Brighton win for The African Queen

By John Scanlon

The yard scored with its last runner of the month when The African Queen won the feature race on Brighton’s April 30 card.

The three-year-old The Last Lion filly, owned by John Brown and Partner, won at Brighton on her racecourse debut as a juvenile last July. She won again in a novice event at Wolverhampton in December to make it two wins from four juvenile runs.

The African Queen returned to Brighton for her seasonal debut on April 30. She was having her first run in a handicap, and was stepped up in trip to a mile and a quarter for the first time. Seven fillies, including two three-year-olds, went to post for the race which offered prize-money of £25,000. Joe Fanning took the ride.

From the outset, The African Queen raced prominently as she took a keen hold under Joe Fanning. New Heights and Zayina tracked her in the early stages. Approaching the home turn, New Heights took over in the lead, racing on the far rail.

With two furlongs to race, Joe sent The African Queen to challenge again. Leading into the final furlong, the filly saw off New Heights before the topweight, Wisper, began to challenge. The African Queen stayed on really well, to score by two and three-quarter lengths from Wisper, with Zayina a further length and a quarter back in third.

Joe Fanning was delighted with the filly’s effort. ‘Nothing really wanted to make it,’ he told the Klarion, ‘so we made the running. She was a little bit keen early on, but she’s been working well at home. It wasn’t a shock.’

The African Queen is out of the Helmet mare, Burgonet, a three-time winner for connections back in 2018.

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