Friday is going to be difficult with the imminent arrival of the rain. When and how much are the imponderables.
Thursday hasn’t started well! The two darts in the opener were never competitive. The two in the mile handicap, One Word More mucked up the start and was beaten within 50 yards and Jailawi was dropped in from stall 20 and had no chance after a furlong. The winner, Firmament, was impressive and Team O’Meara (5 runners!) set him up nicely and once again Daniel Tudhope chose correctly. However the eye-catcher was Faheys Third Time Lucky for doubling up in the Cambridgeshire. Queens Trust continues to progress but only third. Endless Time needs further and softer ground. Found needed the run.
I blogged earlier in the season that Fahey’s 2yo fillies looked better quality than his colts. The Wagon Wheel won Wednesday and Queen Kindly won todays G2 Lowther. Frankel maybe her Dad but her Mum Lady of the Desert won the Lowther herself and if I had dug a little deeper so did her Grandmum Queens Logic!
Hoorah! Abingdon does the business and delighted with the 5/2 taken last night. Dewaa had every chance, led 2F out but not good enough.
Let’s start with some general observations.
GOING– For two days we have raced on “officially Good to Firm (watered to maintain)”. That might be about to change with rain due from 12noon and a wet afternoon with even heavier showers on Saturday.
DRAW- I’m ignoring the draw on the round course but sticking to low numbers in big fields over five and six furlongs.
FRIDAY AUGUST 19th
1.55 C2 12F Handicap 0-105 4yo+.
YORKIDDING (Mark Johnston) OR93 Twice a C&D winner (Good and GF) and must be considered even off a career high mark. Ridden prominently and quickens. Still only a 4yo. Ran in the Melrose last year. Owned by a Mr P York?! Ticks plenty of the required boxes. One star* each way @ 10/1 general.
BARSANTI (Roger Varian) OR105 RP 5th Aug. “Varian nominates race as target.” Same issues as Postponed over yard health etc. Would refer him over further and a big ask off top weight.
2.30 Lonsdale Cup G2 16F
Really hard to fathom. I’ll pass. Here’s what the protagonists have been saying.
WICKLOW BRAVE – Sportinglife.com Aug. 7th “This year, Wicklow Brave is being aimed at the Group Two Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup, on the Friday of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, as the master trainer looks to get him qualified for the Melbourne Cup. Commenting on the chances of the seven year old who was fourth in the Goodwood Cup, Mullins said: “He ran well enough at Goodwood, so we’ll have a crack at the Lonsdale and see how he goes. It’s is a tough race to win but a first three finish gives us a great chance.”
Wicklow Brave has Melbourne option August 2 2016
Goodwood Cup fourth Wicklow Brave is in the running for a trip to Australia and the Melbourne Cup. Grade One placed over hurdles, the Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old was an excellent fourth to Big Orange in the Goodwood Cup last week, adding to other good efforts on the level that include third in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot back in October. Owner Nick Peacock said: “Unfortunately he wasn’t quite as good as Big Orange, but he ran a blinder and acquitted himself well. We’ll see what the handicapper does. I think we’d like to go to the Melbourne Cup, but we’ll have to see what the handicapper does. He could probably do with going up by a couple of pounds. With his current rating he would be right on the edge of getting in, I think, and it would be a big risk to take him there, with the cost and everything else, if you’re not sure you’re going to get a run. Willie has mentioned the Lonsdale Cup as a possible next race for him and I suppose the Irish St Leger might be the last opportunity to run if he was going to go to Australia.” Mullins said: “He stayed on really well. Andrea Atzeni rode him and it was the first time he had sat on him. He’s not the easiest of rides and he just thought he might make a little bit more use of him the next time, but it puts him in the Melbourne Cup picture. Hopefully we’ll get another run into him and if he just keeps improving, we’ll be in Melbourne come November.”
Mullins ran Max Dynamite in this race prior to going to the Melbourne Cup. Won off OR107 up 10lbs, ran in Australia off about OR116 finishing second. Wicklow Brave is currently rated OR111.
QUEST FOR MORE – Quest for More will return to York for the Lonsdale Cup next Friday. Hopefully he will get proper quick ground and a good pace, which disappeared an hour before his run in the Goodwood Cup. He is in great form and 2 miles is his favoured trip. Roger Charlton Website 10th August 2016
TRIP to PARIS – Lonsdale date likely for Trip To Paris Racing UK Monday 25 July 2016
Former Ascot Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris is to be readied for a tilt at next month’s Lonsdale Cup at York. Trainer Ed Dunlop has earmarked the two-mile Group Two prize for the five-year-old after deciding to swerve an outing in Thursday’s Qatar Goodwood Cup at the Sussex venue. The son of Champs Elysees made a satisfactory return to action after injury earlier this month when finishing third over an inadequate 10 furlongs in a Listed contest at Newbury. Dunlop said: “It was an encouraging return and he came to hand quicker than I thought. He now goes for the Lonsdale Cup. I thought Goodwood was a bit too soon after that run and with the greatest respect to Goodwood, it is not the ideal track for a horse that had a tendon injury to run on. York gives us a nice break between races.” While a trip to the Knavesmire is the likely next port of call for Trip To Paris, options for the rest of his campaign remain fluid. The Newmarket handler said: “He is in the Irish St Leger and various other races. He could also go back for the Melbourne Cup. We will just take it one race at a time.”
