GIRLS definitely wanted to have fun at Epsom on Thursday night.

Three of the six races were won by lady jockeys, all of them claimers. Isobel Francis and Georgia Cox

were first on the scoresheet, the hat-trick being brought up by Nicola Currie.

To be honest, Currie looked weak as a kitten when she appeared on the scene back in 2016 – more korma than vindaloo.

Wind the clock forward two years and she’s become a punters favourite – and when it comes to spotting a hungry jockey no-one is a better judge than your average Billy Bunter.

The 8,000 racegoers forecast for Epsom’s 80s night duly arrived, plenty wearing Simon Le Bon wigs and one enthusiastic gent in full Adam Ant regalia.

The effect was Captain Pugwash rather than Prince Charming but, like the rest of crowd, he enjoyed his night at the sports without a hint of trouble.

Maybe it’s feel-good left over from England’s World Cup adventure, but the air of aggression evident at some meetings earlier this summer seems to have evaporated. That’s great news for all concerned.

The drums are still beating loudly for Aidan O’Brien’s star two-year-old SERGEI PROKOFIEV, who hasn’t been seen since finishing third in a red-hot Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Those close to the horse haven’t lost faith and feel immaturity got him licked at the Royal Meeting. They wouldn’t run away from a rematch with Coventry winner Calyx and believe the placings can be reversed.

The formbook says that’s a big ask, but Coolmore hasn’t created an empire by getting these things wrong.

MEET THE STARS Here’s all you need to know about this year’s 32Red Newmarket Open Weekend

That human dynamo Silvestre de Sousa started his seven-day holiday yesterday – he copped a ban for easing one down prematurely at Chelmsford.

Typically, de Sousa signed off in style, riding six winners through the week including a double at Windsor on Monday.

Easily the most impressive of these was the George Scott-trained CONCIERGE.

This colt wriggled through gaps that would make a potholer wince before getting up close home and is a smart sprinter in the making.

Reigning champ de Sousa’s other winner was the extremely well backed MAGICAL WISH (11-10 to 8-13).

He was eyeballs out from halfway and edged home by a nose under a relentless drive from the man
on top.

Saturday Stonker

HAIRDRYER (5.45 Lingfield) gets a tidy drop in class with the classy Oisin Murphy on board.

Poor Paddy Pilley rode the second and must have felt like he’d just tried to push a juggernaut uphill against the wind.

Another name for the little black book is William Haggas’ SEDUCTIVE, who finished like a train to nab second in a 6f novice event at Lingfield on Wednesday.

She looked lost cantering to the post and only really got rolling halfway up the straight. A stiffer test of stamina will see her winning soon.

Haggas has been a supporter of Britbet, who are in the process of taking over many of the Tote’s on-course betting outlets as well as inheriting their staff.

Embarrassingly I’m told that they plan to cut some of the already meagre travelling allowances paid to the former Tote crew, many of whom have been in the game since Fred Archer was wearing short trousers.

This loyal band of employees have felt precious little job security over the past few months and are ridiculously under-appreciated. They deserve much better.

Saturday selection

HAIRDRYER (5.45 Lingfield) has bags of ability and will appreciate the drop in class under the excellent Oisin Murphy.

Charlie Fellowes has his sights set on Cup glory with Prince Of Arran


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