As a blogger who is meant to be keeping a close eye on horses trained by #FantasticMrFahey it is my duty to have an in depth look at his twenty six runners this Saturday scattered around the country. I will start each profile with what #FantasticMrFahey told sportinglife.com in his weekly columns (bold italics) which may be slightly more relevant than my opinions that follow!!
#FantasticMrFahey Saturday Summary-Play, Lay or Watching Brief.
NEWCASTLE 1:55 Champion Harbour Definite Watching Brief.
NEWCASTLE 2:30 Mr Lupton I can’t let him go unbacked, one star* win @ 5/1 with PP.
NEWCASTLE 3:05 Arctic Feeling Watching Brief.
NEWCASTLE 3:05 George Bowen I can’t let him go unbacked, one star* win @ 7/1 with WH.
NEWCASTLE 3:40 Gabrial’s Star Watching Brief.
NEWCASTLE 3:40 Gabrial’s King Watching Brief but “..it wouldn’t totally surprise me if he ran well.”
NEWCASTLE 4:15 Gabrial The Hero One star* each way selection @ 12/1 with WH 1,2,3,4 ¼
NEWCASTLE 4:15 Angel Gabrial One star* each way selection @ 25/1 with WH 1,2,3,4 ¼
CHESTER 1:50 Megan Lily Watching Brief.
CHESTER 1:50 Atteq Very interested Watching Brief.
CHESTER 2:20 Billy Slater Watching Brief.
CHESTER 2:55 Gallipoli Two star** win selection @ 11/2 with WH.
CHESTER 2:55 Penwortham Watching Brief.
CHESTER 3:30 Bayan Kasirga Watching Brief.
CHESTER 3:30 Perrault Watching Brief.
CHESTER 4:00 Lexi’s Hero One star* win @ 11/2 general.
CHESTER 4:00 Powerallied One star* win @ 9/2 with Ladbrokes.
CHESTER 4:35 Ballesteros Watching Brief or lay!
CHESTER 5:10 Gabrial The Duke Watching Brief.
WINDSOR 3:15 English Summer Watching Brief.
WINDSOR 3:50 Growl Watching Brief.
WINDSOR 4:20 Gabrial One star* win @ 11/2 with Ladbrokes.
NEWMARKET 3:20 Marie Of Lyon One star* win @ 7/2 general.
NEWMARKET 3:55 Birchwood One star* win @ 15/2 with WH.
DONCASTER 7:25 Hyland Heather Watching Brief.
DONCASTER 8:55 Gin In The Inn One star* each way @ 14/1 general.
and here is why…..
CHESTER GOOD TO SOFT (Good in places; GoingStick 6.9)GOOD TO SOFT (Good in places; GoingStick 6.9)
CHESTER 1:50 Megan Lily C4 2yo 5F Malibu Coconut Cup Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race)
“Megan Lilly showed quite a bit of speed at York on debut so the track should suit her here and she’d have a chance.” 2yo daughter of Dragon Pulse owned by the astute Nick Bradley Racing, she was second to the much vaunted Broken Stones then out of her depth in a Listed event at the Curragh! This a more likely level. Drawn 8 out of 10 doesn’t help so Watching Brief.
CHESTER 1:50 Atteq C4 2yo 5F Malibu Coconut Cup Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race)
“So would Atteq on debut. He’s quite a nice colt, and one we like a lot. Whether he’ll know enough to win around here first time I don’t know as he’s laid back at home but it’s a great place to run a nice horse as they learn so much. He has a good draw and will have a good education – if he can win too that would be great but we have two with chances.” OMG he cost Al Shaqab Racing £310K! Son of Invincible Spirit bred by the Cumani’s at Fittocks Stud. Very interested Watching Brief.
CHESTER 2:20 Billy Slater C4 7½F Franklin And Sons Soft Drinks Maiden Stakes
“There doesn’t look to be a lot of strength in depth to the Franklin And Sons Soft Drinks Maiden Stakes. We run Billy Slater who needs to improve on what he’s been doing of late but he’s been placed around here and is a horse who’s needed to get racing. We’re managing to do that with him right now.”
I will repeat what I said prior to his last run “Very lightly raced 4yo owned by Dr. K that #FantasticMrFahey tells us “has had a few problems over the years and isn’t a good work horse at home so it’s hard to gauge where we are with him ahead of the Stellar Group Maiden Stakes. It’s a watching brief at this stage.” Personally at the start of last season I thought “A ?-80 8F 3yo handicap with a bit of cut in the ground would seem to fit the bill. SimpleSimonSays…Fahey 3yo’s April 16th 2015”. So today the trip, ground and probably the course are fine but 10st in a maiden, No. I have to agree with the boss, Watching Brief.”
