#startracking Thursday August 25th 5.00pm

The health of their string has been a major issue for many of our top trainers in 2016. No trainer was going to announce it at the time, James Fanshawe was the first to give a hint of coughing in Newmarket, then HQ’s biggest string at Roger Varian’s almost closed down, yesterday Saeed bin Surror said that his string had been very, very ill and those that weren’t were painfully slow and today its Peter Chapple-Hyam “”My horses have been very, very sick, but I’m sure they are right now,” the trainer told At The Races. “We had horses with legs blown, I couldn’t do anything bar trot them, they got abscesses all over their body, and when you’ve only got 30-odd horses like I have it’s very hard, but hopefully we’re over it now.”

It may help explain by the York winners were well backed with stable knowledge tantamount. Makes having a solid bet slightly more risky than usual. Anyway to continue with Richard Fahey on a Saturday.

Richard Fahey’s Saturday handicapper’s 6F-10F and Sir Michael Stoute’s 3yo’s were two groups of horses that at the start of the season we identified that we hoped would prove profitable. So where are we as we enter the last two months of the 2016 Flat season?

Fahey’s Saturday handicappers haven’t delivered. Are they now well handicapped? Have they been waiting for the “right” ground? Plenty of these are entered up for this Saturday so time for a catch up. What Fahey has got is a cracking bunch of 2yo fillies and a genuine Group 1 horse in Ribchester. Report on those also.

Stoute has had an excellent season with those 3yo’s and indeed has strength throughout the yard with his trademark improving older horses and some classy 2yo’s. Report on what he has entered this weekend to follow.

#FantasticMrFahey

Saturday

27Aug16               3:00        Drifting Spirit NEWMARKET (JULY) (Five Day), Eddie Stobart Industrial Sector Handicap

DRIFTING SPIRIT Daughter 0f Clodovil who fetched £38K as a foal, upped to £52 as a yearling. Successful thrice as a 2yo from seven runs and completed her juvenile season 11th of 12 in the G3 Oh So Sharp Stakes but beaten less than 7L. The jury has to be out as to whether she has trained on. In two starts in 2016 she has looked one paced, 10th in a hot C2 Handicap at Newmarket and third in a five runner C3 at Pontefract. Prior to her seasonal debut her trainer told sportinglife.com “In an ideal world, Drifting Spirit would have been out before now this season, but she’s had one or two problems with her sinuses. She’s fine again, but I just have a worry she might be in need of the run as she returns in the Price Bailey EBF Stallions Fillies’ Handicap.” She is now down from OR90 to OR87. She is a good sized scopey filly and if in full health must be interesting. Trip, course, grade are all fine. What will the market say?

27Aug16               3:00        Penwortham NEWMARKET (JULY) (Five Day), Eddie Stobart Industrial Sector Handicap

PENWORTHAM Battled to a C5 7F handicap in July on Good to Firm ground off OR74. Up 6lb but an excellent, gutsy, narrow second to York winner Arcanada at Chester in 7F C2 on Good ground. Up another 4lbs then dropped two grades to C4 on good ground at quirky Epsom and despite leading to 2F out he never looked comfortable and he found nothing! Has the handicapper got him on OR84?

27Aug16               3:10        Mr Lupton BEVERLEY (Five Day), totescoop6 Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes (Listed Race)

MR LUPTON His wins in the big Doncaster 2yo sales race and the 3yo 6F Charity Sprint at York are outstanding bits of top drawer form, not too much wrong with his seconds in the Newbury Super Sprint and the Redcar Champion 2yo! Indeed at York Jamie Spencer brought Mr Lupton from another parish to pick up no less a horse than Stewards Cup winner Dancing Star giving her 13lbs! That win saw him move to Group 3 level with an OR111. 5th in the G3 Chipchase on the Tapeta at Newcastle (?) when his high draw did him no favours and then a disappointing run in the G3 Hackwood at Newbury. At Newbury Mr Lupton was alongside eventual winner The Tin Man before Spencer bought Mr Lupton to the stands side and never really found a seam before easing off whilst the Red Sea opened down the middle for the winner!

Great horse who reminds me of Sole Power and I’m convinced he’s talented enough to pick up a Group sprint, even a Group 1, in the next couple of seasons unless sold for a king’s ransom to the Far East a la Peniaphobia, Good Ole Lukey etc.etc.!

Barry McHugh gets the leg up here.

27Aug16               3:35        Masterpaver NEWMARKET (JULY) (Five Day), Fly Stobart Air Handicap

MASTERPAVER Has had a cracking season on Turf (112343) rising from OR67 to present career high of OR83 but last two runs were a three-quarter length 4th to Oceane over 14F in a C3 at Ascot and an excellent 2nd in the 12F C2 John Guest at the same Berkshire venue. Spent much of his life on the AW peaking at OR94 so there may still be more to come. Likeable creature. The Newmarket race is a 13F C2 £45K pot, a furlong further than the Hamilton C3 £26K prize. Holds an ambitious Cesarewitch entry. Silvestre de Sousa is an eye-catching jockey booking.

