Brighton preview: Cape Victoria up for the Challenge


Cape Victoria can defy top weight to land the feature race on today’s seven-race card at Brighton, the Brighton Challenge Cup (15.20).

The Andrew Balding trained filly has won three of her five starts this season, including over course and distance on her penultimate outing when showing a good attitude to score by a nose after being held-up in a slowly run race.

Cape Victoria got put up 5lb for that victory, but readily defied the rise when coming with a powerful late run to win by a neck at Ffos Las seven days ago.

The four-year-old scored with a shade more in hand than the winning margin suggests, and it’s no surprise to see connections turn her out under a 6lb penalty before the handicapper has his say.

Cape Victoria also has the services of crack apprentice Eddie Greatrex in the saddle who is terrific value for his 5lb claim, and taking it into account the daughter of Mount Nelson is effectively just 1lb higher than when scoring a week ago.

It gives the thriving Cape Victoria major claims at the weights, especially as she remains open to further improvement after just six career starts.

Simon Crisford is enjoying a terrific first season as a trainer, and Phyllis Maud can provide him with another success in the 1m 2f handicap (15.50).

The former racing manager to Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolhin operation has saddled 11 winners and six placed from 38 runners to boast a terrific strike rate of 28.95 per cent.

In Phyllis Maud he has an unexposed filly who bolted up by seven lengths on debut at Bath last year when trained by Mark Johnston, and shaped with plenty of encouragement on her first start for the yard when keeping on well go down by 2 1/2 lengths to Mikandy in a decent class 5 contest at Nottingham.

The form of that race has worked out well, and Phyllis Maud duly had little difficulty going on better to land an east 1 12 length success in a 1m 2f contest at Bath last month.

A 4lb rise for that success looks on the lenient side, and the four-year-old remains unexposed and open to bags more progress after just four starts.

The daughter of Halling is also bred to be better than her current lowly rating of just 67, and Phyllis Maud can take this before going on to better things.

13.50: Pour La Victoire
14.20: Lutine Charlie
14.50: Mirsaalah
15.20: Cape Victoria (NAP)
15.50: Phyllis Maud (NB)
16.20: Pendo
16.50: Dylan’s Storm

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