What's happening at Brighton

Race Meeting Report - 6 August 2014

Wed, Aug 6, 2014

After overnight rain the first day of the Brighton Festival was sunny and the going was good.

A five furlong nursery got the card under way and, not for the first time, the combination of Richard Hughes riding for the Hannon yard supplied the winner. L'Etacq (5/4 fav) was not disconcerted by being impeded early on and, despite having to wait for a clear run, was too strong for the long-time leader Amber Crystal, hitting the front in the last fifty yards to win by half a length.

The seven furlong maiden for two-year-olds had only four runners, and resulted in a quick double for the Hannon-Hughes partnership. Crafty Choice (evens fav) appeared to be in trouble when Grand Spirit went for home two out, but he stayed on well to take command with a hundred yards and go on to score by a length and three quarters.

The next was a seller over a mile and a half, but the outcome was still a win for Richard Hughes on Unidexter (6/1), trained by Sheena West near Falmer. Banreenahreenkah had enjoyed a big lead only to give way two out. Unidexter, who had played up badly in the stalls, made steady progress from the rear to lead in the last hundred yards and beat Sexy Secret by a length.

Some big stables were represented in the Brighton Mile, and Andrew Balding's took the prize with Mime Dance (5/1 joint fav), ridden by Oisin Murphy. Like the winner of the previous race, he came wide and from the back of the field to take a narrow lead off Piceno with a furlong to go. The pair pulled well clear, and Mime Dance held on by half a length.

The seven furlong fillies' handicap featured a gallant front-running performance by Mark Johnston's Lady Frances (10/3) in the hands of Michael Murphy. Meeting Waters put in a determined challenge in the last quarter of a mile and headed the winner once or twice, but the northern raider rallied gamely to secure victory by a head.

Sir Tyto (2/1 fav) ran well here last time, and dropped back to a mile and a quarter he provided Richard Hughes with his fourth winner of the afternoon. Peter Makin's charge made all the running and after going for home over two furlongs out looked unlikely to be caught. Market Puzzle ran on late to finish two and a half lengths in arrears.

The last race, over six furlongs, was a pillar-to-post success for Lunarian (7/2). Charles Bishop pinched a three length lead two out which never looked like being clawed back. Mick Channon's lightly-raced filly won by two and a quarter lengths from Posh Bounty.

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Jim Beavis