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Race Meeting Report - September 1st

Wed, Sep 4, 2013

The first day of a two-day meeting took place on a mostly sunny Sunday afternoon with the customary good to firm going. The rails turning into the home straight were angled to encourage runners to finish middle to stands side, while leaving plenty of room for those who wanted to come up on their inside. The champion jockey Richard Hughes rode three winners and Jim Crowley two.

Coming up the straight most of the runners in the five furlongs maiden were in contention. Into the final furlong it was Penny's Boy (2/1 fav) and Flashy Queen who went on, and it was the former, under a strong Richard Hughes drive, that prevailed by half a length. Sylvester Kirk was the winning trainer.

Kirk used to work in the Richard Hannon yard, which was the source of Hughes's next winner, Peak Royale (10/11 fav), in the seven furlongs maiden. Confidently ridden, the gelding was held up last of the four, ran on from two out, hit the front with a furlong to go, and came home strongly by 4½ lengths from Sahra Al Khadra.

A handicap over a mile and a half followed. Jan De Heem, recently runner-up to Beacon Lady, franked that form by winning with top weight (11/8 fav). Jan De Heem came widest of all and ran on strongly while hanging left to take the lead from Syrenka with half a furlong to go. The winning margin was half a length. Ralph Beckett trained the winner and Jim Crowley rode him.

Richard Hughes was back in business in the ten furlongs fillies' handicap, piloting Luca Cumani's Soryah (11/4) to a one-length win. They were all hard at it 2½ furlongs out, but once Soryah got to the front she only needed nudging out with hands and heels. Beacon Lady, following four Brighton wins in the last two months and victory in the Amateurs' Derby at Epsom, could not reproduce her usual running style over a shorter trip than is now ideal for her, getting to the front much earlier than usual. She finished an honourable fourth.

A five furlongs sprint went to Pharoh Jake (13/2), trained by John Bridger and ridden by Michael Murphy. A winner three times last December, he returned to form with a vengeance, bursting clear with a furlong to go. Volito ran on late to narrow the gap to a length and a half.

The David Simcock-trained grey Gabrial's Gift, disappointing since a convincing Chepstow win in June, found the Brighton undulations to his liking when taking this six furlongs handicap (9/4 fav). Jim Crowley (wearing silks of a similar grey to the colour of his mount) was thwarted in his attempts to get a run on the stands rail. He had to come around Jinker Noble, who had first run, and stormed into the lead inside the last half furlong to score by a neck.

We concluded with a race for apprentices over seven furlongs. Olney Lass (8/1) put some poor recent runs behind her to notch her fourth course success. Trained by Lydia Pearce and ridden by Joey Haynes, she led two out and, coming up the centre, soon saw off all her challengers. She came right away to win by 3½ lengths, Fairy Mist finishing runner-up.

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Jim Beavis