Set on the highest point in this Sussex seaside city, Brighton Racecourse is a challenging, unusual racecourse on the edge of the South Downs. Its quirky track – in the shape of a horseshoe – has similarities to Epsom, but certainly provides a unique test for runners and riders.
The course features a left-hand dog leg turn which is said to include one of the steepest descents in the world of racing. The descent, combined with testing undulating turf, guarantees one of the trickiest rides in the UK for jockeys. The rolling nature of the course means Brighton favours small, agile types; especially front runners.
Meetings at Brighton regularly include small field races, which is due in no small part to the relatively poor prize money on offer in comparison with other racecourses in the South-East of England. In fact, in 2012/13, the average prize money per meeting was just £26,349 – only Folkestone (which is now closed) offered less in that calendar year.
The highlight of the racing calendar at Brighton is its three-day August festival. The headline race is the Brighton Mile Challenge Trophy Handicap.
As Brighton Racecourse is so high up and sits on a chalk base the ground is often very firm, so it’s unlikely to feature horses that like cut in the ground.
Geegeez says: “Due to its unique nature, Brighton is very much a course for specialists and that goes for jockeys as much as horses. It’s always a good idea to look for riders that have form at the track. The undisputed ‘King’ of Brighton at present is Ryan Moore, whose father trained on the South Downs and knows the course like the back of his hand.
“On the rare occasion that the going is soft at Brighton it can be a disadvantage to be drawn low with the vast majority of runners moving over to the stand side of the course.”
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