What's happening at Brighton

Race Meeting Report - September 16th

Mon, Sep 16, 2013

Most of this afternoon was sunny and brilliantly clear. A drying wind following plenty of rain had left the going good to soft, soft in places. The stands side was favoured in the early races.

McConnell (9/2) had won ten races on the all-weather but only one on turf prior to today's mile and a quarter seller for apprentices. Oisin Murphy got him to the stands rail and this appeared to pay dividends as the leaders running nearer the centre faded dramatically in the last furlong. He won by three quarters of a length. Violet Jordan was the successful trainer. There was no bid for the winner, but two other runners were claimed.

The mile and a half handicap went to the course and distance winner Panettone (9/4 fav), from the Roger Varian yard. Andrea Atzeni had her disputing the lead until pushing on four out and coming up the stands rail. Alone on the far side, Mr Fickle provided a stern challenge and might have been ahead inside the last quarter of a mile, but Panettone stayed on strongly to win by a length and a half, with nine lengths back to the rest.

Race three, over a mile, proved to be another triumph for the stands side brigade. Well supported this morning, Bloodsweatandtears (7/2 fav) made all the running under George Baker. Poetic Lord was his only competition in the last quarter of a mile, but that one hung left under pressure to allow the William Knight-trained favourite to lead them home by a length.

There was a surprise victory for the debutante Improvized (14/1) in the seven furlongs maiden. She was well behind early in what turned out to be a muddling race, and with half a furlong left she had done well to reach fourth place, running in the centre of the course. Suddenly she found another gear, and with hands and heels assistance from Steve Drowne she surged a head in front of Nice Arty at the post. This was trainer William Muir's first two year old winner of the season.

Form pundits were confident that the Lydia Pearce-trained Olney Lass (9/2) would struggle in the six furlongs handicap, a distance short of her best. However, a strong pace set the race up for her and with Simon Pearce taking a middle to far side route, she led inside the last furlong and stayed on well for a 2½ length victory. This was her fifth Brighton win and her fifth in the month of September.

Form students suffered another blow in the next, over seven furlongs, when the far side was thoroughly in favour. Bestfootforward's record was moderate, to say the least, but she broke well under Shelley Birkett and made all the running in terrific style to win easily. Dropped markedly in trip, this was her first run for the Julia Feilden stable. Silvee was five lengths back in second.

The final race, over five furlongs, began with Griffin Point's rider being unseated on leaving the stalls. Brighton regular The Strig (5/2) enjoyed a clear run on the far rail and passed Threave with just over a furlong to go, only for that one to rally and get within a neck at the post. Stuart Williams trained the winner and J-P Guillambert rode him.

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Jim Beavis