What's happening at Brighton

Race Meeting Report - 14 June 2016

Tue, Jun 14, 2016

The sun shone for the first few races of this evening's meeting and it stayed dry for the rest of it. Due to lightning striking some of the irrigation system last week, no watering had been possible since then and the going was good to firm.

An hour and a half after his victory in a big race at Royal Ascot with Galileo Gold, trainer Hugo Palmer's day was made even better with his Afandem's win in the Brighton opener, a two-year-old race over six furlongs. Sent off as the 2/5 favourite, he made most of the running and although Baby Gal briefly drew level a furlong and a half out, he came away again under Marc Monaghan to finish two and a half lengths up.

The next was a mile handicap. The old boy Jonnie Skull had a good lead but couldn't keep it beyond a furlong and a half out, when El Duque (4/1) took it up and stayed on well to give Hector Crouch a winning spare ride for Bill Turner. Zephyros made late progress to come in second, a length and a half behind. Satchville Flyer's run on the far rail was blocked at a critical moment and he should have finished much closer.

The 1m2f handicap was dominated by a front-running performance from French Legend (6/1), seemingly one of the Andrew Balding stable's lesser lights. Edward Greatrex, wearing the familiar Jeff Smith colours made famous by Lochsong, was able to poach a good lead a long way out and was eight lengths clear with a quarter of a mile to go. She tired a little in the closing stages but nothing else got into the race and she still had four and a half lengths in hand passing the post. Lazizah was second.

There were only four runners in the 1m2f fillies' handicap, notable for an incident a furlong out when the favourite Hala Madrid was the meat in a sandwich that stopped her in her tracks. She wouldn't have won, though; one side of the sandwich was Yankee Mail (100/30), who was running on well from the back and ultimately beat Ickymasho by a length and three quarters. Pat Cosgrave rode the winner for Gay Kelleway, who remains the only female jockey to have won a race at Royal Ascot, back in 1987.

Richard Hughes trained the winner of the 7f handicap, Castle Talbot (7/2), who had failed to hit the target in 13 previous attempts. Shane Kelly produced him late to hit the front inside the last 50 yards and score by a head from New Rich, who had made all the running and was filling the runner-up berth in this race for the second year in a row.

With a quarter of a mile to go in the 6f handicap Tom Marquand on Najd (7/2) decided to switch out wide to avoid getting boxed in. This gave him enough time to get the Richard Hannon-trained three-year-old to get a clear run and collar the favourite Capolavoro half a furlong out, striding on to a decisive one length victory.

The grey Our Lord (15/8 fav) was allowed to set the pace in the last race, over 5f. Under a typically energetic Luke Morris ride he gamely defied challengers on all sides to stay in front all the way to the line. He scraped home by a neck from Picansort to give trainer Bill Turner a double on the night.

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Jim Beavis