What's happening at Brighton

Race Meeting Report - 30 June 2015

Tue, Jun 30, 2015

The last June meeting was on a hot, sunny afternoon with a welcome breeze. The going was good to firm, good in places.

Before the start of this season Des Donovan hadn't saddled a winner at Brighton for four years, but he had his third in a month here in the 6f handicap with Hi Empress (5/1). Silvestre de Sousa was booked for this, her first run for the yard, and he brought her with a long steady run on the outside to lead with about 50 yards to go. Finishing even faster was Lady Zodiac, but she failed to get up by a neck.

The second race, over 7f, looked very open despite there being only five runners. Juventas (5/2), on whom Paddy Pilley led from the outset, pulled out more when others came up to her quarters as they ran up from the dip. They couldn't pass her, and she had a clear advantage from the half furlong pole. Ocean Crystal stayed on for second, a length and a half behind the Mick Channon-trained filly.

Another all-the-way success came in the 1m2f maiden, won last year by the ultimately-high class Tryster. When Markstein's challenge petered out two furlongs from home Sir Michael Stoute's Perfect Glance (11/4) was ridden out by Ted Durcan to increase her lead to six or seven lengths. He was able to ease her down in the last furlong and at the post she had two and a half to spare over the 100/1 shot Ayr Of Elegance.

In the 1m4f handicap Retro Valley (9/2) took the lead two out, fought off Duke Street in the next furlong and then went on to a clear three length success from Kitten's Red. Martin Lane rode the winner for David Dennis.

The 14 year old Megalala put up his usual honest display in the 1m2f handicap, leading from two out until the last furlong on ground plenty fast enough for him. Then he was passed by Young Jackie (14/1). This mare, from the George Margarson yard, had won this race in 2013. After being driven along from the three furlong marker by 17 year old Lulu Stanford, once in the lead the pair held off the late run of Tornado Battle by a neck. It was the jockey's first winner, on her first ride at Brighton, and only her tenth in all. She was warmly applauded when interviewed after the race and presented with a bottle of champagne.

A winner twice in the last eight days, Zaeem (4/7 fav) encountered plenty of resistance from the pace-setting Live Dangerously but with 150 yards of the one mile handicap to go he moved ahead and won by two and a half lengths. This completed a double for Silvestre de Sousa. It was a first winner on the course for Nottinghamshire trainer Ivan Furtado, who is now going to give the horse a break.

John Gallagher's sprinters always deserve respect here and Ada Lovelace (9/4) showed signs of a return to form last time out and she confirmed that promise when making all the running in the 5f handicap. Ridden by George Baker, she bowled along from the outset and after rebuffing challengers in the penultimate furlong drew clear to score by the best part of four lengths from Shamrock Sheila.

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Jim Beavis