What's happening at Brighton

Race Meeting Report - 4 August 2016

Thu, Aug 4, 2016

Ladies Day, the second day of the Brighton Festival, was bright and breezy. The ground had dried out and was now good.

Many placepots went west when two outsiders finished 1-2 in the first race, a five furlong dash. At the end of a strongly-run event Franny Norton weaved through the field on Storm Lightning (16/1) to edge half a length in front of the 10/1 shot Whitecrest in the last few strides. Trainer Mark Brisbourne has been having a wretched season, and this was his first winner. Hopefully he will make up for lost time from now. The horse was entered to run again on the next day.

A gamble was landed on the Tony Carroll-trained Monsieur Valentine in the 7f seller. Backed from 14/1 in the morning to 9/2, though he then drifted out to 8/1. He flew in the closing stages to get up in the last strides for Georgia Cox, depriving last year's winner of this race Indus Valley by a short head. The pair finished well clear. There was no bid for the winner.

The one mile maiden for two-year-olds began with Showtime Lady disputing the running and then drawing clear with Count Calabash in the final furlong, giving him a bump as the two 7/4 joint favourites fought out the finish well ahead of the rest. After they had flashed past the post together the photo revealed that Jim Crowley had driven the Count into the lead by a nose. Though he'd run poorly four days ago the Paul Cole yard obviously fancied him to make amends today.

The 1m4f Brighton Challenge Trophy was wide open two furlongs out, when William Hunter (9/2) forged ahead on the far rail to take a decisive lead. Thames Knight ran on to be second, a length and a quarter away, without really threatening. The winner was trained by Alan King and ridden by Willie Twiston-Davies, adding to his double here yesterday before dashing up to ride at Wolverhampton tonight.

William Haggas trained one of yesterday's winners and was on the mark again today with Trainnah (evens fav), who led soon after the start of the 1m2f fillies' handicap and stayed in front the whole way, pulling out more when Singyoursong challenged on her inside. She had half a length to spare as she furnished Jim Crowley with a double. Once again the first two came well clear of the rest.

African Showgirl (7/2), a close second here a month ago, lost her maiden status at the tenth attempt in the mile handicap. Steve Drowne was niggling her along from three out and she only gradually gained momentum, hitting the front with a furlong to go. Nona Blu finished fast on the outside with what looked like a winning run but the Showgirl, trained by George Baker, rallied to score by a neck.

The last race, for lady amateur riders over 1m2f, went to City Ground (2/5 fav), ridden by the leading jockey in that field, Serena Brotherton. She made all the running on the Michael Appleby-trained nine-year-old that won this race two years ago. Gaelic Silver tried to make a race of it but never quite got on terms, going down by a length and a half.

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Jim Beavis