What's happening at Brighton

Race Meeting Report - 18 September 2017

Mon, Sep 18, 2017

The going was good, good to soft in places on this pleasant, mainly sunny day on Whitehawk Hill. Runners favoured the far side until race 6, when middle to stands side became the preference.

Judging by the crowd in the paddock round trainer Julia Feilden there was plenty of confidence in Oceanus (9/2) for the 1m2f seller. Beaten narrowly by Edge here a fortnight ago, he had a two pound pull in the weights and the form book, for once, worked out. Edge took a narrow lead a furlong out but Oceanus, piloted through the middle of the pack by Shelley Birkett, was going a little better and took the lead 50 yards out to win by a neck. There was no bid for the winner.

The 7f two-year-old maiden looked in the bag for Pompey Chimes when he dashed into the lead a furlong out, but Groundnut (3/1) stormed from fourth place to first in the next hundred yards to win, going away, by a length and three quarters. It was the first outing for this Jonathan Portman-trained juvenile since being gelded. George Wood was the successful jockey.

In division one of the 7f handicap George Downing bounced Baltic Prince (13/2) out of the stalls smartly and he led all the way. In the penultimate furlong his opponents couldn't get nearer than his quarters and from there he galloped away to score by almost three lengths, with Limerick Lord second. Trainer Tony Carroll is one of the top trainers at Brighton, but this broke a losing run of 33 here.

Bella's Venture did her best to make all the running in the second division, only for the Brighton hill to take its toll and she was swamped by Lutine Charlie and The Special One (6/1) in the last 75 yards. The winner was last at halfway but flew up the outside for an emphatic length and three quarters victory. Ali Stronge's stable star is living up to her name, having won three of her last four races, two of them here.

Richard Fahey doesn't have many runners at Brighton but today he sent two horses down from the north and Marie Of Lyon (3/1 fav) collected in the 6f handicap. It was his first winner here for nine years. Her run started on the outside, and by hanging down the camber towards the far rail she impeded the ultimate runner-up Whitecrest at a critical moment. She led passing the furlong pole and finished a length and a half ahead.

With a quarter of a mile left in the 1m4f handicap most of the field had raised the white flag and it was left to Esspeegee (5/1) and Kilim to fight out the finish on the stands side. It was hard to see which of them was leading until the last 75 yards, when Kilim's stride shortened and Esspeegee was visibly half a length in front. Jimmy Quinn rode the winner for Alan Bailey.

A one mile handicap came next. The only two wins of the John Gallagher-trained Andalusite (12/1) had been here and she won again today with the help of a forceful ride from Fergus Sweeney, who had gone close on her stablemate Bella's Venture earlier. She led from quite early on, went clear three out and although the rest of the field gained on her she kept going gallantly and ultimately finished two lengths ahead of Break The Silence.

The final race was over 5f. A winner at Bath the time before last, it's a mystery why the lightly-raced Bella Alissa was sent off at 16/1 having been 15/2 in the morning. She ran on well under Pat Cosgrave to battle with and beat the favourite The Big Short, leading inside the final furlong to win by a length. Robert Cowell does well with his sprinters and this filly can go on to better things.

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Jim Beavis