Fanning leads British team at Ascot

Joe Fanning has a good book of rides as he leads the Great Britain and Ireland team in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot this afternoon.

Fanning was called up when Jamie Spencer copped a suspension and will captain the side against a European team, the Rest Of The World, and the Girls, who are the reigning champions.

He begins on the William Muir-trained Willytheconqueror in the Dash before moving on to partner Notarised for his boss Mark Johnston in the Stayers.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Fanning then gets the leg-up on Darshini, who represents Sir Michael Stoute in the Challenge race, Richard Hannon’s Emell in the Mile, and Field Of Vision in the Sprint.

The latter failed to beat a rival home at Windsor when last seen at Windsor in May, but has been freshened up by Joe Tuite.

The Lambourn handler said: “He wasn’t right in the Spring. He came back wrong after Windsor.

“We’ve since had him gelded and given him a bit of time. He’s in very good form and I’m very happy with the horse.

“We’re going six furlongs with him. He did run over that trip at Kempton on the all-weather in the winter when he was second, but this is different.

“Whether he gets the six would be my slight worry. It will be a learning curve.

“There’s plenty of prize-money and it’s a good day out, so we’re going to have a go.”

Fanning doesn’t have a ride in the Shergar Cup Classic, in which Middleham handler Jedd O’Keeffe is hopeful of a bold performance from Lord Yeats.

The son of Yeats has been much improved since switching to O’Keeffe’s yard from George Moore before the start of this campaign, striking at Ripon in June before just failing to back that up at Hamilton.

He has risen another 4lb to a mark of 87, but O’Keeffe is confident he is up to it.

The three-year-old will be ridden by Kenichi Ikezoe for the Rest of the World team, and O’Keeffe said: “The horse is in very good form and his form is progressive.

“He’s been doing well this year and we’re really pleased with him and we think he’ll continue to improve.

“He’s got a nice draw (three) and I think the track and trip will suit him well. Ideally the ground won’t dry up too much for him.”

Away from the Shergar Cup, there is quality action at Newmarket, where Karl Burke pitches San Sebastiana into Group Three company in the Sweet Solera Stakes.

While the 50-1 debut win of the daughter of Power at Doncaster caused a shock to some, Burke was not the least bit surprised.

He said: “She won her maiden very well and I am pleased with the way she has come out of it.

“She should have never been that price at Doncaster. We ran two in the race and for some reason the other one was backed and she drifted.

“It’s obviously a huge step up in class but she should come on an awful lot for that run. She is a nice progressive filly and we won’t see the best of her until next year. We thought we would take our chance, though, as it’s a fillies’ only Group race.”

Looking ahead to the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival, The Grey Gatsby is on course to make his third appearance in the Juddmonte International on Wednesday week.

Trainer Kevin Ryan said: “The Grey Gatsby is on target for the Juddmonte. He’s in good order and we are hoping the weather stays fair and we get some good fast ground.

“He has run well in the last two years and has never run a bad race at York – we are hopeful that he can be competitive again.”