What's happening at Brighton

Race Meeting Report - October 17th

Thu, Oct 17, 2013

A mild, sunny afternoon climaxed Brighton's 2013 season. The going was soft and the stands side route was preferred all day. Those who secured "the golden highway" right next to the rail were particularly favoured in the first half of the card.

The 1/7 favourite Quickaswecan obliged in the first race, a six furlongs maiden for two year olds. This inmate of the Mark Johnston yard had to be shaken up by Silvestre De Sousa to go into the lead a furlong out and won easily without being particularly impressive. Black Rodded showed some promise 1½ lengths away in second, well ahead of the other two runners.

The opening division of the seven furlongs handicap went to the first horse to get to the stands rail three furlongs out, Gary Moore's Charitable Act (5/1). First time blinkers probably helped. Pressed and possibly headed in the last furlong, he rallied well under George Baker to get home by a short head from Great Expectations, with three recent course winners behind them.

The second division also went to the first horse to reach the stands rail. This was Rocky Reef (5/2 fav), trained by Philip Hide and ridden by Pat Dobbs. He gradually extended his advantage and finished 3¾ lengths ahead of Sword In Hand, with the rest well strung out.

Three fought out the finish of the strongly-run one mile race for two year olds. The winner was Collaboration (6/1), tongue-tied for the first time. He was ridden along from two out and, under a very strong drive from David Probert, took the lead off Classical Art in the last fifty yards to score by a neck. Andrew Balding trained the winner.

The fifth was a mile and a quarter handicap, won by the formerly high class Smokey Oakey (12/1), who relishes these ground conditions. Once the nine year old had collared the stands rail on entering the straight he was never headed. Mark Tompkins trained and Simon Pearce rode him. Unfortunately his part-owner Dame Judi Dench was not present to greet him. Sutton Sid was the runner-up, 1½ lengths away.

Sword Of The Lord was made 10/11 favourite to follow up last week's impressive win for Michael Bell and William Twiston-Davies over a mile. Punters had an anxious time from the moment the stalls opened, when he was dropped out last. In the straight he could not get a clear run and barged one of his rivals when trying to get some daylight. He challenged the leader Khelac and had mastered him with half a furlong to go, when the latter hit the rail and fell back. The winning margin was 1¾ lengths, with the rest of the field seven lengths adrift.

A sixteen-runner six furlongs handicap had the potential to spring a surprise and it arrived in the form of Ficelle (14/1), trained by Ron Harris and ridden by Cathy Gannon. All the runners were still in with a chance with a furlong and a half to go, but coming from behind up the centre of the course Ficelle had made good progress to lead at that point. Slowing down and crossing to the stands side, she did enough to hold on by a neck from the fast-finishing Ishiamiracle.

The last race of the year, a five furlongs sprint, was a narrow triumph for Waseem Faris, the Mick Channon-trained 7/2 favourite. Going well for most of the race, he took a share of the lead with a furlong to go and under limited pressure consented to go on. Without looking very enthusiastic, he beat Ladweb by a head. This gave jockey George Baker a double on the day.

Next year's first meeting is on the evening of Thursday 24 April.

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Jim Beavis