CHESTER 2:55 Gallipoli C2 3yo 7F 0-100 Coca Cola Zero Sugar Handicap
“Gallipoli is a horse we really like but he’s still a bit backward and weak. He’s not yet the finished article but I’d still like to see him run well in the Coca Cola Zero Sugar Handicap. I was a bit disappointed he didn’t win at Pontefract last time but we go up in trip here and this is a horse who at some stage is going to win plenty of races.”
Back up to OR87. I’m with #FantasticMrFahey on this colt. Notes say “This son of Dandy Man looks every inch a sprinter and won well, if a little wayward, on debut over 5F on Town Moor before running on well to be 4th in a C2 novice stakes around a tricky Beverley in late May. Not seen since, #amazingMrFahey reasoning “He has always been a big horse and we’ve given him time to fill into his frame. Gallipoli is a work in progress but he has done very well over the winter.” Fahey has his string firing and his depth of 3yo’s means he should know where he stands. Any bet now on Gallipoli is surely at worse only money lent. Gallipoli has run well without much luck in both his starts this season. First time at Doncaster, on ground probably too soft for him, Tony Hamilton had a game of find the “cul-de-sac” and was a staying on seventh and at Newmarket in a hot C2 event he was outpaced at halfway but kept on well out of The Dip. Dropped 2lb to OR85 must have a chance down in grade, C3, over a stiff 6F or an easy seven.” Jack Garritty has the leg up and I’m always interested in Fahey horses at Chester not owned by Dr.K and from stall 6 has every chance. Two star** win selection @ / with .
CHESTER 2:55 Penwortham C2 3yo 7F 0-100 Coca Cola Zero Sugar Handicap
“We also run Penwortham who won well at Goodwood the last day when the track suited him. He needs to step up again here but it’s a £20,000 handicap and he’s not without a chance.” Won well at Goodwood last time but a couple of issues here. Firstly George Chaloner is going to have to be alert at the start as he’s on a hold up horse in stall 1, secondly Penwortham is up 6lb’s and three grades! Should give the Richard Fahey Ebor Racing Club a fun day out! Watching Brief.
CHESTER 3:30 Bayan Kasirga C4 12F 0-80 Woodford Reserve Handicap
“Bayan Kasirga has already had a great season and has the plum draw here. He won’t mind the ground, is proven at the track and, while it will take a lifetime best to win this, he’s there with a shout.”
Trip is OK but perhaps a grade too high. Another well drawn in 1 but as a hold up horse could be an issue. Jockey Natalie Hambling claims 7lbs and she is an impressive four from 19 this year and Bayan Kasirga has won 10 of her 50 starts but I think the pair have their work cut out here. Watching Brief.
CHESTER 3:30 Perrault C4 12F 0-80 Woodford Reserve Handicap
“Perrault has been very disappointing. We’re just lost with him at the moment. We don’t know what his best trip is and he hasn’t been showing anything in his recent races. He definitely didn’t stay at Musselburgh last time so we drop back to a mile-and-a-half in the Woodford Reserve Handicap in the hope that helps but it’s a guessing game.”
Owned by Dr Marwan Koukash. Recent £32K purchase out of the Ralph Beckett yard, he is a lightly raced grey gelding by Rip Van Winkle and he won his maiden over 10F in a C5 at Chepstow. Since joining Musley Bank he has been abysmal! Watching Brief.
CHESTER 4:00 Lexi’s Hero C3 5F 0-90 Bottega Gold Handicap
“Lexi’s Hero bounced back to form to win around here last time and has a good draw in the Bottega Gold Handicap. He showed a really good attitude last time and is in great order going into this.”
Loves Chester, loves sprinting, loves Soft in the going. Ticks those three boxes and hopefully George Chaloner’s first ride on the old boy will be a winning one. One star* win @ / with .
CHESTER 4:00 Powerallied C3 5F 0-90 Bottega Gold Handicap
“We also run Powerallied who I’d love to find a six furlongs race around here for. I hope they go flat out because he’ll be staying on and coming back at them late if they do.” Has the assistance of Chester maestro Franny Norton but is a hold up horse in stall 1 and could need loads of luck turning for home. Even probably wanting another furlong I think he could be a player in C3. One star* win @ / with .
