Wonderful Wednesday November 29th

Lots of interesting stuff for a Wednesday!


2.25 BRAVISSIMO One star* win @9/2 general

3.30 CALICOJACK Two star** win @ 2/1 general

The normal Irish midweek combination of quantity and quality and Punchestown. One of my regular “ins” to a racecard is what jockeys are there and who are they riding for? At Punchestown two points of interest.

Davy Russell has three rides for Henry de Bromhead but none for Gordon Elliott.

Barry Geraghty rides for Gavin Cromwell, Gordon Elliott, Willie Mullins (?) and Paul Nolan! Of course all owned by Mr McManus, which does raise an interesting point. JP could walk into many a yard as an owner and he must surely have a remarkable information network from a punting point of view. Does he use it? Racing Manager Frank Berry would have the same information so who says where they all run? The word cartel springs to mind. Why has JP got so many horses with so many trainers? Is it a viable business concern? What is his buzz? What is his connection to the likes of the O’Leary’s and/or “The Lads” (Magnier, Smith, Tabor etc.)?

12.20 Maiden Hurdle 2m  JP has six and Geraghty wears the blue cap! I am keen on Paloma Blue who is well thought of by De Bromhead and is probably Russell’s best chance of a winner for the trainer but 4/7 is a silly price! Mild interest in the mare Nearly Famous who is owned and trained by Jessica Harrington, OR79 on the Flat.

12.50 Maiden Hurdle 2m6f Miracle in Medinah should not be confused with Mark Ushers OR104 Flat rated Miracle of Medinah, which of course I just did!

1.50 Beginners Chase 2m A must watch! Mullins/JP/Geraghty have Bon Papa, Avenir D’Une Vie for De Bromhead/Gigginstown/Russell and I don’t think you can write off the other five. Informative contest although I think it will throw up more big handicap winners than Festival Graded races.

2.25 Novice Chase 2m 4f I’m a Bravissimo fan but this looks trappy. That Gigginstown 4yo, Tout est Permis, chasing with Russell on is a worry.

3.30 2m bumper Has to be watched just in case! Elliot, Meade, Willy Mullins and the McBratneys! Calicojack was in my notebook way back. By Beneficial out of an Oscar mare who was fourth on his only start, behind Forge Meadow, just four lengths behind the currently OR140 rated Morgan! Ms Carberry for Noel Meade and there is money for it.



3.15 SCHNABEL One Star* each way 8/1 1234 1/5 PP, BF, WH.

2.40 MISS NIGHT OWL Two star** win @ 7/4 PP BF

Firstly the Going.

HURDLE – GOOD to FIRM, Good in places

CHASE – GOOD, Good to Firm in places. (GoingStick: 6.6 on Wednesday at 06:30) Honestly!!!!!!! They struggle to water, so beware.

Again I’ll start with the jockeys.

Top man Noel Fehily has the three rides, two for David Dennis and one for Jonjo O’Neill (?).  They have nibbled at Schnabel in the 3.15. Fehily has ridden the horse before and they will enjoy the 2m 4f trip and Good ground.

Ceiran Gethings has just the one ride but it is for Tom George, not a familiar pairing? Miss Night Owl in the Mares handicap hurdle at 2.40. RP may have this one right “Found Listed race too hot last time but completed a hat-trick beforehand; big player. “ Including a win on Good ground.

On out of form, out of business (?) Rebecca Curtis has a couple of runners on the card with Adam Wedge and Sean Bowen jocked up! Odd bookings. Was that 25/1 bumper winner on the AW for JP a turning point?

3.45 C5 2m Bumper. Looking forward to this race as it could throw up a few winners. Most attention on Peculiar places for the new link up of Dicky Johnson and Warren Greatrex! This one cost Highflyer £100K courtesy of the trainers wife, Tessa! The underachieving Evan Williams and David pipe have runners as does the red hot Nigel Twiston Davies. All the early money is for the Michael Scudamore trained Wimpole ridden by Robbie Dunne, 10’s into 7’s and lower.



12.55 SECRETE STREAM One star* win @ 9/4 general

Like the look of this card!

The Skeltons are mob handed. The chases have cut up and the red hot Fergal O’Brien has runners in both divisions of the Mares bumper both ridden by Paddy Brennan and they are his only rides on the card.

12.25 3yo 2m Hurdle Wayne Hutchinsons only ride on the card, The Blues Master. One of two for Alan King who does well with his juveniles, the other is Doctor Bartolo who is ex Charlie Hills and was on my Flat radar last summer.

12.55 3m Novice Chase I’m keen on Secrete Stream. Twice a course winner, the xcellent team of Malcolm Jefferson and Brian Hughes, gets 7lbs from the Skelton jolly and I think Secrete Stream will improve further for the step up to three miles.

1.25 C4 2m Novice hurdle Fair way for Messrs Sherwood and Aspell to come with Jersey Bean. Wide open affair, 4/1 the field.

2.30 C4 2m 4f Hcp Hurdle Groundhog Day! Fair way for Messrs Sherwood and Aspell to come with Road to Rome. Wide open affair, 4/1 the field.


It is Wednesday 29th November and John Gosden has EIGHT runners and Roger Varian has SIX entries and even “the boys in blue” are in action! From Newmarket Messrs Haggas, Fanshawe, Palmer all saddle runners, O’Meara and Fahey are at Kempton. There is a Listed race and two C2 handicaps. Amazing.

Jim Crowley is doing a double shift.

Keiran Shoemark is just in the Midlands but has rides for Simon Crisford, John Gosden, bin Suroor and David O’Meara! Speaks volumes about the boy’s talent!


Wolverhampton 2.20      THIRD TIME LUCKY One star* each way@ 20/1 general 123 ¼ (1234 1/5 BF)

Kempton 4.10                     GRECIAN SPIRIT One star* each way @ 9/1 Ladbrokes 8/1 general 123 1/5

Kempton 6.10                    STRAIGHT RIGHT One star* each way @ 9/1 PP 8/1 1234 1/5


At Wolverhampton the races of interest are the two divisions of the 9F fillies novice stakes and the C2 9½F handicap. The 2yo heats look too competitive to put up a selection but the handicap is a different scenario!

