on seasonal reappearances. There are plenty of unexposed types here who could have trained on into much better sorts this season but Striker Torres looks the one to be with.
Campli (IRE) 4-1 (9-3) Led, pressed over 2f out, no extra when headed well inside final furlong, lost 3 places towards finish, 5th of 9, 2 3/4l behind Hatta Diamond (8-5) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f mdn stks (5) pol in Mar.
Funky Munky 20-1 (9-12) Slowly into stride, in rear, ridden and headway 3f out, weakened 2f out, 5th of 9, 10l behind Clippity Clop (8-9) at Southwell 1m mdn stks (5) fbs in Mar.
Aegean Pride 12-1 (9-5) Chased leader, weakened over 1f out, 7th of 9, 17l behind Foreign Investment (8-7) at Wolverhampton 7f mdn fll stks (5) pol in Feb.
Deraaya (IRE) 16-1 (9-10) Soon led, ridden 2f out, edged left under pressure and headed well inside final furlong, 5th of 8, 2 1/4l behind Kaabari (8-9) at Lingfield 7f mdn fll (5) pol in Mar.
Desire To Excel (IRE) 9-2 (9-3) Chased leaders, hung left halfway, driven over 2f out, soon weakened, 8th of 12, 21l behind Rio Royale (9-3) at Folkestone 7f 2yo mdn aut (6) gf in Jun.
Kersivay 7-1 (9-7) In touch, ridden over 2f out, led over 1f out, edged right, under pressure and headed inside final furlong, 3rd of 9, 1 1/4l behind Atabaas Allure (9-7) at Wolverhampton 7f 2yo hco 0-75 (5) pol in Sep.
Olympic Dream 6-1 (9-3) Chased leaders, ridden and one pace 2f out, 5th of 13, 9l behind Makaamen (9-3) at Doncaster 7f 3yo mdn (4) gd in Mar.
Striker Torres (IRE) 9-2 (9-0) Took keen hold with leaders, driven to lead over 1f, headed inside final furlong, no extra close home, 2nd of 15, 3/4l behind Roman Republic (9-0) at Doncaster 7f 2yo mdn (4) gd in Oct.
Winrob 50-1 (9-3) Slowly into stride, always towards rear, 11th of 13, 19l behind Makaamen (9-3) at Doncaster 7f 3yo mdn (4) gd in Mar.
Lily Jicaro (IRE) 4-1 (8-9) Towards rear, ridden over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, 5th of 8, 21l behind Goodison Glory (9-1) at Catterick 7f 2yo mdn aut (6) hvy in Nov.
Miss Dee Lady (IRE) Captain Rio filly out of Windomen.
Toujours Souriante Lucky Story filly out of Tous Les Jours.