Angel Gabrial, last season’s runner-up and subsequent Northumberland Plate hero – has top weight, Duke Of Clarence has been drawn widest of all, Gabrial’s Star has been running well on the all-weather while Gabrial’s King chased home Trip To Paris at Ripon recently.
“Angel Gabrial has a good draw but has a lot on his plate with that weight,” said Malton-based Fahey. “Duke Of Clarence has some very good form to his name against Arab Spring, but unfortunately he has the coffin box draw (19) on the outer.
“Marwan was mad to get Gabrial’s Star into the race; he’s managed it, so we’ll see how he gets on. I was delighted with Gabrial’s King at Ripon, that run should have put him spot on so we’ll see how they all do.”
This is Koukash’s favourite race of the programme and he has a fifth runner, Suegioo, who is bidding to win successive renewals of this two mile and three furlong marathon around one of the tightest tracks in the country.
He, too, is drawn on the outer – stall 16 – and trainer Marco Botti says jockey Ryan Moore will have his work cut out against the likes of Angel Gabrial. “I think it’s going to be tough to win from that draw, but he’s going there in the same form as last year,” he said.
“He ran well at Ripon on his comeback over a mile and a half, which is too short for him, but he’s higher in the weights and with the draw it will be tough.
“We’ll have to hope for some magic from Ryan, but if anybody can do it he can.”
Former Grand National-winning jockey Timmy Murphy makes the switch to the Flat today when he has two rides at Brighton. He hopes to follow Bedale-based Graham Lee, the 2004 Aintree hero, who is now one of the most prolific Flat riders in the country.
The ever popular Hunt Ball, a former Cheltenham Festival winner, returned to winning ways over hurdles at Fakenham yesterday under Malton-born jockey Andrew Tinkler.