#FantasticMrFahey may have the other half of his stable running today but I can assure you it is all about one horse, Don’t Touch in the 6F July Cup at Newmarket. Fahey has held this horse in the highest regard since Day 1 and today he finds out if he has another Group One sprinter!! The horse has taken a walk in the market from a respectable 14/1 to a positively insulting 20/1 with Ladbrokes! The drift can be put down to the quicker ground and support for sexier horses such as Air Force Blue.
#FantasticMrFahey sent out 23 runners yesterday and returned just one winner, albeit his 100th of the season and he is the first trainer to get there this year. His winner was Gabrial the Terror at Chester who from a wide draw was given a smart ride from the front by young MacNamara. Indeed the 5lb claimer is coming on in leaps and bounds, much tidier at the business end and just needs to sort out what to do when in the middle of a bunch, get the horse settled, find a seam etc. but I’m sure that will come with experience.
Yesterday was a punting nightmare and I should have gone for a long walk! Ho hum, we live to fight another day.
I have already put up three for today, Ante Post, indeed two and a half weeks ago, and of course I am delighted to see that Tom Segal in his Racing Post Pricewise column today thinks Arthenus is a good bet @ 10/1!
#startracking Wednesday June 22nd 3pm
Still working my way through last weeks Royal Ascot meeting? Should have paid a bit more attention to my own notes, my trackers and had the b*ll*cks to stick with #SuperStoute! There will be a blog in your inbox as soon as poss with about ten horses that I think are winners waiting to happen on the back of Ascot! However I’m just bursting to put one up, right here, right now! It is already priced up for a race on Saturday July 9th, a date you need to mark in red in your dairy! It is THAT Saturday when there is big racing at York, Newmarket, Ascot et al and there aren’t enough jockeys!! So I’ve had a serious look at three races already priced up for a fortnight Saturday, July 9th.
A £1 each way Patent (£14) at the prices above could return over £5800!!
YORK 4.15 John Smiths Cup 3yo+ C2 10F 88y Heritage Handicap
The horse is James Fanshawe’s ARTHENUS. He was a fast finishing fourth in the Listed Wolferton handicap at Royal Ascot on his first try at ten furlongs beaten just a length and a half by Sir Isaac Newton. Firm in the going would be a negative but there looks plenty of rain about and on the soft side of good would be ideal. I have no worries about the trip but the draw could be an issue, especially if they stick to that far rail, but as a hold up horse as long as Freddy Tylicki (or George Wood if they decide to use the stables star claimer!) can find a seam it will be fine. Arthenus won over nine furlongs at York last season beating no less than Librisi Breeze, the so close second in the Hunt Cup. He is currently Officially Rated 101 and 24th on the list of runners which would 99.9% ensure he gets in if connections so choose.
Arthenus is a two star** each way Ante Post selection @ 20/1 ¼ 1,2,3,4 with a handful of on-line companies and Betfred. Big four still to price up, may wait until they do. I intend going in again as soon as Fanshawe gives any indication Arthenus is an intended runner one star* win and if declared, again on the day one star* each way at the best terms available!
NEWMARKET 4.35 July Cup G1 6F
My selection for this race will come as absolute no surprise to regular readers of this blog because the more I think about it the more I think that DON’T TOUCH will be ideally suited by Newmarkets stiff 6F. Beaten only the once in an eight race career, and #FantasticMrFahey suggested “he just didn’t like Ireland”, with the Greenlands blip ignored he has been nothing but progressive. As a 3yo he won the Ayr Gold Cup which is an outstanding achievement and his most recent victory beating Danzeno at Salisbury is a serious bit of form. Ben Linfoot in his most recent article on sportinglife.com reviewing Ascot asked “Who wants to be a Champion Sprinter?” with the handicapper having “Profitable on 117, Quiet Reflection on 117 and Twilight Son on 117.” Don’t Touch is currently OR114 and with #FantasticMrFahey stating “the July Cup has been the plan all along” and why they missed Ascot I think it is time for Don’t Touch to wear the crown. #FantasticMrFahey has won this race before with Mayson and was third with course specialist Eastern Impact last season and he clearly holds Don’t Touch in much higher esteem.