2.20 The Queens 3yo Seniority is a mad 6/4 favourite and I’m looking for My early 2018 Lincoln handicap hope Sands Chorus goes here and despite being drawn 11 will presumably be trying to make all. He is one of four C&D winners in the field and surely Third Time Lucky, the 2016 Cambridgeshire winner, is far too big at 25/1 123 ¼ (20/1 1234 1/5 BF) for #FantasticMrFahey and Tony Hamilton from stall 3. Back down to OR100, kept fresh for an AW campaign he must have a sneak.


Kempton kicks off with three 2yo races and I would not be surprised if something special was lurking in there! I’m looking forward to reviewing these races but just the one bet and that is in the first.

4.10 C5 10f 2yo maiden. I thought it was an above average Wolverhampton maiden that Grecian Spirit made his debut in when a staying on third to Laieth. I think James Tate has a solid bunch of 2yo’s this season and this home bred son of Teofilio can take a further step forward here. No issues with stall 8 or Luke Morris and I’m quite happy to take on the tongue tie wearing, odds on, Godolphin owned Ispolini. Beaten at odds-on on debut at Nottingham he now has a go on the AW and he is William Buicks only ride of the day!

6.10 C2 6F handicap David O’Meara saddles the two top weights including the 2017 Wokingham winner, Out Do, so the race doesn’t lack for quality. I have Straight Right, Double Up and Outback Traveller on my radar but I’m not sure I had the AW in mind! Just too difficult to make a confident selection, the money has been for Intisaab, drawn 1, 7/1 into 9/2 and I could see that but at the prices it has to be Straight Right, 3-3 on AW (7.5f/1m) when trained in France, each way at a double figure price for Andrew Balding and Mr Lucky, the Leicester City owner!


Time is getting the better of me (1.55pm)!


Wednesday 15th November 5.00pm

It’s time to get back blogging.

The Flat season is done and dusted, well almost, just keeping an eye on those AW maidens especially runners from the Gosden, Haggas and Varian yards.

I decided this year that I would see the Flat season through until the end and start my National Hunt season with Clonmel Oils day and the Cheltenham November (Open) meeting when there may be some relevant form available. I am going to post this blog on simplesimonsays49.wordpress.com and on startracking.wordpress.com and then all my jumping blogs will be on the latter site.

Train of Thought

The upcoming three days at Cheltenham and two days at Punchestown signal the start of the “core” jumping season and I expect still to be writing more in my Notebook than on betting slips. Every race will be reviewed through the prism of the Cheltenham Festival. Many trainers will be looking to get their face on TV to raise their profile and spout on about their latest “live Festival chance” but obviously they will “take it one race at a time”! Here is my take on where the leading trainers are and what their targets are for this season.


Willie Mullins Simple. He HAS to be Champion trainer in Ireland. His Closutton stables still have the greatest depth of serious all round talent. It’s Achilles heel may be the three mile chase division but I’m sure he’ll rectify that in the next couple of seasons. He will target four major meetings, Leopardstown at Christmas, the first weekend of February for the NH version of Irish Champions weekend plus the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals. How close the pesky Gordon Elliott is at the end of March will decide whether he goes to Aintree. Huge assets in Ruby Walsh and Paul Townend and the return of Faugheen and Douvan’s trip the major talking points.

Gordon Elliott A serious player where ever he turns up. With the support of the Gigginstown Mounted Cavalry he is very strong in the 3m+ chase division and the supply pipeline to get there, so bumpers, staying novice hurdles, novice chasers from 2m4f upwards with other stars including Apples Jade, Cause of Causes and Petit Mouchoir. He will target the same four meetings as Mullins plus the Irish Grand National is a big race for Gigginstown.

Nicky Henderson Traditional, orthodox, vastly experienced and often an iron fist in a velvet glove. He has a solid all round team with three big guns in Buveur D’Air, Altior and Might Bite.

Paul Nicholls The man is driven. I wouldn’t want to even play Scrabble against him, he is competitive with a capital ‘C’! This season he has a large squad of novice chasers as he searches for the “next big thing”. Has a formidable team of jockeys in Sam Twiston-Davies, 19yo Harry Cobden, Sam Bowen especially at 10st and claiming 7lbs, Bryony Frost.


Old School

Philip Hobbs 100 winners and a £1 million in prize money, regular as clockwork. This season will be spiced up by Defi du Seuil and possibly Gumball and Hobbs will want a Festival winner.

Alan King 100 winners and a £1 million in prize money but I just have a feeling Mr King has developed a taste for the Flat? Big handicaps and a Festival winner high up his targets.

Nigel Twiston-Davies Hardly ever out of form who just churns out winners all season. Would love to have a Saturday horse or two to back up Bristol de Mai. Healthy competition in the shape of Fergal O’Brien across the road!



Dan Skelton He isn’t hungry for winners, he is ravenous. A chunky chip off the Nicholls block. 100 winners and a £1 million in prize money was the target but he could do that by Christmas! He wants to be in amongst Henderson and Nicholls. Pressure to get a Festival winner. Busy yard, where most horses are ridden by the trainer’s brother, Harry, and the trainer’s girlfriend, Bridget Andrews!

Harry Fry All about quality this yard. Patience is the by word. Fry and Fehily are a perfect match. American and UnowhatImeanharry are the stables leading lights. Not afraid of a handicap or two.


On the Up

Neil Mulholland – Tom George – Ben Pauling – Fergal O’Brien

Solid, competent yards who are media savvy and I would expect all four to do better than they did last season. Quite willing to take on the Powerhouses, can think outside the box and place their horses well.



Dr Richard Newland – Kim Bailey – Graeme McPherson

Make the most of what they have. Dangerous men when the money is down.


