Pagan powers to stylish Brighton victory

Pagan looks a sprinter bound for bigger and better things judged on an impressive display in the Harry Bloom Memorial “Brighton Bullet”.

After filling the runner-up spot on his first two starts of the season at Doncaster and Yarmouth, the William Haggas-trained gelding made it third time lucky in a first-time tongue-tie at Pontefract in June.

He again had to make do with second place on his most recent appearance at York, but was backed as if defeat was out of the question in the feature event on the third and final day of Brighton’s Festival of Racing meeting.

After looking a little uneasy on the undulating course during the early stages, Pagan was switched to the far side of the track to launch his challenge in the straight and found a quick change of gear to run down his rivals in a matter of strides.

Endowed finished best of the rest, but the 10-11 favourite was well on top and passed the post with two and a half lengths in hand under David Probert.

“There’s a bit of a strong headwind and I wasn’t sure how he’d handle the track. I just wanted to get a nice lead into the race and we’ve done that with a strong pace in front of us,” the jockey told Sky Sports Racing.

“He was able to get into a nice rhythm and once we got racing up the middle I was able to get a nice split up the inside and away he went.

“It felt as though he went through the gears quite nicely and when he hit top gear he felt pretty smart in the last half-furlong.”

Pagan’s victory was the middle leg of a treble on the card for Probert, who also rode two winners for Mick Channon.

The rider’s first success came aboard 13-8 favourite Wonderful World, who opened his account in the EBF Restricted Novice Stakes.

Runner-up to the high-class Chipotle in the Brocklesby at Doncaster in March, the Bungle Inthejungle colt was a narrowly beaten on third on his second start at Bath.

Making his first appearance since that April outing, Wonderful World showed his class with a four-and-a-quarter-length win – leaving connections considering a possible tilt at the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury next month.

Jack Channon, assistant to his father, said: “He’s a nice horse and we thought quite a bit of him – we ran him in the Brocklesby and actually thought he’d probably win that day, but bumped into Chipotle.

“He had a little setback during his run at Bath, which is why he’s had a little bit of time off, but he’s come back in great form.

“He was entitled to do that (win today) and we’re just pleased to get him back on the track and enjoying himself again.

“We’ll see what the handicapper does. If he gives us a chance, we might look at a nursery and then maybe on to the Mill Reef after that.”

Probert and Channon were soon on the mark again, with Adace a 9-1 winner of the following Bet 10 Get 20 Handicap.

Oisin Murphy continues hot streak with Brighton treble

Dual champion jockey Oisin Murphy continued his flying form as victory on Ravens Ark in the feature Land And Power Civil Contractors Handicap helped him record a treble at Brighton.

Murphy, fresh from a remarkable five-timer at Kempton the previous evening and setting the pace in this year’s championship, was registering his second winner on the card this time with his narrow success in a race which is run for the Brighton Challenge Cup.

He had to be at his strongest too on Hughie Morrison’s 9-5 favourite, who found minor trouble in running and then once in the clear still appeared unlikely to get past eventual runner-up Contingency Fee until leading in the final strides to score by a head.

Ravens Ark was wearing first-time cheekpieces.

At the suggestion he had taken his time before delivering the four-year-old for his second win of the season, Murphy told Sky Sports Racing: “I didn’t have much choice.

“He got away well, but I couldn’t really sit any closer.

“I had in my mind not to get stuck inside, so I could get rolling on time.

“But (David) Probert (on market rival Kelmscott) was able to come round me and keep me in for a little bit.

“Then he got going again. This was a good spot for the horse – he stays well, and he’s likeable. He saves energy – like me!”

Murphy, successful on Roger Charlton’s 5-6 shot Big Boy Bobby in the preceding Woodcote Flying Club BBQ Handicap, then had to settle for second on another favourite Mostallim – a length and a half behind He’s Our Star, ridden by 7lb claimer Mollie Phillips for Tony Carroll in the Donatello Restaurant Brighton Handicap.

But he was quickly back in the winner’s enclosure and stretching his sizeable lead in pursuit of a third successive title thanks to Mick Appleby’s Rhyme Scheme in the Cazoo Search Drive Smile Selling Handicap.

The 6-5 favourite was in front throughout and repelled the challenge of Deeds Not Words by three-quarters of a length to break her duck at the 18th attempt.

In-form Phillips completed a double when 3-1 shot Porterinthejungle was another to lead all the way en route to a length-and-a-quarter victory, for Robyn Brisland, in the closing Silk Series Handicap – for pro-am female jockeys.

Famous victory for Pour La Victoire at beloved Brighton

Brighton favourite Pour La Victoire retired in a blaze of glory after notching his 11th victory at the seaside venue on Wednesday.

The Tony Carroll-trained veteran was running for the 36th time at Brighton in the Bet 10 Get 20 Classified Stakes. His first visit to the track was a winning one some eight years ago.

