RICHARD Fahey is pleased to have got as many as four horses to make the cut for the William Hill Great St Wilfrid Stakes, Ripon’s feature race of the year.
Growl, Eastern Impact, Right Touch and George Bowen are Fahey’s players in the valuable six-furlong contest which the in-form Malton handler has won previously with Baccarat in 2013 and Don’t Touch in 2015. “I’m surprised I’ve got that many in,” he said.
Growl – the mount of 2016 Ebor-winning jockey Adam McNamara – heads the weights and also the ante-post market, having run with great credit in Newmarket’s July Cup and the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood on his last two starts.
“Growl ran well in the Stewards’ Cup and we’re happy with him,” said Fahey.
Eastern Impact was only beaten four lengths when 11th in Goodwood’s six-furlong dash and was a close seventh in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot.
However, Fahey believes the Bahamian Bounty gelding may be in the grip of the handicapper.
“He ran well at Newmarket in May but he’s struggling a bit at the moment,” he said. “Whether he needs a bit more help from the handicapper, I don’t know, but we’re happy with him at home.
“There were no excuses at Goodwood. He’s in good order though.”
Fahey would like to see the assessor give Right Touch more of a chance but is happy with the venue.
“I just feel he’s in the hands of the handicapper, but he likes the track. Ripon is a like or loathe track,” he said. “Any rain will suit George Bowen. He’s in great form.”
Pipers Note is a six-times course winner and has run well in this race twice in the past.
His trainer Ruth Carr is praying for dry weather to aid the seven-year-old, who appears to have taken his run in last weekend’s Shergar Cup at Ascot in his stride.
“He’s hardly had fast ground this year and he does love it like that,” said the York handler.
“He’s in good form and has come out of Ascot well. He goes out in the field and doesn’t do too much in between. Hopefully he’ll put in a big run.”
Frankie Dettori expects a big run from American challenger Lady Aurelia at York’s Ebor festival next week after working the filly on the Knavesmire.
He steered Wesley Ward’s filly to victories in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and the Prix Morny at Deauville last season.
Due to injury, Dettori was forced to watch from the sidelines when she made a winning return to Royal Ascot in June.
“It felt like we were going a million miles an hour, she hasn’t lost her speed,” said Dettori after the workout ahead of the Nunthorpe Stakes. “I let her stretch out to get familiar with the track and she felt great.”
Meanwhile Mark Johnston has supplemented Threading for the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes after her scintillating debut success at Goodwood earlier this month.
Karl Burke is excited at the prospect of his two-pronged attack with Havana Grey and Unfortunately in the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville tomorrow.
Both horses have earned their place in this six-furlong Group One, with Unfortunately landing the Prix Robert Papin on his latest start and Havana Grey winning the Molecomb at Glorious Goodwood.
Yorkshire jockey Jason Hart, a former champion apprentice, recorded his landmark 200th winner when John Quinn’s Northern Angel prevailed in a photo-finish at Nottingham.