State of Flux

Colin Tizzard Last season he was on the verge of joining the Powerhouses but the recent deaths of leading owners Ann and Alan Potts will make this November Cheltenham meeting emotional as we wait for news of the top notch Potts horses. Cue Card has been a wonderful servant but is close to a final hurrah, Thistlecrack is on the way back from injury. As far as I am concerned the sooner Joe Tizzard takes over at the helm the better. Stable strength would be much reduced without the Potts aeroplanes.

David Pipe Just 80 horses at Pond House these days. Currently the yard is in good form but the Saturday winners have dried up. Moon Racer and Un Temps pour Tout are still in the yard but the Tinsdall money has not reaped the rewards! Stable jockey Tom Scudamore seems to be making new connections plus plenty of outside rides and is the writing on the wall?

Jonjo O’Neill My winter version of Mark Johnston!!! Can’t read him at all. Has just about the best facilities in Britain, a McManus conveyor belt of top horse flesh but seems to be in form for four days a year, maybe. I’m not Barry Geraghty’s biggest fan either. Anyone who could give me “Ten Jonjo horses to follow” is a friend for life!



Warren Greatrex – Charlie Longsdon – Donald McCain – Sue Smith

McCain is fighting his way back to the top table and I think best when sending his horses north from his Cheshire yard.

Longsdon was almost at top table four or five years back but just doesn’t have the owners. JJ Burke signing as stable jockey should be a positive. Whole set up lacks ‘X’ factor.

Warren Greatrex could have gone in the “On The Up” pigeon hole as well as the Shrewdies section and is surely just a couple of top horses from cracking it. The Worlds End? Any yard that has Tessa Greatrex/Highflyer buying for it, the McNeill family among the owners and Richard Johnson and Gavin Sheehan riding for it surely has to be taken seriously!

The Smiths are terrific with Danny Cook’s aggressive style in the saddle a good fit. They jump and they gallop but some would say they could benefit with a bit more time between races.


I will come back to this theme of Trainers targets, aims and ability. Yet to mention the “Taffia”, the Girls, the dual purpose boys and the resurgent North!

#startracking Thursday September 8th 12.30pm

Happy Days! 5/1 winner with Stamp Hill reading the script to the letter and probably more to come. Dark Devil was beaten just a nose depriving us of a 12/1 place! Ho hum. Excellent Doncaster card today with plenty to watch and a few recommendations on price mainly because they are IMHO too big!

Doncaster 1.55 Trappy fillies nursery to kick off. Normally I would go for the improvers but I like the look of the most experienced in the field, Mark Johnston’s LA CASA TARIFA. She is a long, leggy filly who has been up against some tough types, her second at York to The Wagon Wheel catches the eye. Simply too big at 20/1 and I will put her up for a star* each way @ 16/1 with Skybet, money back if 2nd or 3rd.

Doncaster 2.30 Five of the nine runners ran against each other at Goodwood last time suggesting it may not be the strongest form. Favourite Blending goes up from C4 to G2? The May Hill is a G2 for staying fillies and this time I will go for a possible improver! HIDDEN STEPS was very green on debut but when the penny dropped, stamina kicked in and she flew home. One star* each way @ 12/1 with Coral ¼ 1.2,3. I am also going to throw a couple of quid each way at 50/1 on BONGRACE who will definitely get a mile and a flat, galloping track is ideal! Whether she is good enough is another matter but trainer Kevin Ryan knows the time of day.

Doncaster 3.05 I have been with ABINGDON all season and I am not going to desert her now! Ground, grade and the trip are fine, indeed stamina is her forte. Only downside is the price. Three star*** win @ 9/4 general.

Doncaster 3.40 Has to be filed under “impossible”! However that won’t stop me backing MARIE OF LYON one star* each way @ 12/1 with PP 1/5  1,2,3,4. #FantasticMrFahey has a good record in this race and has a strong squad of 2yo fillies this year. Only Queen Kindly may be better than this one and I feel Marie of Lyon may have been saved for this with ground and trip in her favour. Spiritual Lady is a probable winner but too short and I will have a close eye on Jumira Bridge but I just can’t trust the Varian yard, yet!

Doncaster 4.15 Poets Word is quite possibly the proverbial “Group horse in a handicap”, a steady Stoute improver whose maiden win was really strong and picked up well to win at Goodwood but 13/8 is just too short. Not sure I want to take him on but I’m going to! Originally I was interested in Central Square but the more I look at the videos the more I think he has too much weight but would surely interest the NH brigade! So it’s a one star* win on BERMONDSEY @ 9/2 general who was unlucky on his last run in a strong Sandown contest and I’ll trust “Frank” Spencer to weave his magic!

Doncaster 4.50 I have both Glencadam Glory and Hydroxide on my list of 2yo’s Next Time list, O’Briens The Anvil and two pricey Maktoum newcomers make this a definite Watching Brief.

Doncaster 6.00 Like the 3.40 this has “impossible” written all over it. At first glance I thought Fendale could be an each way shot but not at 5/1! However Khelman at 40/1 is going to be hard to resist.


Couple of jockeys having an away day. Both Adam Kirby and Daniel Tudhope go to Chantilly for one ride. The latter rides Lord of the Land in a G3 and I think he could go close.

#startracking Wednesday September 7th 12noon

It is time to put on your lucky pants, polish up your best pair of punting boots as it’s time to go in again! Four days at Doncaster for the St.Leger meeting, an excellent two days of Champion action in Ireland at the weekend and the Ayr Western Meeting is only a week away!

This summer hasn’t been easy with so many yards having health issues but it does go some way to explain the inconsistencies of the form book! It was noticeable at both Goodwood and York how often the market got it right whereas the form students were a mile away.

Looks like the Going generally will be no quicker than Good for the foreseeable future with Soft perhaps creeping in from Saturday onwards.

We will need to be on our toes as some of the handicappers we have been waiting for are entered up in Ireland in their big pot handicaps. Withernsea (2nd in same race in 2015 off 7lbs lower) and George Bowen (Won this race last year off 2lb lower), both have form in Ireland and both have entries over Champions weekend.

