RICHARD Fahey hopes Parbold can break his duck in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes at York – the Ebor’s main support race today.
This is the first time that this top six-furlong test for two-year-old colts has been staged on a Saturday after the Lonsdale Cup for stayers was switched to yesterday.
First run in 1846, its previous winners include subsequent 2000 Guineas hero Rock of Gibraltar and its record prize fund of £113,000 has enabled horses at York this week to race for £3.2m as the meeting continues to go from strength to strength.
Parbold’s form appears to be solid. He won his racecourse debut at York in May before finishing runner-up to Aidan O’Brien’s War Command in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The son of Dandy Man put in his best work at the finish when third to Toormore in the Vintage Stakes over seven furlongs at Glorious Goodwood.
“We were a little frustrated with his run the other day at Goodwood, although he did run well and we’re happy with him,” said Malton-based Fahey.
“He’s in great order so we’re hopeful of a big run. Dropping back to six furlongs doesn’t bother me at all. I’d love to win the Gimcrack. We just need a bit if luck.”
There is strong local interest to this select seven-runner field and My Catch tries his luck much nearer home after two lucrative trips to France where he was successful at Maisons-Laffitte and Deauville.
His latest victory came in the Group Three Prix de Cabourg and he did not fare too badly on his last start on these shores when only beaten by a length in fifth place in Royal Ascot’s Windsor Castle stakes behind Extortionist.
“He ran in France and won twice over six furlongs. It’s that trip over here so I see no reason why he shouldn’t be just as effective,” said trainer David Brown, who is based at Maltby, near Rotherham.
“He’s come out of his last race well. He’s in good order and I’m looking forward to running him in the Gimcrack.”
Kevin Ryan relies on Astaire as he bids to land his third win in this historic two-year-old race after the successes of Amadeus Wolf in 2005 and Blaine 12 months ago.
Astaire’s sole defeat in three starts came in the July Stakes at Newmarket, but he made a winning debut on the Knavesmire.
William Haggas, a Yorkshire exile now training in Newmarket, admits that the 3lb Saayerr has to give to all his rivals after his win in the Group Two Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood will make things tough. “He’s very well, but he’s got that penalty to carry, which makes life difficult,” said the trainer.
Cable Bay, who was only beaten a neck by Saayerr at Goodwood, reopposes while the unknown is the aforementioned O’Brien’s Wilshire Boulevard.
The Ballydoyle maestro sprung a surprise when his Declaration Of War won Wednesday’s £750,000 Juddmonte International and this two-year-old did win at The Curragh on his last outing.
O’Brien says the horse “seems in good form” – words that do not inspire huge confidence – but it would not be a surprise if he was downplaying expectations and Wilshire Boulevard has a bit in hand on the White Rose cavalry.