CHESTER 4:35 Ballesteros C4 5F 0-85 Stella Artois Handicap
“Ballesteros bounced right back to chase home Lexi’s Hero the other day. He has a good draw in the Stella Artois Handicap, the track and ground should be absolutely right for him here and I hope he wins for Marwan Koukash.”
Running better currently but has won once in his last thirty four runs and I’m quite happy to let him run without my money! Watching Brief or lay!
CHESTER 5:10 Gabrial The Duke C4 16F 0-85 Pimms No.1 Handicap
“Our final runner at Chester is Gabrial The Duke who never raised a gallop the other day at Musselburgh when we expected him to run well. It was very disappointing. He’s a horse who’s worn blinkers in the past but I’ve taken all the headgear off here in the hope that sparks a revival in the Pimms No.1 Handicap. We’re happy with him at home and if he’s at his best he’ll run well. If he runs like he did at Musselburgh he’ll be tailed off.”
His last two runs suggest he’s not too happy racing at the moment. Whether his problem is mental or physical I don’t know. The fact that #FantasticMrFahey runs him but takes all the headgear off suggests the horse may “have his own ideas about the game”. Watching Brief.
NEWCASTLE All Weather Tapeta-Standard
NEWCASTLE 1:55 Champion Harbour C3 5F 2yo Betfred EBF Novice Stakes (Plus 10 Race)
“Champion Harbour is our first runner on the card in the Betfred ‘Bet On The Euros’ EBF Novice Stakes. He’s disappointed on both his starts to date and has been gelded. The owner loves the track and has been lucky enough to have winners at the meeting before. I’d love this fellow to be another for him but he does need to step up on what he’s done on the track so far.”
Last time out 2yo colt was well supported, always prominent, led 1½F out, then wandered and faded. Green? Lost action? BHA Stewards Report “Tony Hamilton, the rider of CHAMPION HARBOUR (IRE), which was unplaced, reported that the colt hung badly right inside the final 1 ½ furlongs. Definite Watching Brief.
NEWCASTLE 2:30 Mr Lupton G3 6F Betfred Chipchase Stakes (Group 3)
“I’m really looking forward to running Mr Lupton in the Betfred Chipchase Stakes. He’s in great order and while this is a new surface for him, there’s no reason he shouldn’t go on it. This is a step up and the next test in his career but he’s in top form going into it.”
OR111 Still spitting feathers on missing out on him at York!! My notes say “This 3yo gelding owes nobody nothing. Costing only £15K as a yearling, in his 2yo career he was second in the Newbury Super Sprint, won the Doncaster Sales race and was pipped by Log Out Island in the Redcar 2yo Trophy winning over £250K in prize money! The downside is trying to win more sprints off an OR102 as a 3yo. Mr Lupton is an ideal mount for Jamie Spencer being a fast and late hold up horse. The pair were third on debut this season at Newmarket employing just those tactics behind Show Stealer over 6F in a C2 3yo handicap. Where next? An obvious place would be York for the 3yo 6F Charity Sprint but he would probably have top weight, be susceptible to an improver and the Knavesmire is no place for a hold up horse!” Spencer is in the plate again but this is a step up again to Group 3 class. The clock says he has a real chance, Racing Post Ratings and the Official Handicapper suggest he has five pounds or so to find and the surface is an unknown as it is for most of the field. I can’t let him go unbacked, one star* win @ 5/1 with PP.
NEWCASTLE 3:05 Arctic Feeling C2 6F 0-100 Betfred TV Handicap
“Arctic Feeling is as high as he wants to be in the handicap but I’ve been saying that for three years and he keeps surprising me and winning races. That said he bombed out at Epsom last time for no apparent reason. Maybe he was just telling the handicapper he’s sick of lumping these big weights everywhere. I’d still not draw a line through him though.” OR94 I just can’t get this horse right, normally wins when the book says he can’t. He’ll miss Sammy Jo Bell but has to be a Watching Brief.
NEWCASTLE 3:05 George Bowen C2 6F 0-100 Betfred TV Handicap
“Things didn’t pan out right for George Bowen at Epsom last time, where through nobody’s fault he became detached and couldn’t get into it. If he acts on the track here I’d expect a big run as he’s right on his A-game.”
My notes say ”Hugely likeable 6F sprinter who went from winning a C3 handicap at Wolverhampton off 85 to running second in the Ayr Silver Cup off 96, winning at Newmarket and the Curragh on the way. The Ayr Gold Cup would seem a logical target and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him tried over further. He appreciates Soft ground and I expect him to land a C2 handicap pot and possibly a Listed race and even Group level towards the end of the season.”