So today I fancy two saddled by #FantasticMrFahey.

Carlisle 4.00                DARK DEVIL At the beginning of the season my thoughts were “Two promising seconds in C4 maidens before narrowly getting home in a C5 maiden over 7F at Redcar. Travels well and looks a trier. He has already been gelded and 3yo mile handicaps look to be his bag.” However connections seemed to think he stayed 10F but after two poor runs he is back at a mile with his preferred easier ground off 3lbs lower. Taking on older horses for the first time he also gets a 6lb weight for age allowance and represents some excellent each way value. One star* each way @ 12/1 general.

Doncaster 4.10           STAMP HILL I am a big fan of this horse who was impressive winning first time up at Pontefract in C3. He hasn’t had the best of luck since racing in C2 events, no room at Goodwood (twice!) and left in front too soon at Epsom. My notes say “This gelded son of Zoffany should pay his way in 6/7F handicaps. C2 7F 3yo should be fine. Won’t mind Soft in the going.” Has the trip and the ground today and hopefully Roll on Rory can give him the pace Stamp Hill needs to aim at. Two star** win at 7/2 general.

#startracking Saturday August 27th 12 Noon

#startracking Advised Yesterday

Newmarket 3.00        DRIFTING SPIRIT One star* each way @ SP.

Currently 12/1 but there was some 16/1 about last night.

Newmarket 3.35        MASTERPAVER One star* win @ SP.  Currently 9/1 with WH, pretty friendless!

Newmarket 4.10        EASTERN IMPACT Three star*** win @ 3/1 with WH.

Beverley 3.10             MR LUPTON Two star** win @ 7/1 with WH.

There was some 9/1 last night, 10/1 with PP, but Tom Segal (Pricewise) has put him up!


#startracking Ante Post

Goodwood 3.55         MONALEEN                Non-runner (lame) I hope it isn’t too serious as I’ve backed Monaleen ante post for the Cesarewitch!



Goodwood 3.55         PLATITUDE His staying on second off top weight in the 12F Royal Ascot handicap was an excellent run suggesting he could be a Group horse and that he may get further. He was then outstayed by HousesofParliament (second to Idaho in G2 Great Voltiguer) in the G3 13F Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket. He did however settle beautifully, travelled and saw the trip out. In the G3 12F Gordon Stakes last time out he was undone by the lack of pace. Again he travelled beautifully, had every chance 2F out but was done for toe by the likes of Ulysses. So here he is in a 14F Listed event where the 3yo’s get 12lb and is this his grade? Andre Atzeni takes the ride. Not won since his 2yo debut and has form of 2354228 suggesting he is not easy to win with and is yet to find his trip and level. Watching Brief. Could be an excellent middle distance/staying 4yo.

Goodwood 4.30         THIKRIYAAT You have to admire this horse. Won on his 2yo debut over 8F on the sand and has won three from four this season, his only defeat was in the 7F G3 Jersey at Royal Ascot by Ribchester who got first run. Last time out he won over course and distance and on this ground in the 3yo Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes at the Festival. Can’t have any of the 4yo’s, Toormore, Arod or Lightening Spear which makes it a match with Zonderland. Thikriyaat is probably a better horse and still improving. Four star**** win @ 5/2 with Ladbrokes.

Beverley 4.20             MAINSTREAM Surprised she drops to 10F and Mainstream is a big filly and I’m not sure that tight bend into the straight will suit. 12F on a flat galloping track please. Watching Brief.

Windsor 6.00              ULYSSES Was my Epsom Derby selection but just wasn’t ready. No surprise he’s back to 10F as he travels and quickens as he showed when winning the 3yo G3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood. Ulysses and Midterm are Stoute’s best middle distance 3yo colts and both could in time be Group 1 standard. No surprise to see he’s shades of odds on. Watching Brief.



Goodwood 2.45         BELLE MEADE Here is one of those quality 2yo fillies that are currently housed at Musley Bank. Professional and impressive on debut over 6F in a C4 maiden at Pontefract when getting the better of stable mate Right Action with NINE lengths back to the third! Those behind have run OK, a few places and the fourth has won. Her second run was in the Group 3 Sweet Solera at Newmarket, fly leapt at the start, outpaced into The Dip but kept on. Plenty of those in front re-oppose here. Better start and could be in the mix. Watching Brief.

“Belle Meade is another we’re trying to pick some Black Type up with in the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood. She’s got to step up on what she’s done so far but is open to improvement.” Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Goodwood 5.05         DAWN MIRAGE In form and the booking of William Buick catches the eye. Watching Brief.  “Dawn Mirage is a horse who likes to go forward so stall nine wouldn’t be ideal in the Whiteley Clinic Stakes. That said he still has a chance as track, trip and fast ground all look ideal for him.” Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

#startracking Friday August 26th 3pm

Right let’s see what is worth a bet this sunny Bank Holiday Saturday. There will be few more selections at 12noon tomorrow.

Newmarket 3.00        DRIFTING SPIRIT One star* each way @ SP.

This blog last Tuesday “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?

“Drifting Spirit had a few problems with her sinuses earlier in the year but is fine now and we need to get her racing. She’s a course and distance winner which always helps and is in good order again now.” Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Newmarket 3.35        MASTERPAVER Oh joy, Tony Hamilton replaces SDS! One star* win @ SP.

This blog last Tuesday  “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.”

 “Masterpaver who has been in fantastic form all year. He ran a cracker when second at Ascot last time and must have a good chance in a competitive race.” Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Newmarket 4.10        EASTERN IMPACT Three star*** win @ 3/1 with WH.

This blog last Tuesday  “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.”

 “We run Eastern Impact and on the figures he should finish in front of the filly. He’s in good order, ran well in Ireland last time and loves the track here. He’s definitely one for the shortlist.” Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Beverley 3.10             MR LUPTON Two star** win @ 7/1 with WH.