Don’t Touch is a two star** each way selection @ 14/1 with Betfred 1/5 1,2,3
NEWMARKET 5.10 Bunbury Cup C2 7F Heritage Handicap 3yo+
I have had this race in mind all season for HEAVENS GUEST all season as probably his best chance of getting into the winners enclosure! My notes say he is a “Solid, classy handicapper who wants a stiff 7F such as Ascot or Newmarket with Good/Good to Soft ground.” He runs the July course well, 7F is his best trip and it looks quite possible that young Adam MacNamara will keep the ride, making use of his seven pound claim, especially having got so close at York last time. Currently OR104 and tenth on the list of entries, if healthy he runs!! Ridden prominently just off the pace, if he can get his head in front in the last two hundred yards he is a damned difficult horse to pass! Ticks every box and Heavens Guest is a two star** each way Ante Post selection @ 14/1 with PP and Betfred ¼ 1,2,3,4.
We have a couple more to add and I will tack on Richard Fahey’s notes to sportinglife.com on the rest of his batallions.
Newmarket 3.25 SILENT ATTACK Could possibly become a Group horse who is going to pick up a big C2 handicap on the way. Sired by Dream Ahead this half-brother to Roger Varian’s useful Soft ground performer King Bolete cost Godolphin £150K. Came to my attention when pouncing on #SuperStoute’s Autocratic to pick up a 3yo C5 maiden over a mile on the sand at Chelmsford. He has since run all over a field of six previous winners at Newmarket in a C4 mile 3yo handicap on the Soft. His Official Rating is on a rapid upward curve 83 92 but I don’t think the handicapper has got him yet. C2, 8/10F, Soft in the going, Newmarket? Will he get any tasty Autumn entries?
Godolphin.com “E60,000 yearling; 150,000gns 2yo; 2nd foal; half-brother to 1m/1m3f winner King Bolete (RPR 96); dam once-raced sister to French/US 7f-1m1f Group 3 winner Cox Orange, half-sister to French 1m 2yo Gr 1/US 1m1f Gr 3 winner Amonita out of 6.5f Group 2 winner; walked out of the stalls and spent the first few yards bucking and kicking when down the field on debut at Kempton in September 2015; more like it when second over 6f at Leicester on 3yo return in May, but well suited by the step up to 1m when winning a maiden at Chelmsford the following month; still looked green there so likely to carry on improving.”
Quicker ground on the turf an unknown so we’ll take a star* off and go two star** win @ 4/1 general.
Ascot 4.25 GERSHWIN Fans of this blog will know I am not keen on backing horses in handicaps that have already had a 10lb hike but for this chap I’m making an exception. I am convinced Gershwin is Group material and I can’t believe he is still in a C3 handicap albeit against older horses (3yo’s get 9lb)! George Baker has a full book of rides but I’m sure he is here for this chap and I bet he turned down offers to be elsewhere on hold up horses in those big handicaps!
Notes say “Trainer David Lanigan has always been bullish about this son of Shamardal and put on his website after he won his 2yo maiden at Haydock, “Gershwin, a beautifully-bred son of Shamardal broke his maiden in impressive fashion at Haydock today. Jockey George Baker poised him behind the leaders in the early stages of the race before making his move about two furlongs from home. He took up the lead with ease over a furlong out and maintained control holding off newcomer Baydar in the closing stages. Following the race, trainer David Lanigan said, “I’ve always liked Gershwin, but I perhaps ran him a month too soon. He’s going to be a mile, mile-and-a-quarter horse for next season.” He didn’t get a clear run on seasonal debut when a well-supported sixth to Stargazer in a hot 10F handicap at Sandown. He still has entries in the Derby, Irish Derby, Eclipse and the more realistic Edward VII at Royal Ascot and if he was to take up any of those this race would have to be a formality off OR83 and winning jockey George Baker returning to the saddle. 1st 10/3 Won “comfortably” and the form has been franked.
Three star*** win with Coral @ 15/8.
Ascot 5.35 SHABBAH The definitive improver and I don’t think the handicapper has him yet! #SuperStoute has even been kind enough to put him up in trip and go for a decent pot, as advised in this blog!!
