What's happening at Brighton

Race Meeting Report - 7 May 2014

Wed, May 7, 2014

The second part of the two-day meeting took place in initially bright though increasingly blustery conditions. The ground had dried out to good to firm. There were doubles for Richard Hughes and Kieren Fallon.

The first race, a two-year-old maiden, was won very easily by Dougal (2/7 fav), who hails from the powerful stable of Richard Hannon. Richard Hughes held the colt up third of the four runners until easing him into the lead with a furlong to go. He outclassed his opponents, going five lengths clear of Brown Velvet.

Hughes picked up a winning spare ride in the next, a six furlong handicap, in the form of Clear Praise. The Simon Dow-trained 11/8 joint favourite went off very quickly and was four lengths clear with a quarter of a mile to go. The pack started closing and though the gap was narrowed to three quarters of a length the leader kept on well, and at the line he had three quarters of a length in hand of the other joint favourite Top Cop.

The third race, over a mile and a quarter, was won by Sandy Cove (a very well-supported 11/8 fav), ridden by Luke Morris for James Eustace. Under a vigorous ride he took the lead off the front-running grey Cherry Princess with half a furlong to go. My Secret Dream ran on well at a big price to finish a one-length second.

The run of success for favourites came to an abrupt end in the mile and a half handicap, when Nesterenko was pulled up lame. The habitual front-runner Highlife Dancer led until the last half-furlong, when Ssafa (11/1) completed her progress from last to first. This was the first run over this trip for Alastair Lidderdale's mare, who won by just over two lengths.

In the mile handicap Heavy Metal (7/1) was thrown in on his old form, which he hadn't shown for a long time. Middleham trainer Mark Johnston's decision to send him to Brighton, the scene of one of his wins as a two-year-old, did the trick. At halfway he was last of the four and not going well, but Kieren Fallon persevered and suddenly he was going best of all. Hitting the front a furlong out, he galloped on well for a four length success over Fleckerl.

There were plenty in with chances entering the final stages of the seven furlong handicap. Darnathean (5/2), who was taken to the start early, was driven into the lead by Sean Levey inside the final furlong. He passed the post two and a half lengths clear of Who's That Chick, who stayed on strongly after running into the back of other horses at a critical stage. Paul D'Arcy was the successful trainer.

Kieren Fallon staying for the last race was significant, for he rode Dreams Of Glory (4/1) to an all-the-way win for Ron Hodges. With the help of the stands rail, he saw off a number of challengers from two out and in the last hundred yards extended his advantage to two and a quarter lengths. Picansort was second.

The next meeting here is on Friday 30 May.

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Jim Beavis