This blog last Tuesday  “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.”

 “Mr Lupton was a little disappointing at Newbury last time but we’ve given him a break and are very happy with him at home. We’re back to five furlongs here and I hope they go very quick up front as my lad will be trying to pick them up late.” Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com


In italics Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Newmarket 2.25        ANDOK Plenty of size and professional on debut over 7F at Redcar at C5 level when galloped all over these and quickened nicely having made a gap a furlong out. £60K son of Australian sire Elzaam.

“Andok did well to win at Redcar first time and will progress further.” Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Newmarket 2.25        CLEF Up 9lb for winning a similar event a fortnight ago. Cheveley Park’s is a pocket rocket daughter of Dutch Art, not big in stature but all heart. 5lb claimer Callum Shepherd has just his second mount for #FantasticMrFahey. “Clef is an absolute star. She’s so tough and genuine. She was impressive here the last day and we’re taking five pounds off with Callum Shepherd to try and help her out. She’ll always give her best and you’d never draw a line through her.” Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Newmarket 3.00        PENWORTHAM – Watching Brief

This blog last Tuesday  “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?”

 “I haven’t been able to find a race for Penwortham for weeks. I’ve been looking for a seven furlong handicap around a bend with him and he keeps getting balloted out. He’s in great form at home and the ground will be fine for him so he could go well too.” Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Newmarket 4.10        MAYFAIR LADY – Watching Brief

This blog last Tuesday  “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.”

“I’d love to get some Black Type here with Mayfair Lady. She’s a filly we’re very sweet on, she tries very hard, and on ratings she’d have a small chance of picking some up. I hope she does.” Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Goodwood 2.45         BELLE MEADE

“Belle Meade is another we’re trying to pick some Black Type up with in the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood. She’s got to step up on what she’s done so far but is open to improvement.” Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

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

Goodwood 3.20         HEAVENS GUEST – Watching Brief

This blog last Tuesday “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!”

 “I argued with the handicapper that Heaven’s Guest wouldn’t win a race this season and sadly so far I’ve been proved right. He’s run some good races though and while he’s as high as you’d like him to be, we’ll take our chance.”

Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Goodwood 3.20         WITHERNSEA – Watching Brief

This blog last Tuesday “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.”

 “I’d love some rain for Withernsea who has been ruining well on quicker ground this year but is best with a little give underfoot. The owners are keen to have a go at this £100,000 pot and I can see why.”

Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Goodwood 3.20         FARLOW – Watching Brief    

This blog last Tuesday “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?”

 “In contrast Farlow has a good slot in two but he is another who I feel is badly handicapped. The handicapper disagrees and I hope he’s right. He’d also benefit from any rain.” Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Goodwood 3.20         NUNO TRISTAN – Watching Brief

This blog last Tuesday “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!”

 “Nuno Tristan is in good order for all he was a little disappointing at Ripon last time. He’d have a chance of bouncing back here but is drawn wider than I’d have liked in 15 which makes it difficult.” Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Goodwood 5.05         DAWN MIRAGE

Dawn Mirage is a horse who likes to go forward so stall nine wouldn’t be ideal in the Whiteley Clinic Stakes. That said he still has a chance as track, trip and fast ground all look ideal for him. Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Beverley 4.20             DOLPHIN VISTA                     

“I’d love some rain for Dolphin Vista in the totepool Live Info Download The App Handicap. He’s disappointed a couple of times on fast ground and while this is competitive, he goes there in great form.”

Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

Beverley 4.55             NORMANDY KNIGHT            

“Normandy Knight won at Redcar the other day and I hope he gained some confidence from it. Any one of four or five could win the totepool Follow Us On Twitter Handicap and I hope my fellow is one of them.”

Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com



In italics Richard Fahey/sportinglife.com

“One Boy has the coffin box of 11 for division one of the totepoolliveinfo.com Handicap although if the rain comes it might not end up being that bad. He’ll need plenty of luck but isn’t out of it.

Masamah is about the same age as myself and has been a little disappointing. We haven’t had him that long though and try again in division two of the totepoolliveinfo.com Handicap. We’re happy enough with him at home.

Ingleby Spring is very tough and genuine. The trip and ground are right in the Charlotte And Danny Got Married Apprentice Handicap and it’s just a question of whether he’s good enough to give weight all round.

Our final runners are at Redcar. Bahamian C is what he is but has got himself well handicapped and Emily Bullock is a good rider so he has a chance in the racinguk.com/daypass Handicap.

Right Action has run well twice – and disappointed twice – in his four-race career. On his best form he’d have a big chance in the Bakers Tailoring And Formal Hire Maiden Auction Stakes and I hope he brings his A-game with him.

Finally Desire runs in the Racing UK HD On Sky432 Handicap. She’s been a disappointing filly who shows more at home than we see on the track. We tried her in blinkers but they didn’t make much difference so we’ve removed the headgear here and hope she bounces back.”

#startracking Friday August 26th 12noon

#FantasticMrFahey really does have some Fabulous 2yo Fillies this season. I really must get that report on-line sooner rather than later. Rosebride won her nursery at Leicester yesterday in impressive manner at a rewarding 10/1 under young MacNamara!

Talking of Adam Macnamara, yesterday I blogged that he was down to ride Nuno Tristan at Goodwood tomorrow in the 3.20 7F handicap. It now transpires that his only booked ride tomorrow is on Heavens Guest in the same race with JF Egan taking the ride on Nuno Tristan.

Jockey bookings always fascinate me and this evening’s card at Hamilton throws up some interesting pointers. Firstly, crack Irish apprentice, Killian Leonard (claiming 5lb), is over to ride two for forward thinking Scottish trainer Ian Jardine. The market suggests he is here for Hillgrove Angel in the 7.25 who has seen support from 11/1 to 7/1. His other ride is Tiger’s Home in the 6.25, a general 16/1 rag.