Notes say “If this was Sir Mark Prescott we would be all over it but surely Stoute is using the same plan? Three runs as a 2yo at 7/8F for a horse who will need 12F and he turns up as a 3yo in a C5 12F 0-70 handicap at Beverley off OR64 with Ryan Moore on board. Owned by same chap who has Nathra and he paid £200K for this son of Sea the Stars out of a dam who produced Ingleby Symphony who won off OR78 when trained by #FantasticMrFahey. Must be worth a dabble and is a Non Runner.
Bath 3.55 SHABBAH This race looks a harder option as its 10F not 12F and there are half a dozen in here with form. 9/4 is way too short, it has to be a Watching Brief. 1st 11/4Fav Watching Brief. Oops! Travelled three wide, prominent. Led 4F out, lengthened and ran away from them. Progressive stayer. Needs Good ground +. Put in #startracker! Give him three runs.
Nottingham 7.50 SHABBAH Absolutely hacked up at Bath ten days and you don’t often see #SuperStoute put them out again under a penalty. However 4/6 top price in a handicap? No thank you. Watching Brief. 1st 1/2Fav Looks a proper horse! Led, pace lifted, 3F out, gone. Take a break and find a decent 10/12F race. OR64 70 79
Sandown 4.05 SHABBAH This Sea The Stars colt has had five weeks off but should still be too good for a C4 0-80 field. He could still be well ahead of the handicapper and has been put in at 11/10 by WH so he is a three star*** win selection. 1st 8/11F Second two wide, pulled, held onto, asked 2F out, extended, kept on well. OR64 70 79 87 perhaps needs to go up in trip to keep winning.”
Even with Uncle Ted on board he is a three star*** win selection @ 7/2 with Ladbrokes.
sportinglife.com July 8 2016, 18:23 BST
Richard Fahey’s in-depth guide to his full team of runners on a busy Saturday for the leading trainer.
It’s fair to say it’s a massive day for us, not just in light of the number of runners up and down the country, and we’ve got two runners in the day’s Group One feature – the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.
There’s a big field for the July Cup and it’s extremely competitive – whoever wins this could realistically stake a claim to be European champion sprinter – but we’ve got one drawn towards one side and one on the other and they’re both in really good form. Eastern Impact absolutely loves Newmarket, he always seems to run around 7lb better there, whether that’s good enough for a race like this we’ll just have to see. We’re very happy where we are with Don’t Touch and we’ll find out how good he is, but we’re clearly competing with the very best around. He’s done really well since winning at Salisbury, is hopefully still on the upgrade and comes here in great shape.
The bet365 Bunbury Cup has been a lucky race for us in recent seasons as we won it with Brae Hill in 2011 and Heaven’s Guest returns for another crack having won it in 2014 and finished a close third last year. Just to be at his very best he might want slightly softer ground but he has run well on decent ground in a big handicap like this. We’ve got two other chances and I wouldn’t rule out Growl who steps up in trip after winning his last two over six furlongs. He’s in great form, we feel he’ll stay and with a bit of luck he could run a big race – he certainly has the ability for this. We feel he’ll go on any ground and he’s progressing nicely, whereas Farlow doesn’t have many secrets from the handicapper and he’d love it if it rained.
As much as a Newmarket winner would be extremely welcome, I’ll be keeping a close eye on proceedings at York from afar, where we’ve ended up without a runner in the John Smith’s Cup after Gabrial’s Kaka missed the cut but he has a big shout in the John Smith’s Racing Handicap. He’s in great shape at the moment and although he’s finished second on a couple of occasions this season it was good to see him win again last time and we’re happy with him. We’ve got four in the same race in total including Imshivalla who you’d imagine would want softer ground but obviously likes the track. Stall 16 isn’t a great draw for Miss Van Gogh. Home Cummins has fared better in that respect but is another who would possibly be more effective it they got some rain, but all four are going well at home so we’ll take our chance.
