What's happening at Brighton

Race Meeting Report - September 7th

Fri, Sep 7, 2012

This was a warm sunny day with a slight breeze and we had "traditional Brighton good to firm going" for the first time in some time.

Anyone attracted to the Racing Post statistic that the trainer-jockey combination of Roger Varian and Dominic Fox had 10 winners out of 26 would have found the 11/1 winner of the mile and a half opener, Panettone, who was blinkered for the first time for good measure. Well strung out by the home straight, only three had any chance by the dip and nothing ever quite got to Panettone, who led from halfway and stayed on well. The winning margin was almost four lengths.

There was a good finish to the mile and a quarter handicap with the consistent Dazzling Valentine (10/1) all out to hold off the recent course and distance winner Kelpie Blitz by a nose. She took the lead two out and her regular pilot Natasha Eaton, who had bagged the inside rail entering the dip, kept her going vigorously to win on the nod.

Nicole Nordblad extended her excellent Brighton record of three wins from three rides in dramatic style in the mile handicap. Like her last ride here, her mount Beacon Lady (16/1) was a clear last until two furlongs out. Again, she kept very wide of the others, and when the horse was asked for an effort she finished full of running to lead in the last fifty yards. Unfortunately Nicole was unseated just after the post and trampled on, but it was later reported that she suffered no serious injury.

A seven furlong maiden race featured one of Godolphin's lesser lights, Muharrib, priced at 25/1. He shared the lead for the first half of the race and squeezed through on the rail to take it up again as the Cecil runner Disclaimer dropped back, finding little when push came to shove. Bet down to odds on, Altharoos, from the Stoute yard, struggled to make any impression until the last furlong. He failed by a nose to catch the Mickael Barzalona-ridden winner.

As the sequence of winning outsiders grew, a few punters realised that following horses lacking recent form who had won on firmer ground in the past could be a profitable approach. Ghostwing (10/1) was well handicapped on his best form of a year ago. In a new yard, that of Luke Dace, the grey recaptured that sparkle, leading throughout the seven furlongs and being pushed clear from two out to score by four lengths from the course specialist Eager to Bow.

Only two of those in the six furlong handicap had ever won before and they came in first and second. Not in the right order for punters, as the well-tipped second favourite Strategic Action, off a recent Folkestone win, was passed in the final hundred yards by the filly Lana (20/1), who in most of her recent races finished in seventh place.

Button Moon (8/1) made the running in the six furlong fillies handicap and Seb Sanders gradually increased their advantage to three lengths by the furlong pole. She started to weaken and Sarangoo was closing fast, but Seb rode her out energetically and she prevailed by a neck. She might turn out at Bath on Monday 10th.

The eighth was the only race to be run over a longer distance than the one preceding it. Leading contenders in the betting filled the first three places. A one mile apprentice handicap, the nine year old One Way or Another (4/1) proved his fair recent run at the last meeting here was a good sign, leading two and a half furlongs out and winning, eased down, by seven lengths. This was a double for trainer David Evans, whose Lana had won the sixth.

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Jim Beavis