What's happening at Brighton

Race Meeting Report - 9 August 2017

Wed, Aug 16, 2017

The first day of the Brighton Festival of Racing was marked by a hat-trick by the leader in the race for the jockeys' title, former champion Silvestre de Sousa. On a changeable day weatherwise, the going was good to firm, firm in places. Although no front-runners won, it paid to race up among the leaders.

A competitive five-runner 5f nursery opened the card. Everyone had a run for their money, with a trio battling in line from two out and the other two finishing strongly at the very end. One of them, Llamrei, snatched second place but was still half a length adrift of Haveoneyerself (9/4), who'd held a narrow lead from the furlong pole. John Egan rode the winner for John Butler.

Al Ozzdi (7/2) started repaying his 170,000 guineas purchase tag by wearing down the opposition in the final half furlong of the 7f race for two-year-olds. His challenge looked like coming to nothing, but stamina came into play in the closing stages and he eventually won by a cosy three quarters of a length from the running-on Tadleel. Simon Crisford's juvenille was providing Silvestre de Sousa with his 100th winner of the year.

Bizet looked to have sewn up the 1m4f seller with a hundred yards to go but Martin Dwyer conjured up a late burst from the Richard Hughes-trained Tojosimbre (8/1) and he got up in the last stride. Though he is a big, quite lightly-raced three-year-old with more stamina than speed and could have a career over jumps, the short head winner attracted no bids.

The big race of the day, the Hobgoblin-sponsored Brighton Mile Challenge Trophy, went to local man Gary Moore's Lord Clenaghcastle (5/1), who was winning for the fourth time in eight starts. He had a protracted tussle with Pendo from halfway, took the lead two out and kept pullling out more to score by two lengths. He's still on the upgrade. His intended jockey took a tumble in the preceding race and Shane Kelly was lucky enough to get the spare ride.

There was a good finish to the 7f fillies handicap, with Bumptious (11/4) and Bint Dandy neck and neck through the last half furlong, with the former coming out on top by a short head. Ismail Mohammed's filly was ridden by the reigning champion Jim Crowley.

The first visit to Brighton for Ed de Giles's Overhaugh Street (14/1) brought the gelding's first victory. Trying ten furlongs, almost double the distance of his last outing, he and Nouvelle Ere shared the lead throughout. With the aid of the rail and Silveste de Sousa, the winner scampered into a decisive lead in the final hundred yards to triumph by a length and a quarter. Buzz Lightyere, denied a clear run, was unlucky not to finish closer.

Mick Channon's Whiteley was having his fourth run at Brighton this summer in the first division of the 7f handicap. Signs of a return to form combined with a falling handicap mark and the assistance of that man de Sousa made him go off the 7/2 favourite. Content to shadow the leader till the dip, he was urged ahead there and soon had a couple of lengths in hand. He faded a little in the closing stages and De Vegas Kid, coming from a long way back, was only a neck away at the post.

In the second division Lesanti made a valiant attempt to lead all the way, but couldn't quite hold off the recent Ffos Las winner The Special One (8/1), who took the lead with less than 50 yards left. A late flourish from Lady Morel took her into second place, with just a neck and a head separating the first three. Tom Marquand rode the winner for Ali Stronge.

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Jim Beavis