On the day the Pour La Victoire suite was opened at the south coast venue, the 6-1 chance charged home in the hands of Ray Dawson to claim a fairytale success by three-quarters of a length from 100-1 shot Mr Moneypenny.

Owners James Lawrence and Darren Blake were understandably emotional in the winner’s enclosure and immediately called time on their popular gelding’s career.

“It’s a speechless moment really – these are the days you dream of,” Lawrence told Sky Sports Racing.

“I think we’ll go out on a high – we’ll retire him today. We had a chat with Tony and we were kind of thinking this would be his last season.”

In all Pour La Victoire won 17 of his 121 career starts and also finished second 21 times and third on 16 occasions.

He made his debut for Nigel Tinkler in the summer of 2012 before joining Carroll the following year.

Lawrence added: “He’s a happy horse and we’ll give him a happy retirement.

“It’s been an 11-year journey with the horse, we’ve come to the end of it and it’s a bit emotional.”

It was a day for course specialists, with John Gallagher’s 2-1 favourite Junoesque registering a sixth Brighton win in the Best Odds Guaranteed Every Race Handicap.

The feature event of the afternoon, the £18,700 Wainwright Brighton Mile Challenge Handicap, went to Daniel and Claire Kubler’s tough-as-teak filly Zulu Girl.

Given a fine front-running ride by Nicola Currie, the 8-1 winner dug deep to repel the challenge of Urban War by a length and a quarter and secure the Brighton Mile Challenge Trophy.

“She was a jockey’s dream ride there,” said Currie.

“I was aware there was a lot of pace in the race, but also she’s a filly that just gallops.

“I ideally wanted to be where I was happiest, going a good gallop and taking a lead, but I’ve been able to bowl along (in front).

“She loves coming up that hill. You know when you ask the question she’s going to keep going for you.”

Tiempo triumph seals Brighton double for Hollie Doyle

Hollie Doyle was seen at her best when making all the running to give Arenas Del Tiempo a first career success at Brighton.

The Simon Dow-trained three-year-old may have been the 8-1 outsider of four but the daughter of Footstepsinthesand stuck to her task well to open her account at the seventh attempt.

Arenas Del Tiempo was keen in the early stages but she had enough left to shrug off the challenge of the 11-10 favourite Celestial Point and take the the Brighton Supports Racing Staff Week Handicap by two and a half lengths to complete a double for Doyle.

“That was very nice and wonderful for Robert Moss, her owner and breeder, because her dam Vezere was one of the first horses he ever owned,” said Dow.

“She was not a winner and he’s persisted breeding with her. She hasn’t had much luck up until this one, so it’s really nice Vezere has finally bred her first winner – a lovely filly by Footstepsinthesand and given a great ride by Hollie.

“It was tremendous and she’s so good with these horses who are a little bit keen. She gets them to settle and it worked out fantastic.”

Iva Reflection (10-1) got Doyle off to a flier when taking the Racing Staff Week 2021 Handicap.

Doyle always had the Linda Stubbs-trained four-year-old in a handy position and he quickened nicely to lead in the last 100 yards and score by three-quarters of a length from Winnetka.

Kartvelian appreciated the step up to a mile to register a second course success.

Kartvelian (right) gets up in the closing stages to win the Follow racingwelfare On Instagram Handicap
Kartvelian (right) gets up in the closing stages to win the Follow racingwelfare On Instagram Handicap (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Having opened her account over seven furlongs at the Sussex track two starts ago, the daughter of Tamayuz needed the extra distance to strike again in the Follow @racingwelfare On Instagram Handicap.

Trainer James Fanshawe thought the three-year-old could not win at one point, but was delighted by the way Kartvelian (15-2) responded to the urgings of 5lb-claiming apprentice Rhys Clutterbuck.

Hitting the front in the final half-furlong, Kartvelian crossed the line three-quarters of a length ahead of Almadrina.

“It was great because I thought we’d got no chance at the bottom of the hill and she picked up really well. I think she enjoys a bit of ease in the ground and stepping up in distance,” said Fanshawe.

“It was good for her owner Andrew Turner, who has been a long-term support. She’s just taken time to get things together but she’s improving and she’s coming on nicely.

“She’s in the (Tattersalls) sales next week but I’ll review things with her owner.”

Toofi (right) narrowly lands the spoils in the  Racing With Pride Handicap
Toofi (right) narrowly lands the spoils in the Racing With Pride Handicap (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Toofi (11-1) won for only the second time in 52 starts when coming out on top following a terrific finish to the Racing With Pride Handicap.

The 10-year-old’s only previous success came at Newmarket in September 2013 when he was trained by Roger Varian.

With John Butler since the 2017 season, Toofi finally repaid the Newmarket handler with a game neck victory over Productive.

However, winning rider David Egan was banned for two days (July 13 and 14) for using his whip above the permitted level.