RICHARD Fahey appears to have a strong chance of winning back-to-back William Hill Ayr Gold Cups with long-time ante-post favourite Growl.
Bought out of Brian Meehan’s yard at the end of last season, it took Malton-based Fahey a while to unlock his undoubted potential.
However, wins at Nottingham and Windsor in June gave him his confidence back and he has since finished fourth in both the Bunbury and Stewards’ Cups, looking slightly unfortunate in the latter.
After Don’t Touch obliged for favourite-backers 12 months ago, Fahey’s hopes rest with the Dr Marwan Koukash-owned four-year-old. “We all want to win it and we were lucky enough to do it last year, but that counts for nothing this year,” said the trainer. “You need to be a Group horse to nearly get in, never mind win it – it’s got very competitive.”
Nameitwhatyoulike has already won the William Hill Great St Wilfrid at Ripon, before following up in Listed company at York for Hambleton trainer Bryan Smart.
He has picked up a 5lb penalty, but has the assistance of Ebor-winning rider Adam McNamara whose claim negates that burden.
Owner Simon Chappell said: “He could do with a shower or two, but it won’t be quick ground. We’re in bonus time with him. The Wilfrid was the plan as I’m from Ripon and the Listed race was a brilliant.”
Heavy rain has forced Hambleton trainer Kevin Ryan to withdraw former Fremnch Derby winner The Grey Gatsby from today’s Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup at Newbury.
ITV has confirmed it will show 40 days of racing on its main channel next year, including York’s Ebor Festival, Doncaster’s St Leger and Wetherby’s Rowland Meyrick Chase on Boxing Day,