Then there is Holly Doyle (claiming 5lb) retaining the ride on Marjorie Fife’s Courier in the 6.55. This young lady is attached to Richard Hannon’s Wiltshire yard and she is a long way from home! She has already ridden three winners in August and seen her claim cut from seven to five pounds. She rides Feed the Goater for her boss in the Beverley 3.25 tomorrow on her way home. Courier is on a hat trick but steps up two grades. Originally owned by Cheveley Park and trained by Jeremy Noseda this daughter of Equiano is in the form of her life although this softer ground won’t help. The softer ground has seen Courier drift from 5/1 to 7/1+.

Finally top northern jockey Daniel Tudhope has three (Marbooh non-runner) two fancied rides for a back to form David O’Meara and then takes a 100 mile detour on his way home for one ride in the last at Newcastle, 7.35 Mustaqqil. There has been some 6/1 for Mustaqqil but currently top priced at 11/2 with Ladbrokes. Signore Piccolo has to defy top weight from an outside draw in the 4.40 but his mount in the 4.05 Eccleston has a definite chance.

ECCLESTON Recently I put on this blog “Here is one of the horses David Armstrong has moved from #FantasticMrFahey. This one made the same move last season! Not an easy horse to win with but my notes say “Could easily land one of these C2 6F sprints but probably not a big one. Ayr Bronze, Great St.Wilfred Consolation etc.etc. 18/05/16 Got dropped 1lb OR93”. Drops to C3, a grade he won twice at last season and over 6F at that level has form of 817510, and is back down to his last winning mark OR91. However his form at Ripon is 54990 which makes me wonder if the courses undulations suit him. As a hold up horse he needs some cover and the breaks at the right time. He ran well last time out and his turn could be imminent. 6F C3 not Ripon, bit of give in the ground, Good to Soft would be ideal. A senior jockey would help make his mind up for him.” Today he has 6F, Soft ground and Daniel Tudhope in the saddle. The stalls are on the stands side today so Eccleston is ideally drawn in 16.

Two star** win @ 9/2 with Coral. (4/1 general)

#Going Alert

Beware the ground today as Thirsk is SOFT and Hamilton is GOOD to SOFT (Good in places) whilst Newmarket is GOOD to FIRM and Goodwood is GOOD (Good to Firm in places on the round course). They have had rain Up North in the last 24 hours but it does seem to be dry and sunny across the country and the ground will only quicken.

Now back to Saturday!

#startracking Tuesday August 23rd 5.30pm

Richard Fahey’s Saturday handicappers 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.



26Aug16               3:45        Carnageo NEWMARKET (JULY) (Four Day), Hoofmaker By TRM Handicap           

CARNAGEO     Unofficial Stable Tour April 2016  “OR 69                              Peak 70                  LWM –                    RPR 70  

Another purchase from the Arquana/Saint Cloud Breeze-ups he was given time to acclimatise and then had three runs in five weeks in October/November. None of them were anything special but now gelded he is a big, scopey son of Pivotal and looks sure to leave his present mark of OR70 well behind when growing into his frame and this handicapping project should be best around a mile with a bit of give in the ground. He runs for the Up For Anything Syndicate, which may well sum this horse up! Made his 3yo debut in a C5 7 1/2F handicap at Beverley. Was restless in the stalls just before the off, missed the break, slow to gather pace, last. Stayed on really strongly and my notes say “Winner waiting to happen at 8F”! Looks to be competitive in a C5 0-70 3yo classified stakes, the start will clearly be important.”

Dropped to OR68 he duly obliged in a Ripon C5 8F handicap @15/2 by six lengths. He has since gone up in distance and up in grade without success. This horse travels and tries and probably does stay 10F. I think Carnageo will improve further as he strengthens up as he’s had a chance at the furlong pole in most of his races, just weakening out of it.  He’s entered in a C4 0-80 3yo 10F handicap at Newmarket and off OR74 wouldn’t be without a chance. Also entered in a C4 0-80 3yo 8½F handicap at Beverley on Sunday and with a decent low draw would be a player.

26Aug16               4:05        El Viento THIRSK (Four Day), Theakston Lightfoot Handicap

EL VIENTO Has Father Time caught up with this gallant 8yo? Currently 12lb higher than his last turf victory but still wouldn’t surprise me if he popped up in C4/5 5F on Good to Soft!

26Aug16               4:05        Khelman THIRSK (Four Day), Theakston Lightfoot Handicap

KHELMAN Won 6 out of 42. Wins C3/4, stiff 6F/easy 7F but seems to prefer fields of less than twelve. Currently OR85 two pounds higher than his last winning mark. George Chaloner has ridden him for four of those six successes. Entered here in a C3 6F 76-95 handicap, which doesn’t look ideal. Entered in Ayr Gold Cup. Only if .. 6F, C4, OR80 or less.

24Aug16               3:40        Gin In The Inn Lingfield, Garhigh Southern Ltd Handicap

26Aug16               4:05        Gin In The Inn THIRSK (Four Day), Theakston Lightfoot Handicap            

26Aug16               5:30        Gin In The Inn NEWMARKET (JULY) (Four Day), trm-ireland.com Handicap

GIN IN THE INN Unofficial Stable Tour April 2016  OR 80           Peak 85                  LWM –                    RPR 85

Dean & Stella Hardman have had success with Grandad’s World (OR96) and paid 35K euros for his half-brother Gin in the Inn and he looks like repeating the trick. A scopey type was professional on debut hosing up in a C5 maiden at Leicester over 5F. He couldn’t get past the tough as nails Ravenhoe over 5F in a C4 at Newcastle but finished four lengths in front of that rival when just failing to hold off Taking Liberties and Carrington in a C2 over Pontefract’s 6F. Then not seen for four months he was well beaten in the two big Sales races at Doncaster and at Redcar. Good to Firm ground, an easy 6F and his Pontefract form suggests he can continue to progress from an opening mark of OR80.” On his fifth outing of the season dropped to C5 over 6F at Pontefract off OR72 he duly delivered @ 11/2. Can he build on that? The handicapper will have his say so no surprise to see him out sooner rather than later. The Thirsk race is C3 0-95 6F on forecast Soft ground whereas the Newmarket race is a C4 0-85 6F handicap on forecast Good to Firm. Last time out Hanagan had him right out the back and Gin in the Inn finished very strongly. I think the ground is key and could see him enjoying the stiff HQ finish. However he runs at Lingfield on Turf on Wednesday under a 6lb penalty in a C4 6F 0-80 on Good to Firm (watering) with David Nolan in the saddle. Stalls centre and he’s drawn 1, which is fine if ridden as last time. If he wins I wonder if Fahey fancies running again on Saturday under a double penalty off OR84?