OR97 Little surprised to see him here as I thought the Tapeta was the quickest of the artificial surfaces. Mind you he has won on the surface at Wolverhampton over this trip and he has slipped 3lb down the handicap. Like Mr Lupton I can’t let him go unbacked, one star* win @ 7/1 with WH.
NEWCASTLE 3:40 Gabrial’s Star C2 16F 85-92 Betfred Northumberland Vase Handicap
“Gabrial’s Star shaped better at Ayr the last day where a mile-and-a-half would have been sharp enough for him. He stays two miles, Tony Hamilton gets on very well with him and while this is competitive, as it should be for the money, he’ll give a good account of himself.”
OR89 Hasn’t won in last fourteen outings since November 2014 and I’m not convinced he genuinely stays a truly run two miles. That 13½F around Chester on good ground seems right for him. Watching Brief.
NEWCASTLE 3:40 Gabrial’s King C2 16F 85-92 Betfred Northumberland Vase Handicap
“Gabrial’s King is top weight in the Betfred Northumberland Vase Handicap and I’d have preferred if he’d got into the Plate itself as he’s not very big and would have had less to carry there. We’re taking seven off him too courtesy of Adam and while he’s a bit of an enigma, it wouldn’t totally surprise me if he ran well.”
Enigma indeed! OR93 The trip is right, MacNamara’s claim helps, stall 11 is so-so and the surface is an unknown! Back in April last season he was second to Trip to Paris no less over 16F in a C2 handicap off a pond less on Good to Firm ground. I’m forced to agree with his trainer and it’s a Watching Brief but “..it wouldn’t totally surprise me if he ran well.”
NEWCASTLE 4:15 Gabrial The Hero C2 16F 92-104 John Smith’s Northumberland Plate
“It’s John Smith’s Northumberland Plate Day at Newcastle on Saturday and I think I’ve a big chance of winning it with Gabrial The Hero. I thought he ran a blinder in the Chester Cup last time when everything went wrong, they went no gallop which didn’t suit him at all and he was still only beaten two-and-a-half-lengths into fourth. He’s won on all-weather surfaces before, has a decent draw in eight and everything looks in place for a good run.”
This one has rather crept up on me as Dr.K only transferred him from David Simcock to #FantasticMrFahey in October last year. The trainer is certainly bullish on his chances and he certainly has AW form although he hasn’t won on either visit to Wolverhampton’s Tapeta albeit over trips probably too short for him. Excellent run in the Chester Cup and if Tony Hamilton can keep him handy he must have a squeak.
One star* each way selection @ 12/1 with WH 1,2,3,4 ¼
NEWCASTLE 4:15 Angel Gabrial C2 16F 92-104 John Smith’s Northumberland Plate
“We also saddle Angel Gabrial who I think just struggles in these very competitive handicaps. He’s better in smaller fields but we’re taking seven pounds off him with Adam McNamara and he did run well on his last start at York.”
OR103 Adam MacNamara takes 7lbs off. Well drawn in stall 5. Recently a solid third in a Listed race at York over 14F and as my notes below suggest he must be a one star* each way selection @ 25/1 with WH 1,2,3,4 ¼
Notes “8th 33/1 Chester Cup. Not clear run top of straight. Kept on. OR104 handy if he came down a few pounds. I would say Only If… the Northumberland Plate (4th & 1st last two years) BUT in 2016, it will be run on an artificial all-weather surface (Tapeta) for the first time. So Only If.. gets below OR100 and stays to 16F not Cesarewitch. He ran well in two Listed races at Sandown in July and Newmarket in September last season and I expect they will be on the agenda again.”
WINDSOR SOFT Heavy in places (GoingStick 5.2)
WINDSOR 3:15 English Summer C2 11½F 0-100 Sky Bet Handicap
“English Summer has surprised me this year. I thought he was very badly handicapped having won four times in 2015 but he’s run alright twice, including at York last time. He’ll love the ground at Windsor for the Sky Bet Handicap and while I’d have been surprised at the start of the season to see him winning off this sort of mark, he does have a chance.”
Notes say “Only If… C3 or less, Chester/Epsom 12F. OR92 and probably needs to come down 7lbs. MacNamara’s claim could help?” Here he is in C2, OR89, at Windsor with David Nolan riding! Ground is ideal but needs a career best. Watching Brief.
