A hot, sun-drenched evening was dominated by favourites. Thanks to watering the going was good to firm, good in places.
Though ten two-year-old fillies contested the first, over six furlongs, the only one fancied was Tropical Rock (2/9 fav), from the Ralph Beckett yard. Jim Crowley soon brought her across to the inside and take command, and after Miss Laila had made a race of it for a long way, it was Mums The Word who threw down a late challenge. The leader was forced to work hard to stay three quarters of a length ahead, with the others well in arrears.
There was another odds on favourite in the second race, a 1m2f maiden, and he had it rather easier than the first one. Roger Charlton's Makzeem (1/2 fav) took the lead going into the loop and extended it effortlessly from the intersection, winning with the minimum of fuss. His jockey George Baker gave him an easy time and the 66/1 chance Blaze Of Hearts was flattered to get to within two lengths.
A 1m2f handicap followed, and with it another success for a favourite employing front-running tactics. Harry Bentley on Absolute Zero (9/4 fav) was allowed to dictate the pace, and when the Roger Varian-trained gelding stepped up the pace three out Henry The Explorer was the only one able to make a race of it. His effort petered out with a furlong to go and the winner came in a comfortable length and three quarters up.
In the 6f handicap the first three home filled the first three places throughout. They had a good scrap in the final furlong, when Ice Age (4/1) gained a narrow advantage and was all out to retain it from Pixieleen on the near side and Lightning Charlie on the other. Two necks separated them. Robert Winston rode the winner for Eve Johnson Houghton.
The potent combination of Clive Cox and Adam Kirby scored with the commentator's nightmare Go On Go On Go On (5/2 jt fav) in the 5f sprint. With the jockeys opting to finish down the centre of the track for this race, she ran on from midfield in great style to lead a furlong out, striding on to win by two and a quarter lengths from Oh So Sassy. She might run again on Friday.
The 1m4f handicap was confined to fillies. Charlie Hills's Brighton winner Fashion Parade (5/2) was soon prominent, with her rider David Probert allowing her to alternate between first and second place until taking the lead approaching the last quarter of a mile. Her opponents snapped at her heels for a time, but in the closing stages she showed superior stamina by forging two and a quarter lengths ahead of Safira Menina.
The last was a one mile handicap. Bunbury (15/8 fav) cost his supporters dearly last time he ran here, but a wind operation since then presumably resolved the problem, as the money was down again tonight. Old Shifting Star led at a good pace until Shane Kelly brought Bunbury to the front a furlong and a half out, and he battled on well to resist Dana's Present and go on to a two length victory for the in-form Richard Hughes stable.