26Aug16               4:40        Yosemite THIRSK (Four Day), High Definition Racing UK Handicap

YOSEMITE         Unofficial Stable Tour April 2016  “OR 77                              Peak 77                  LWM –                    RPR 76  

This daughter of Makfi was snapped up for just 24K euros at the Arquana/Saint Cloud Breeze-ups and races in the colours of new syndicate on the block, Merchants and Missionaries.  Well supported on debut she was squeezed for room at the furlong pole but kept on to finish second over 6F at Carlisle, a course the #amazingMrFahey rarely sends a bad horse to. May have bumped into one at Kempton on the AW, Ralph Beckett’s newcomer Nassuvian Pearl, when odds on and in the hands of Jamie Spencer. Yosemite lost her maiden tag at Goodwood in a 6F C5 maiden when Paul Hanagan got her back up to beat Andar by a neck. No world beater but surely that OR77 underestimates her talent. Up to a mile and up to C3?” Just the one run this season when she was market drifter in a C4 6F handicap at Nottingham finishing 7th of 10 off OR77 back in July. Now dropped 2lbs she’s entered in a C4 7F contest. Watching Brief?

26Aug16               6:50        Giddy HAMILTON (Four Day), EBF Stallions Scottish Premier Series Fillies’ Handicap

27Aug16               4:45        Giddy NEWMARKET (JULY) (Five Day), Fly From London Southend Airport Handicap

29Aug16               4:30        Giddy at Ripon, Billy Nevett Memorial Handicap

GIDDY                  Unofficial Stable Tour April 2016  “OR 77                              Peak 79                  LWM –                    RPR 80  

“Readily” won her 5F C5 maiden at Beverley, this Cheveley Park Stud  home-bred filly by Kylacchy should be quick. Her only other run was in the C2 nursery at Ayr when she went off 5/2F but was a disappointing 12th behind stable mate and future Group 1 winner, Donjuan Triumphant. My notes said “Big type”, “athletic” and on her maiden win, “Well away from inside, galloped all over these. Quickened at 1F pole. Rest may be trees but professional and couldn’t have done much more.” #amazingMrFahey told sportinglife.com on Sept. 15th, “Giddy is a filly we like a lot. I’d contemplated putting her in the Group Three here but she’s been given a mark which means the nursery route opened up. I’m looking forward to running her.”  The connections and the handicap mark are the attractions.”

Yet to win this season, 2nd, 3rd and 9th in C3, C3 and C2 all over 6F and mark is up a pound to OR78. Prior to her second run I thought, “She’s a big girl and she’s quick and a flat 6F with a bit of room to manoeuvre is going to be right up her street. If she can build on her excellent reappearance at Ripon when she was a rapidly closing second on a course that unbalanced her and Tony Hamilton can find a bit of cover drawn 2 of 17 I think she is a cracking bet off a mark of OR77.” May have to lower her sights to get in the winners enclosure. The Hamilton entry is C3 3yo+ Fillies 0-90 6F Handicap (probably) soft, Newmarket is C3 3yo 6F 0-90 Good to Firm but the undulating Ripon entry is C4 3yo 6F 0-80 on Good ground.

26Aug16               7:00        Balance NEWCASTLE (A.W) (Four Day), At The Races Virgin 565 Fillies’ Handicap

29Aug16               4:00        Balance Newcastle (a.w), Perfect Partnerships Fillies’ Handicap             

BALANCE Won on only start as a 2yo but this 3yo daughter of Pivotal has been one paced in two starts over 6F as a 3yo in C5 company off OR73. Obvious ability, travels well just doesn’t get home. Deep chested young lady perhaps mentally immature or could improve for a wind op? Two entries down a pound, OR72, on the AW Tapeta in C5 3yo 0-75 handicaps over 7 & 8F. Bred to get up to a mile should be OK. Interesting.

26Aug16               7:25        English Summer HAMILTON (Four Day), Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell Handicap               

ENGLISH SUMMER Won four out of 6 from July to October last season and went up from OR77 to OR93. Has struggled off that mark in six runs and now back to OR87, a mark he has won off. My notebook says Only If… C3 or less, Chester/Epsom 12F. OR92 and probably needs to come down 7lbs. MacNamara’s claim could help?” Would be carrying top weight in the C3 12F Lanark Silver Bell (Wikipedia says “..understood to be one of the oldest sporting trophies in the world. The silver bell has traditionally been described as a gift of William the Lion, to the royal burgh of Lanark, in 1160. King William often resided at Lanark Castle, taking part in local hunts and watching racing on the moors.) but

would have to be considered. Ground (Good to Soft), Trip, Grade all fine just the stiff track?

26Aug16               7:25        Masterpaver HAMILTON (Four Day), Ladbrokes Lanark Silver Bell Handicap

27Aug16               3:35        Masterpaver Newmarket (july), 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.

24Aug16               4:00        (Overnight) at Musselburgh, Rae Hawthorne Memorial Handicap          

26Aug16               7:35        (Four Day) at Newcastle (a.w), At The Races Sky 415 Handicap  

29Aug16               4:00        (Five Day) at Newcastle (a.w), Perfect Partnerships Fillies’ Handicap

HIDDEN TREASURES Like Balance another filly owned by Andrew “Stobart” Tinkler. C4, 7F, some give in the ground, seem to be her conditions. Looks likely to run on Wednesday at Musselburgh C5 3yo 7F 0-80, off OR71, although the ground is forecast Good to Firm? The other entries are on the AW Tapeta at Newcastle of which the one on Monday Aug. 29th, 7F 3yo fillies 0-75, would be very attractive. It was a poor race she won at Leicester, five runners came out best in a four way photo (!!), but her run at Epsom was solid. Outclassed and never competitive in a C3 event on quicker ground at Doncaster.

