The last Monday evening meeting of the year took place in glorious warm sunshine. Again the going was good to firm, good in places as a result of extensive watering.
David Evans does well here with his two-year-olds and his Smokey Lane (6/4 fav) had shown above average form before running in the 6f maiden. Shane Kelly had him handily placed in third before making progress two out. He soon took the lead, coming home a length and a half ahead of Sun Angel.
Gary Moore trained the two market leaders in the four-runner 1m4f seller. The winner of ten races, Gaelic Silver, was made the 8/11 favourite, and he cruised through on the rail to hit the front a furlong out. His stablemate Mount Shamsan, almost three lengths back in second, could offer no resistance. There was no bid for the winner.
The John Gosden stable has been going great guns in the last few weeks and his Stratum (8/13 fav) took the 1m2f maiden by eight lengths. He had the best chance on form but his win came in unexpectedly decisive fashion. Having made nearly all the running, Nicky Mackay pressed on from the intersection and left his rivals toiling. Capton finished a remote second.
A 1m fillies' handicap went to the once-raced Materialistic (4/5 fav), from the resurgent Luca Cumani yard. She was one of three in line at the furlong pole, but with Adam Kirby driving her on she wore down her opponents in a way that suggests she will get further in time. Ghinia battled on gamely to keep within half a length.
The winning run of short-priced favourites came to an abrupt end in the £75,000 final of the Skybet-sponsored sprint series over 6f. Stellarta (7/1), held up early off a fast pace, charged through the middle of the pack to take the lead half a furlong out and streaked away to a three and three quarter length victory. The rest finished in a bunch led by Pretty Bubbles and Ice Age. Two weeks ago the winner, who was trained by Michael Blanshard and ridden by Tom Marquand, finished a close fourth behind Hoof It in one of the big Glorious Goodwood gambles, so she is probably in the form of her life.
Ickymasho (6/4 fav) adopted her usual front-running tactics in the 1m2f fillies' handicap, and without being asked a serious question by George Baker she had the others struggling to get near her two out. Kept up to her work, she ran on to a length and three quarters win over Sahara to give Jonathan Portman another success after that of his star filly Mrs Danvers at Newbury last week.