RICHARD Fahey’s quest for racing history ended in disappointment when Billy Bond, his final runner of 2015, could only finish an agonising second at Lingfield.
Victory for the horse would have taken the Malton trainer to the 236-winner mark for the year, one ahead of the record which he now jointly holds with the retired Richard Hannon senior.
It was the story of Fahey’s day – Billy Bond’s defeat by three lengths in the finale came after Ixelles Diamond had finished second in a previous race.
While the quantity of winners will satisfy the determined handler, who was runner-up to John Gosden in the trainers’ championship, his undoubted highlight was a four-timer on Ayr Gold Cup day including Don’t Touch’s victory in the feature.
This most progressive of horses will, like the whole stable, look to step up in grade next year.
Fahey, who saddled 1,698 runners in 2015, is already a proven Grade One performer.
Both Wootton Bassett and Mayson have won at racing’s highest level, but he’s made to secret of his desire to be competing in the Classics and top races on a regular basis.
In the meantime, he can bask in the recognition that his accomplishments were the Yorkshire racing story of the past 12 months and he has a clutch of quality riders, including the under-rated Tony Hamilton and top apprentice Jack Garritty, at his Musley Bnak yard.
A strong Yorkshire contingent in Musselburgh’s Totequadpot Scottish Premier Chase includes Distime from the Guiseley stable of Richard Drake.
Third over the Grand National fences at Aintree last month, Jonathan England’s mount reroutes to the Edinburgh track following the abandonment of Wetherby’s Rowland Meyrick Chase on Boxing Day.
Royal Macnab represents the flood-hit Rebecca Menzies yard while Mick Easterby’s Saints and Sinners carries the colours of leading Yorkshire owner Nicholas Wrigley, who enjoyed so much success on the Flat in 2015 with Richard Fahey.
A competitive card at Catterick sees Brian Ellison’s Definitly Red, a far from disgraced second to Dan Skelton’s subsequently ill-fated Baradari at Haydock in November, head the field in the £11,000 novice chase.
Meanwhile today’s meeting at Exeter must pass an early morning inspection because of the threat of waterlogging.
Sandown’s Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase is the likely next port of call for Boxing Day hero Tea For Two, but trainer Nick Williams has ruled out an appearance at the Cheltenham Festival.
The son of Kayf Tara put up a determined display to land the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton, with his stepdaughter Lizzie Kelly becoming the first female rider to win a Grade One in Britain.
“He’s definitely not going to Cheltenham – he’s not a Cheltenham horse,” said Williams.
“We’ll see what happens at Sandown and go from there.”