Today’s meeting started with sunny spells, only to give way to rain after the third race. The going started as good, good to soft in places, but it was soft by the time of the fifth event on the card. Roy Rocket and Pour La Victoire were both present, each attempting (unsuccessfully) a record-breaking tenth win on the track.
A going change earlier in the day left only three to compete in the first race, which was for two-year-olds. Archie Watson seems to have a vast fleet of useful juveniles and Oisin Murphy added to the list on Taxiwala (4/5 fav). He made all the running and pulled away from his main rival Inyamazane at the two pole, going on for an easy five length victory.
There was another all-the-way success in the second race, for three-year-olds over 6f. Mark Johnston’s Key To Power (5/2) was quickly away and though her opponents weren’t far behind in the dip, Jason Watson kicked on and the filly was soon well clear. Nothing else got into contention and she coasted home three lengths ahead of Pink Flamingo.
The William Stone-trained Diamond Lady (6/1) made it 2-2 at Brighton with a win in the second of the 6f handicaps. Hector Crouch was hard at work on her a long way out, but she battled on and took the lead with 75 yards to go. Key Player followed her home, three quarters of a length away. Pour La Victoire ran on at the end to finish third.
Tigerfish (4/1) gained his fourth course win by making all in the 1m2f handicap to give William Stone a quick double. He had his rivals in trouble coming down the hill and never looked like relinquishing his clear lead on the rise to the post. Il Sicario plugged on to finish second, about three lengths away.
Gary Moore trained a 13 length winner of a 1m4f handicap here last month, and in a similar race today his Goshen (15/2) won by 12. Upped in trip and in a handicap for the first time, he led or disputed the lead until going on two and a half furlongs out. From that point he galloped right away from the field to win with ridiculous ease from Message. Expect to see him out again soon, with a penalty. Hector Crouch was completing a double.
In the mile handicap, Andalusite made her customary bid to lead from pillar to post, and led most of the field towards the middle of the track coming into the straight. Rossa Ryan saved ground by sticking to the far rail on Waqt (13/8 fav) and he went ahead a quarter of a mile out. The consistent five-year-old stayed on well to score by four and a half lengths, to give Somerset handler Alexandra Dunn her second winner in 24 hours.
The card ended with a 7f race and another all-the-way win. This was by Canford’s Joy (9/1), who had shown very little in the last 18 months. Freshened up by a break, Amy Murphy’s runner came out on top in the best finish of the day, responding gamely to Daniel Muscutt’s encouragement. He held on by a head and a neck from the fast-finishing Hedging and Wilson. All of these three can go in the notebook.