What's happening at Brighton

Race Meeting Report - 27 May 2016

Fri, May 27, 2016

Today was Gentlemen's Day, although at least as many ladies had clearly made an effort to dress up for the occasion. They were rewarded with a bright, warm afternoon, and most of the favourites obliged. The going was good, good to firm in places.

A five furlong race for two-year-olds got us under way. It looked like deja vu for Jeremy Noseda's Monks Stand (2/5 fav), who ran into all sorts of trouble when finishing an odds on third here a few weeks ago. Hemmed in at the dip, Ryan Moore had to work hard to squeeze him through a gap a furlong out before staying on strongly to finish two and three quarter lengths ahead of Princess Holly. Watching it live, his run had appeared to interfere more than once with Zebspear on the rail, but replays showed he didn't do too much damage.

Highly Sprung made a valiant attempt to lead all the way in the 6f handicap for three-year-olds, but was caught in the last strides by Caitie (16/1), who was only sixth of the seven runners with 150 yards left. Paul Cole's filly benefited from having blinkers removed, being held up, and David Probert's confident ride.

Pour La Victoire (9/4 fav), unpenalised for a Goodwood success last week in an apprentices' race, followed up in the 6f handicap for older horses under the same jockey, Georgia Cox. Driven from two out, once hitting the front inside the final furlong it was plain sailing for Tony Carroll's gelding, who secured his fifth course win by a comfortable two and a half lengths. Straits of Malacca finished best of the rest.

Next came a five-runner 1m4f handicap. After a furlong or two, Ryan Moore was being allowed to set his own pace on his father Gary's Goldenfield (6/5 fav). At that point an experienced race-reader was heard to say "made all, shaken up two out, won unchallenged". His prediction was spot on. Most of his rivals were struggling half a mile out. Jarir was a token second, six lengths adrift.

The dark grey Pink Ribbon took the lead in the 1m2f handicap after just a furlong and held on to it grimly when challenged with a quarter of a mile to go by Glasgow Central (2/1 jt fav), but had to give way after being leaned on and then bumped half a furlong out. There was half a length between them at the line. Roy Rocket was closing on both of them in third. The winner was trained by Phil McEntee and ridden by Silvestre de Sousa.

Turning into the straight in the mile handicap, most of them came a little wide, and this left an attractive gap on the rail for Lord Reason (100/30), allowing him to save ground and take the lead. He's My Boy gave chase but was always being held, the winner coming under another strong de Sousa drive to score by three quarters of a length. It was the horse's second run for the John Butler stable.

Soaring Spirits was one of a pair who were ten lengths clear halfway through the 7f finale. It seemed impossible he could maintain such a breakneck pace, but he kept going bravely and it was only with 150 yards to go that Hawk Moth (7/2 jt fav) passed him. The winning margin was two and a quarter lengths. The John Spearing-trained Brighton regular was ridden by Tom Marquand, and this was his second course and distance victory this month.

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Jim Beavis