Berry hails Girl power
John Berry was thrilled to achieve a lifelong ambition for a local owner as the resolute Ethics Girl clinched the Brighton Challenge Cup.
Much of the mile and a half feature, sponsored by frosts4cars.co.uk, was obscured by sea fret, a frequent occurrence high on the edge of the South Downs, but when the runners reappeared inside the furlong pole it was clear to see the lone figure of Darryll Holland on the stands rail.
Ethics Girl (14-1) appeared to be gaining fast on the appropriately-named Fleeting Image, catching him close to the line and pulling a length clear.
It was a timely boost for the Newmarket yard after the loss of the long-serving Kadouchski last week.
"I'm so pleased for her owner Lawrence Wadey as we've been trying to get him a winner here for 18 years," said Berry, who led up the docile mare himself.
"She's not very big to carry a weight like 9st 6lb but she's very brave and has won at two miles and a mile.
"We've been aiming at this race for a long time, it's a big one for us."
Wadey, a freelance journalist, was raised in the seaside town but is now based in Macau.
It was the third leg of a near 4,144-1 four-timer for Holland, who said: "I've known Lawrence a long time so I'm delighted for him. I'm down on numbers this year, but this shows if you put me on the horses, I can win."
He said later: "I've had five at Musselburgh a few years ago, five at Doncaster and four at Happy Valley, so it's nice to have four here too."
Holland had provoked heart-warming scenes already when Peter Island made a glorious return from retirement at in the Join 888sport Get £88 In Free Bets! Handicap.
Last seen more than a year ago, the veteran sprinter was recording the 10th win of his life, and his third at the course, when bounding a length and three-quarters away from the 11-8 favourite Interakt.
Gallagher had a lump in his throat after the 16-1 success and said: "I love him so much. We put him out in a field, but he just hated it in the mud and the rain.
"I started riding him out again and he's been pulling my arms out so we gave it a go. I don't usually get emotional, but this means a lot."
Sadly another fine old performer, Osiris Way, collapsed in front of the stands.
Holland had donned the white and yellow 'Moss Vale' colours of John Grant to help Noble Bull (9-4) to get off the mark in the Freddie Frost And The Dream Deals Maiden Auction Stakes, where Eddie Ahern was banned for three days (August 25-27) for weighing in 2lb heavier than he weighed out on third-placed Kalahari Breeze.
His haul was completed on Hughie Morrison's Daffydowndilly (9-2 favourite) in the Piper Heidsieck Handicap.
A switch of stables from Phil McEntee to Jamie Osborne paid off for Community (17-2) in the Village Marquee Company Selling Handicap.
Both of the four-year-old's wins have been for jockey Leonna Mayor and she brought her through with stealth approaching the last couple of furlongs to relegate Hughes to second again on 7-2 favourite Dana's Present.
"The owner Steve Jakes thought she could do with a change of scene and Phil has been a big help with her," said Osborne.
"She's had a few issues and to be honest, we couldn't have found a much worse race for her."
All that could be seen from a fret-shrouded Number One Dealer In Sussex, Frosts Chevrolet Fillies' Handicap was Roger Varian's Sound Hearts (9-2) bolting six lengths clear.
"First of all it was a fantastic ride," said jockey Dominic Fox with a smile. "I got a nice lead and she picked up from the three-pole."
Gary Moore's even-money favourite Picture Dealer was first in the frame for the Thistle Hotel Brighton Handicap.