WINDSOR 3:50 Growl C2 6F 0-105 Sky Bet Royal Windsor Sprint Series Handicap
“Growl also has form on this surface and got his head back in front at Nottingham last time. If he was back to his very best he’d win the Sky Bet Royal Windsor Sprint Series Handicap and definitely has a chance. Hopefully he’ll have taken confidence from the last day.”
Notes say “A nice 0-90 C3 6F on quicker ground could restore confidence. He’s a hold up horse so hopefully Dr K. won’t take him to Chester!!” Well he kindly obliged at Leicester last time under those conditions. Here he is up 6lbs in a C2 on Soft ground! No, thank you. Watching Brief.
WINDSOR 4:20 Gabrial Listed 8F Sky Bet Midsummer Stakes (Listed Race)
“Gabrial is another who will love the ground and I just hope they go flat out in the Sky Bet Midsummer Stakes and give him something to chase. I just want to win a race with him and Marwan is thinking the same. He’s run some mighty races in top-class heats over the years and it would be great to see him get his head back in front.”
Amazing horse. Trip, ground, Grade all fine but hasn’t won since the Lincoln last year! Can Ocean Tempest set this up for him? Why not? One star* win @ / with .
NEWMARKET (JULY) Soft, GoingStick: 6.2 on Thursday at 08:30.
NEWMARKET 3:20 Marie Of Lyon Listed 6F 2yo fillies The AHT Empress Stakes (Listed Race) (Fillies)
“I was expecting Marie Of Lyon to run well at York on debut and she ended up winning – something that didn’t look likely for a long way. She’s a filly we like an awful lot but you can see it with the good ones on their first start – they learn so much during the race, as they do everything so easily on the bridle at home. She goes to Newmarket for the Cambridge News Magazine Supporting The AHT Empress Stakes where Paul Hanagan, who gave her a great ride first time out, is on board again. We’ll find out how good she is here but we do think she’s very nice and she has a great mind which always helps.”
#FantasticMrFahey has an excellent squad of 2yo fillies this season and they knew all about this young lady at York on debut. Clipper Logistics are interesting owners with horses with many trainers and Paul Hanagan keeps the ride. Will stick with Marie of Lyon until beaten. One star* win @ / with .
NEWMARKET 3:55 Birchwood G3 7F John Sunley Memorial Criterion Stakes (Group 3)
“Birchwood ran no race in the French 2000 Guineas on his reappearance and we can’t find a reason why. He looked fantastic and had pleased us in a racecourse gallop at Newcastle before Chantilly. We swerved Royal Ascot with him because he escapes a penalty in the John Sunley Memorial Criterion Stakes. He’s a hard horse to sum up at home as he never kills himself in his work but he went very well last week and we’re happy with him. He’s won at the track too which is another plus.”
Interesting race as he is the only 3yo to take on his elders who are mainly “almost” horses! Clever choice of race as trip, ground and grade are right if he has trained on. One star win @ / .
DONCASTER GOOD TO SOFT Good in places (GoingStick 7.4)
DONCASTER 7:25 Hyland Heather C5 6F Maiden M & G Asbestos Removal + Surveying Maiden Stakes
I’d love to see Hyland Heather win the M & G Asbestos Removal And Surveying Maiden Stakes for Norman Steel and she has a definite chance. She’s very genuine and ran okay when second on her Catterick reappearance.
Notes say “Cost leading Musley Bank patron Mrs Helen Steel 90K euros as a yearling and although a five race maiden beginning her 3yo campaign showed enough last season to suggest she shouldn’t be long out of the winners enclosure. In her early races she had an issue coming out of the stalls straight but when she did on her final race she was short of room when coming to challenge in a C3 6F Soft ground nursery at York and had to settle for second. Similar conditions would be fine and she may even get a bit further.”
Prefer her in a handicap, this is a warmish heat. Watching Brief.
DONCASTER 8:55 Gin In The Inn C4 6F 0-85 Beaver 84 Hire And Sales Handicap
He was disappointing on his reappearance at Pontefract but that was down to the ground. It was officially good to firm but was much quicker than that – which is always frustrating for a trainer – and he was one of a number of horses that didn’t handle it that day. It’s a big field handicap but if he bounced back he’d have a chance and he is working well again.
Notes say “Good to Firm ground, an easy 6F and his Pontefract form suggests he can continue to progress from an opening mark of OR80. Gelded to start his 3yo career.” Ground concerns me but I think he may be well in. One star* each way @ 14/1.