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The Coral Sussex Cup - Hove 515m (£10,000)

What a competition this is and the semi-finals proved to be three exhilarating races packed with action. We now know the six finalists that will be chasing The Coral Sussex Cup glory and the amazing £10,000 to-the-winner prize. 


1st Semi-Final


My Real Mutley took a flier and turned the first-bend in front with Burgess Oscar hot on his tail. Favourite and Derby semi-finalist Diego Flight was in trouble after being baulked and checking wide at the corner. Out in front My Real Mutley bravely held Burgess Oscar off till the third-bend but Pat Rosney's star was flying. Once he hit the front Burgess Oscar powered on to victory and despite good late work from Diego Flight he missed out on qualification with My Real Mutley taking second beaten 3.75L in a smart 29.75.


2nd Semi-Final


Some big reputations went in this second semi-final but the likes of Face The Blade, Ballymac Manix, View The Moon, Holdem Chico and King Dec had no answers for an emerging star called Reel Shirty. The Mark Wallis trained speedster pinged the lids and made every metre winning one in some style. He never looked in any danger and had 3L in hand over King Dec at the line in 30.04.


3rd Semi-Final


Jet Stream Jack who was so impressive in the heats trapped out well but just failed by the narrowest of margins to make the bend in front with the highly rated Ballymac Mossjoe flying up the inside. It was battle on with Ballymac Mossjoe out in front Jet Stream Jack was trying his best to keep tabs on the Barrie Draper northern raider. Ballymac Mossjoe kept up a powerful gallop and started to pull away close home and crossed the line 2.75L to the good over Jet Stream Jack who held off a fast finishing Shotgun Harley in 29.82.


I decided to catch up with the Champion Trainer Mark Wallis the morning after to get the low-down on Reel Shirty.


Mark Wallis On Reel Shirty


“He's come through the grades at Towcester and that's a great learning curve. It's like the old Walthamstow the graded races are so competitive. Reel Shirty is improving all the time and he runs Hove really well. I was pleased with his win here and although his time is around 2.5L off he could make that up. It's our job to get these dogs to the final and what it's all about when open-racing. We certainly did not come to Hove just for the fun of it and his 50/1 price at the start of the competition was some value. He's still to come in the top-four for each-way backers but like I said he is improving. He's guaranteed a great draw being the sole wide-seed and should he manage to pop around in front in the final then he'd take some pegging back. It's going to be a great race I've never won the Sussex Cup and he will be a big price in the final but you never know”.