Fahey dreaming of Australia tilt

THE MELBOURNE Cup could be the end-of-season target for Angel Gabrial after North Yorkshire’s top trainer Richard Fahey finally added the John Smith’s Northumberland Plate to his burgeoning CV.

One of six winners saddled by the Malton handler across the country on Saturday, it was another notable victory for young apprentice George Chaloner just seven days after he partnered Baccarat to victory at Royal Ascot for Fahey. Drawn in stall one, Chaloner was able to enjoy a rail-scraping run and hold his position near the head of the field before striking for home with two furlongs to go and pulling clear of Suegioo with Repeater coming from stone last turning into the straight to take third for David O’Meara.

“That’s unreal,” said Chaloner. “He couldn’t have given me a better ride, he’s travelled lovely and when I’ve asked him to go into top gear he’s taken off.”

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Fahey, who has come close previously to winning the Pitmen’s Derby at Newcastle and saddles multiple entries each year, has not ruled out a possible tilt at the Melbourne Cup with Angel Gabrial, whose owner has always had grand designs on winning Australia’s showcase race.

“I’m absolutely delighted – we’re having a fantastic time at the moment,” said Fahey who was recording his 22nd winner in 11 days. “It’s one of those races you want to put on your CV and it was never in doubt.

“Most two-milers like him don’t have a turn of foot, but he does. I was delighted when I saw the draw (one) on Thursday and everything went right, it very rarely does. George has had a good week, but then we all have.

“Whether he’d get in the Melbourne Cup, I don’t know, but I’d love to have a runner out there, he’s that sort of horse.”

The horse derives his name from one of the children of owner Dr Marwan Koukash, the owner of Salford City Reds. He said: “We’ll definitely think about Melbourne because he handles all types of ground.”

It was also a red letter day for Paul Midgley, who trains at Westow near York, after 18-1 outsider Line Of Reason defied a 5lb penalty to take the 60,000 euro first prize in the Paddy Power Scurry – one of the main support races on the Irish Derby card.

The four-year-old came with a rattling run on the stands rail in the hands of 3lb claimer Leigh Roche to provide Midgley with one of the most significant wins of his training career.

He said: “We’ve always had a lot of confidence in him and knew when he got fast ground and a fast pace he had a big one in him. He could go for a few of those big six-furlong handicaps now.”

Midgley’s Monsieur Joe was third in the Sapphire Stakes under Joseph O’Brien who then partnered Australia to an effortless win in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby as he trotted up to justify his restrictive odds of 1-8.

A second win in the race for the jockey, it was a record 11th triumph for his father Aidan as Australia became the 17th horse to win both the English and Irish Derbies. It is difficult to assess the strength of the race – there were just five runners and O’Brien saddled the first three – but the likelihood is that Australia will now drop back in trip to 10 furlongs which will enable him to optimise his blistering turn of pace.

The obvious targets are York’s £800,000 Juddmonte International, the day one highlight of August’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, or Leopardstown’s Irish Champion Stakes in September. “I would say he was made for that race (Irish Champion), and there’s also the Juddmonte,” said the trainer.