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JONATHAN HOBBS: Not quite the midweek bonanza of last week with the double-header of the Yorkshire St Leger and All England Cup – we tipped the winners of both, of course! – but nevertheless some excellent action at Hove on Thursday.

The Sussex track, along with his sister track Romford, has been one of the success stories of 2019 given a new racing manager in Daniel Rankin, a new four-bend distance of 500m to be introduced, plus a brand new main grandstand refurbishment.

Top work all-round – and the racing remains top notch, too, with the semi-finals of the Coral Brighton Belle spicing a strong card at the Coral track on Thursday. Let’s concentrate on those races ahead of next week’s Category Two final.


7.03: Could there be a shock in the first semi? That’s because the best-drawn runner here is Spencer Mavrias’s Courts Ad Lyn. Seaglass Celine paces up but will head to the midfield early, while the speedy Comeonyourbees will come from off the fence slightly. Droopys Tess could escape down the middle with a flyer, but any scrimmaging inside and the Harlow bitch might surprise them outside. She showed pace last week.

Play: Courts Ad Lyn

7.17: Droopys Baton was really impressive in the heats and could follow up. Jason Heath’s local trialled well from the red jacket recently so handles the inside and showed good pace and stamina when winning last week. That mix serves her well in the second semi-final, with Lassies Gift possibly edging outwards slightly so clearing the way for T1. Maysthislecrack is an obvious threat always thereabouts.

Play: Droopys Baton

7.33: Galloping Moon showed real strength in the heats last week and will likely start a warm order for this third and final semi-final. However, the switch to T5 might not be to her liking with pace either side, so could something get away? It might be Newinn Cracker of Ernie Gaskin’s. She has threatened to cut loose in recent races at Hove and this looks as good an opportunity as any.

Play: Newinn Cracker

Other opens feature on the card with Droopys Toast (8.06) catching the eye in a heat of the 490m maiden competition. This lightly-raced two-year-old of Paul Young’s steps back up from two bends to four and could lead into the bend and onwards.

Seaglass Sabrina (8.21) looks a promising newcomer of Patrick Janssens in heat three. Qualifying trials have been decent and a 28.53sec Shelbourne victory also catches the eye, while her kennelmate Lenson Whelan (8.38) looked back to something like his best with a fast Monmore win at the weekend and could land the double.

Good luck everyone.

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