Trip to Paris – RP Aug.11th Strong gallop report with York target mentioned.
3.05 City of York G3 7F
The market isn’t exactly screaming Nemoralia and I’m going to take her on.
FORGE – Third to Ribchester in the Jersey and second to Thikriyaat in the Thoroughbred at Newmarket is looking stronger form by the day. I’m a fan of this horse and not being ground dependent I think today’s trip and grade are spot on. Two star** win @ 5/1 with WH.
Can Fahey get Birchwood back to his best? Will Librisi Breeze step up from handicap company?
I am also going to put up a long shot. JALLOTA – Has course form, would handle soft ground and loves 7F. One star* each way @ 25/1 with Ladbrokes and Betfred.
NEMORALIA – RP 10th August “After putting the three-year-old through her paces on the Al Bahathri this morning, Noseda said: “We are more likely to run Nemoralia at York next week rather than at Newbury where the Hungerford looks a strong race. We know she loves the Knavesmire as she won there on her reappearance and the Group 3 Sky Bet City Of York Stakes next Friday looks the ideal race for her.”
LIBRISI BREEZE sportinglife.com Aug. 2nd “Although no firm plan has been decided as to where the gelded son of Mount Nelson will run next, Radlett handler Dean Ivory is currently assessing several Group-race options for the four-times race winner. He said: “I’m still not too sure where we are going with him as he has a lot of options. We may go to York with him for the Group Three race (City of York Stakes) that Sirius Prospect won when it was a Listed race or wait for the Park Stakes at Doncaster. He came out of the race at Ascot so well that I had to give him a two or three canters last week.”
3.40 NUNTHORPE G1 5F
How wet is it? Is firm still in the going? Twenty runners over 5F! Impossible. I am going for a big price, drawn low.
GOKEN – Keeps threatening to go close in one of these. Can Jamie Spencer do the business? One star* each way @ 50/1 with PP who are offering four places but 1/5 the odds. That’ll do.
4.20 Convivial C2 7F 2yo Maiden
This race will throw up a shed load of winners! Serious homework watching the video and monitoring the market and heeding the paddock watchers.
Unraced 2yo’s from Hugo Palmer and Charlie Appleby are prominent in a market headed by Rivet, a Haggas/Dettori charge, who was second in a 6F C2 Ascot maiden. I’m going out on a limb and suggest the rain is in the ground and I’m going for DANCE TEACHER – Ralph Beckett’s daughter of Lope de Vega, who was fancied when second in a 7F C4 Salisbury maiden on Soft ground. One star* each way @ 10/1 with PP.
4.55 3yo Handicap 8F 0-100
Ground is key to this impossible handicap. Would really like to make my decision at 4.45pm tomorrow.
They went a crazy pace in the Mile Handicap today and they could do the same again here. I’ll put up a well drawn finisher off a light weight.
QUICK’N’QUIRKY – Filly trained by Tim Easterby ridden by the impressive claimer Rachel Richardson, drawn in 6. Pick them off late. One star* each way @ 20/1 with Coral ¼ 1,2,3,4.
Now I’ve written my piece let’s see what #FantasticMrFahey has said to sportinglife.com.
Gabrial’s King is our first runner at York on Friday in the Sky Bet First Race Special Stakes. He ran well when second at Haydock last time but is drawn wider than I’d have liked in stall 12. He’s won here before and everything is right, trip, track and ground. He could run a good race despite the draw.
We’ve put blinkers on Suegioo in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup. He’s the laziest horse I’ve ever trained – but he’s a loveable one too and is a real favourite in the yard. On bits and pieces of his form he isn’t without a chance here but he does need to put his best foot forward.
In contrast I’m taking the visor off Birchwood in the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes. Everything went wrong for him at Goodwood last time, through nobody’s fault, he just stumbled at the start, lost ground, and his race was over. This is a warm contest but my fellow is in good order right now and would have an each-way chance at a big price.
If I’m being honest I’d be surprised if Abiento was up to winning a British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden Stakes but the owner is keen to have a go and we have nothing to lose with £60,000 in prize-money on offer.
Another Touch has the coffin box of 19 to contend with in the Nationwide Accident Repair Services Stakes which is so frustrating. Trip, track, ground, it’s all right for him, he won at Newmarket last time and while it’s not impossible for him to follow up from out there, it will be very difficult.