Racing: Cap can boost Prescott

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The Independent Online
The Brighton Festival might seem like a slightly over-stated title for a meeting which starts with a seller and hands out not a single five-figure purse, but since little white lies have been the bedrock of Brighton's B & B industry for decades, one more is surely forgiveable. Whatever you want to call it, the three-day meeting which opens on Tuesday is the best midweek racing this side of York.

If the sweeping variety of the courses is one of the British turf's greatest joys, Brighton contributes in no small measure. The careering hills and needle-sharp turns are part of the appeal for connoisseurs of the unusual, as is a watering system which only covers the last three quarters of a mile. When the summer sun gets to work on the rest of it, there can occasionally be such a change in the going that jockeys would be well advised to make a pit stop at the six pole to fit a fresh set of plates.

Some racegoers detest Brighton - the jacketless, open collar attitude in the members' enclosure probably has something to do with it - but others adore it. It is perhaps not entirely coincidental that the same is true of the horses, and at no other track do the letters 'CD' after an animal's name carry such significance. Navaresque (5.00 Tuesday) is a prime example, while Wishing Cap (3.00) can follow up yesterday's Thirsk win for Brighton's top trainer, Sir Mark Prescott.

Prince Hannibal has slipped back to a reasonable mark in the Brighton Challenge Cup handicap (3.00) on Wednesday, while Scarlet Princess (5.00) is the one for the closing sprint.

The bet of the week, however, must be the 7-4 offered by Hills against Pat Eddery winning the Flat title. York's Ebor meeting in two weeks' time will be when the best of the juveniles in the top yards begin to emerge, and Eddery will have a champion's share of them. Michael Roberts, for all his untiring endeavour, will be powerless to compete.

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