The warm sunshine meant this afternoon’s meeting began on good to firm going, becoming firm in places after the second race.
In the opening event, over 7f, Eve Johnson Houghton’s Hedging (7/2) gained his second course success. Georgia Dobie waited in midfield before making a move, and under pressure the horse reached the front a furlong out. Dual course winner Confrerie ran on to take the runner-up berth without seriously threatening the length and a half winner.
Next came a 1m handicap. Orobas (7/1), a six-length second here a week ago over half a mile further, won by six lengths today. He made smooth progress to take a share of the lead three furlongs out. He then had to work to establish supremacy, but at the furlong pole he charged into a clear lead. It was the first success at Brighton for the horse, the trainer Lucinda Egerton and the jockey, seven-pound claimer Victor Santos. My Lady Claire made up a lot of ground from a long way back to take second.
The 1m2f went to the outsider of the four runners, Medal Winner (10/1), trained by Archie Watson and ridden by Oisin Murphy. The race was set up nicely for him by Damon Runyon, who made the running until a furlong and a half out, but that one had no answer to the winner’s finishing effort. There were six lengths between them at the post. The Queen’s filly, Clarion, trailed in a remote fourth, probably having lost her chance by stumbling out of the stalls.
Tony Carroll, always a force to be reckoned with here, trained Altaira (8/1) to win the 1m2f handicap. This time Clive Clifton was the hare for the hounds, trying to make all the running, but he gave way in the last 75 yards. Altaira stayed on well to score by a length and a half. Tom Marquand, who rode him, is in great form and he soon completed a double.
In the 1m2f race confined to three-year-olds, he was on William Haggas’s Crystal Tribe (6/5 fav). Coming wide, he made good progress from the two pole and breezed into the lead from the furlong marker for a comfortable four and a half length victory. Another run soon under a penalty must be likely. The runner-up, Garrison Commander, had a similar amount in hand of the rest.
Princess Florence (11/2) broke her duck at the 15th attempt in the 7f handicap for three-year-olds. She wasn’t beaten far here last week. Like many of today’s other winners, she was held up, made ground on the outside from a quarter of a mile out and had the race in the bag in the final furlong despite drifting across to the rails. Cieren Fallon rode John Ryan’s filly to a length and three quarters win over Melo Pearl, who finished like a train, but from a long way back.
Cieren Fallon used similar tactics to complete a double in the 5f dash that ended the card. Pink Flamingo (7/2) was an impressive winner, mastering the early leader with just over a furlong to go before powering clear. Epsom trainer Michael Attwater has won three races with him since being bought out of Mark Johnston’s stable for £10,000. The horse’s record at Brighton is now 121. The slow-starting Big Lachie ran on well to finish a two-length second, but was flattered by that margin.