The John Smith’s Median Auction Maiden Stakes kicks things off on the Knavesmire and we’re fortunate to have three representatives, two of which – namely Come On Percy and Lucky Mistake – make their debuts. It’s hard to know whether they’ll be sharp enough to win a York maiden at the first time of asking but we’re happy to run both here and we’ll see what happens. Starlight Romance looks a more obvious candidate. She ran quite a nice race there the other week when third to our Marie Of Lyon, who we like a lot, and I’d like to think she might improve for that introduction and should hold a chance.
The John Smith’s Stayers’ Handicap is a decent little race of its type and Gabrial’s King returns to action after running alright in the consolation race for the Northumberland Plate a fortnight ago. Don’t get me know, he has just been a little bit frustrating but if everything dropped right for him he’ll be thereabouts and I’m sure that’ll happen before long. Let’s hope it’s Saturday!
The Listed John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes represents a bit of a drop in class for Suegioo after he ran in the Ascot Gold Cup, but there’s a few classy stayers in this race. Suegioo’s form is good, he’s a bit of a hard one to win with but he’s run some great races and I’d love him to win. He was third in the Ebor last season so doesn’t have any issues with the track.
We’ve got a couple in the last at York – the John Smith’s Nursery – and I don’t think the handicapper has taken any chances with Champion Harbour. Having said that, he ran quite well when third at Newcastle on his third outing the other week. In First Place is progressing along as he goes and was only beaten a couple of lengths when second on his first try at six furlongs at Thirsk last time.
Patrick sneaks into the totescoop6 Heritage Handicap at Ascot and doesn’t appear to have a brilliant draw in 20 but it’s a really valuable race. We’ve put cheekpieces on him for the first time as we just wasn’t able to lay up as well as we thought up at Newcastle on the all-weather last time. He has plenty of speed though and if he would to win it wouldn’t be a shock but he could run very well and finish fifth – it’s just that kind of a race. Gabrial is our other runner at Ascot and in fairness it looks a tall order in the Group Two Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes. It was great to see him win the other day at Windsor, it was his first win for a good while, and while he’s always been found out at this sort of level in the past we know he’s got the ability to win something like this.
We’re always keen to support Chester and Birchwood runs in the big Listed race over seven furlongs, the Corbettsports City Plate. He’s been a touch disappointing but worked really well in a visor the other day so we’re hoping that might just spark him up again here. He’s a happy go lucky sort of horse so it might help. He’s draw in stall one so we can’t have many complaints on that front!
The six furlongs of the Technical Demolition Services Ltd Handicap might be a little bit too sharp for Right Touch but he’s not run since the end of April and we’d like to get a run into him now. He’s been working well.
The Raymond & Kathleen Corbett Memorial Handicap looks quite a competitive contest and Monaco Rose needs to step up a bit. She did run a bit better at Chelmsford last time and the mile and six furlongs won’t be a bother to her.
Belle Travers bids to follow up her Pontefract win in the Manor Car Hire Handicap. She’s got up 7lb in the handicap but the track and the trip look ideal for her and I hope she runs another big race.
We’ve got two in the June Roberts Memorial Apprentice Handicap. Both Bell Heather and Sunnua are very similar fillies and I couldn’t draw a line through either of them. Bell Heather looks to have the better of the draw and she ran on quite well over the course and distance when second last month.
We’ve also got a few north of the border at Hamilton, including Our Boy John and Western Presence in the opening Highland Spring Maiden Auction Stakes. Our Boy John has been going okay but his best chance of winning a race might come in a handicap a little further down the line, while Western Presence goes well at home and might be capable of winning a maiden. The problem is that Tim Easterby’s horse has some decent form already and Mark Johnston’s newcomer could obviously be useful too. Desire has shaped like she could win something like the Sunday Mail Handicap but might just need a little improvement from somewhere. The ground and the trip are both perfectly fine for her. Ingleby Spring returns from a month off in the Racing UK On Sky 432 Fillies’ Handicap and it’s a good job she’s tough and genuine as the handicapper hasn’t given her much respite having run well in defeat earlier in the season. Saturday’s final race of the day is the Bill & David McHarg Handicap and it’s hard to be confident about the chances of Lady Turpin. She’s out of a mare that stayed well but she got bogged down a bit last time she ran as it was pretty heavy at Leicester. She’s got a low weight but it’s a trappy little handicap.