27Aug16               4:10        Mayfair Lady NEWMARKET (JULY) (Five Day), Stobart Club Shop Hopeful Stakes (Listed)

MAYFAIR LADY Won her maiden over 5F at Pontefract as a 2yo, then hosed up in a C2 York Nursery making every yard. She repeated the dose on 3yo debut over 6F on the Knavesmire and a mark of OR107 put paid to her handicapping days. Her form at Pattern level is 4566 so she has a bit to prove as she goes in search of Black Type away from York.

27Aug16               4:10        Eastern Impact NEWMARKET (JULY) (Five Day), Stobart Club Shop Hopeful Stakes (Listed)

EASTERN IMPACT Reunited with Jack Garritty back at his beloved Newmarket. Eastern Impact’s form over HQ’s 6F is 4121136 and the last two runs have been in the Group 1 July Cup!! He comes out on top on Official Ratings and may have most to fear from two familiar faces. Mayfair Lady, a current stablemate and her two wins at York were impressive and she gets an 8lb pull for being a 3yo filly. Baccarat an ex Musley Bank inmate from where he won the Wokingham at Royal Ascot before being sold to Godolphin.

My notebook says, more than once, “Eastern Impact is a Newmarket 6F specialist, he is simply 10lb better there than anywhere else. Group 3/Listed is about his level. He doesn’t really want Soft in the going.”

#FantasticMrFahey runs four in this £100K C2 7F Handicap.

27Aug16               3:20        Farlow GOODWOOD (Five Day), Goodwood Revival Stakes (Handicap)               

FARLOW Prior to his last run at Newmarket I blogged “He maybe an 8yo but he’ still retains plenty of ability. He runs the 7F at Newmarket very well and he just needs to be close enough in The Dip to make his late surge count. His last visit was most encouraging when 6th beaten less than two lengths. He has top weight here but for a reason and seems to have seasoned handicappers in opposition as opposed to any obvious improvers.”

Now not so sure now that Father Time hasn’t caught up with him. This will be Farlow’s fifth run in seven weeks where he has shown nothing but midfield mediocrity. Getting outpaced at halfway then sort of keeping on. However his mark has tumbled from OR102 to OR96 a pound below his last winning mark of twelve months ago. Indeed one more midfield show and he could be down to a mouth-watering OR95?

27Aug16               3:20        Heaven’s Guest GOODWOOD (Five Day), Goodwood Revival Stakes (Handicap)            

HEAVENS GUEST Yet to shine in three visits to the downland track and the ground is a bit quick but it’s a big pot and worth a shot. Still think a Soft ground Ayr Gold Cup is his best chance. Since July 14th 2014 when Heavens Guest was put up to OR103 he has run twenty three times, sixteen in C2 handicaps, and his mark has always been in the OR103-108 range! Still the 6yo gelding has won close on half a million pounds!

27Aug16               3:20        Withernsea GOODWOOD (Five Day), Goodwood Revival Stakes (Handicap)

WITHERNSEA Surely he will land one of these C2 Saturday pots or is OR96 just too high? He’s a hold up horse, so Mr Spencer is always a bonus. Straight, flat tracks such as Doncaster suit best. 7F is his trip and I always thought he needed some cut in the ground but his run on Good to Firm at Newmarket on the 8th July was excellent, so maybe not. Paul Hanagan rides here and not too worried about Stall 12 of 20. Could see him winning at Ayr.

27Aug16               3:20        Nuno Tristan GOODWOOD (Five Day), Goodwood Revival Stakes (Handicap)

NUNO TRISTAN Prior to his run in the 7F International at Ascot his trainer said on his sportinglife.com blog “Nuno Tristan is in the form of his life right now. I just wonder whether he’s man enough at the moment for a test like this but he couldn’t be in better order heading down there.” He ran a cracking fifth and has since finished third to Hoof It in the 6F Stewards Cup Consolation here at Goodwood and ninth in the C2 6F Great St.Wilfred at Ripon. Still only 7lbs above his winning mark at Redcar and steps back up to 7F with Ebor winning claimer Adam MacNamara taking 5lbs off. Stall 15 is probably a little wider than ideal and the boy will need to be on his mettle.

Prior to his last run I blogged OR94 Along with Growl he has been a useful addition to the #FantasticMrFahey sprinting squad. Both bought astutely for Dr K at last season’s Horses in Training Sales. As in form as any in the yard, winning at Redcar over 7F, fifth in the 7F C2 International at Ascot and a running on third in the Stewards Cup Consolation at Goodwood back at 6F. First look at Ripon off a career high mark is a big ask and I’m not sure Good to Firm ground brings out the best of him, especially over 6F. I expect Tony Hamilton to choose him.” Ground has eased to Good, he’s drawn near the pace and the race could be set up for him!”

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