Saturday to follow tomorrow

#startracking Saturday August 20th 12noon

The racing at York so far has been fantastic and most of the winners have been well found in the market but not by this correspondent! Abingdon, The Wagon Wheel and Jallota’s big price place have kept the wolf from the door.

GOING The rain did arrive yesterday and Ebor Saturday will be contested on GOOD ground, perfect racing ground. Unless a really heavy shower turns up!

DRAW- I’m ignoring the draw on the round course and in the last my selection runs from stall 10 which will just have to do!


1.45 C2 10F+ Handicap 0-105 3yo+.

SNOANOThought he would run in yesterday’s 12F handicap but goes here over 2F less instead. Been running well all season, including here at York. His second at Goodwood was very strong, he goes on any ground.

Two star** win @ 7/1 general.

IMSHIVALLAWill appreciate the ease in the going and she is a real trier. Trip, ground, grade and Hanagan all plusses. One star* each way @ 16/1 general.

2.15 Strensall G3 9F 3yo+

Most of this field are “twilight” horses with OR marks of around 110, won handicaps but in and out at listed/G3 level. The 9F trip is one rarely raced at.

DIPLOMAAbsolutely hosed up last time. Now takes on her elders and the boys. Gets upwards of 10lbs from the whole field. Two star** win @ 3/1 general.

GABRIAL – Just have a sneaking feeling the old boy could sneak a place here. Good ground, 9F and Hanagan in the saddle are all about right and the price is just too tempting. One star* each way @ 16/1 ¼ 1,2,3 with Ladbrokes.

2.50 Melrose Handicap C2 14F 3yo

Five of these ran in the same 12F handicap at Goodwood. Shraaoh was top of my list but the more I watch his races the less straightforward I think he is. No doubt I will live to regret this but I am putting two up against him.

JAAMEH Took ages to pick up at Goodwood, was just behind Shraaoh at the finish and is a pound better off and now nearly four times the price! One star* win @ 11/1 with Coral.

KELLSTROM Not seen since May, first run in a handicap but this could be a Group horse in a handicap. Son of Galileo, trained by Aiden O’Brien and a full brother of Order St. George. One star* win @ 8/1 with PP.

3.25 Gimcrack G2 6F 2yo Colts and Geldings

Eeny meeny miny moe! Market tells us nowt! I’ll pass.

BLUE POINT – (Charlie Appleby) Thursday 11 August 2016 ATR News – “Godolphin have had a change of heart with regard to plans for Blue Point and the juvenile will now run in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes at York next week.”

MUBTASIM – (William Haggas) Trainer says Gimcrack next “as long as it’s fast ground.”

MOKARRIS – (Simon Crisford) Racing UK – Gimcrack a likely goal for Newbury victor Mokarris Wednesday 27 July 2016 Connections of Mokarris are looking towards the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes at York as his most likely target. After finding soft ground not to his liking in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Simon Crisford-trained two-year-old bounced back to add to his Haydock maiden win with victory in a Listed event at Newbury earlier this month. A step back up in class now awaits the son of More Than Ready, with the six-furlong Group Two prize on August 20 the prefered target. Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: “Mokarris came out of his last race fine. He ran very well and I was genuinely impressed with him. He is a nice horse that has that has got a good turn of foot. It was nice to see him bounce back on fast ground. You would have to say that soft ground is not to his liking. I would think the Gimcrack is where we go next.”

4.00 EBOR Handicap C2 14F 3yo+

None of my early fancies have made the starting line-up. Looks the normal impossible riddle to solve. So I will keep it simple and suggest two horses with York form, have a fair weight and should stay the trip.

HEARTBREAK CITY One star* win @ 10/1 with Coral.

TOP TUG One Star* each way @ 16/1 Five places with WH and Ladbrokes.

4.35 Roses Stakes Listed 5F 2yo

No idea! Afandam goes in the placepot, Atzeni is having a good week and does Hugo Palmer have a bad 2yo?

4.55 Apprentice Handicap C2 5F 3yo 0-105

LATHOM O’Meara’s yard back to form, ground fine, could do with a manic pace. Handicapped to win one of these, just needs a bit of luck in the last hundred yards.

Two star** win @ 7/1 general.


Now I’ve written my piece let’s see what #FantasticMrFahey has said to sportinglife.com.

Fresh from saddling Queen Kindly to Group Two glory in the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes on Thursday, star columnist Richard Fahey talks us through his runners across the country on Saturday. The forecast rain is very much in Imshivalla‘s favour for the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Stakes. She loves soft ground and is in good order. She’s capable of winning a good handicap like this, as we saw at Epsom earlier in the season, and is going well at home. Gabrial is a wonderful old horse and rain would help him in the Betfred Mobile Strensall Stakes. He’s been running very well this season, probably the most consistent he’s been at any stage of his career. Whether he’s good enough to win this I wouldn’t know but he seems very well. I was a little surprised Theos Lolly got into the Betfred Melrose Stakes but the step up in trip should suit him. He’s a good, hardy, horse who is enjoying a fine season. I’d be shocked if he was up to winning a Melrose if I’m honest but he is running well. I’d be delighted if Megan Lily finished in the first three in the Julia Graves Roses Stakes as she looks up against it on paper at least. Our final runner at the Ebor Meeting is Celebration in the Betfred Apprentice Stakes. He is a horse I really like, a good, hardy, pro who is going to give his owners a lot of fun. His day will come somewhere and he ran really well at Goodwood last time.

#startracking Thursday August 18th 6pm

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.



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. 7thThis 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.”


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.