Tuesday 6.30pm I hope you all took the hint that Brian was indeed no Snail! Never a moment’s doubt. Currently top priced at 16/1 with BetFred for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
For a Wednesday in early April there are some really interesting horses running. So let’s try to rustle up a Wednesday Lucky 15.
Pontefract 5.40 Theos Lolly 5th 3/1
Frustrating. For a boys race they went no pace at all. Connor Murtagh got Theos Lolly in the right place turning for home but in a messy race the horse had been too keen too early and found absolutely nothing running for home. Back to the drawing board.
Pontefract 3.10 Brian the Snail 1st 6/5F
Richard Fahey was delighted with 3.10 winner Brian The Snail and said: “I’ve made no secret, we do like him and there is a race at Ascot on May 3 for three-year-olds for him. We have the Commonwealth Cup in mind.”
Out well, got box seat, pulled out in the straight and hacked up. Buick rode him with supreme confidence. You don’t sell a 3yo sprinter to Godolphin to win a C3 handicap at Pontefract in April! Sorry to be repetitive but the 3yo sprinting division is the toughest but this chap, who has Serena William’s backside, has to be backed until he is beaten!
Wednesdays Lucky 15
Catterick 3.00 DUTCH ARTIST 8/1 BetFred 7/1 PP
Nottingham 4.50 SNOOKERED 12/1 Lads 11/1 general
Kempton 6.45 MONARCHS GLEN 3/1 general
Dundalk 8.00 PUPPETSHOW 15/8 PP
and this is the reasoning
Catterick 3.00 DUTCH ARTIST 7F handicap at Catterick and I’m looking something drawn low that can get out, hold the rail round the sharp downhill bend and kick on in the straight. Dutch Art won his maiden here last May over this trip and I’m sure Daniel Tudhope can get him out of stall 5 into a prominent position for that important bend. Trainer David O’Meara specialises in others cast offs and this is a peach. John Magnier and Fitri Hay paid €240K for Dutch Artist as a yearling, O’Meara picked him up for £8K! Plenty to like about the selection including the odds.
Nottingham 4.50 SNOOKERED This is a fairly competitive C5 3yo 10F handicap and the opposition has in form progressive types but Snookered is the right end of the handicap, gelded, up in trip, has Hanagan on board and the yard has hit the ground running! My #FantasticMrFahey notebook says “Three runs in sprint maidens hardly sighted but has done better in 7/8F handicaps finishing second both times. Sadly has gone up 8lbs without winning. Clearly has ability and headstrong but settled better last time. Made all to win a C6 handicap at Leicester under Tony Hamilton. Now gelded could be progressive at 10F.”
Kempton 6.45 MONARCHS GLEN Time to get on the Frankel bandwagon and I am amazed this one makes his debut in a C3 handicap not to mention on the sand on a Wednesday night! In Gosden we trust! He ran twice at Goodwood as a 2yo in C4 maidens over 9F, second on debut he then beat stablemate Pealer on his return visit. Neither run has had the form franked, indeed Pealer was turned over at 1/4 . However he looked the part to me, Frankie Dettori is aboard and he gets a couple of pounds off the Godolphin good thing!
Dundalk 8.00 PUPPETSHOW No mention in the O’Brien Racing Post Stable Tour but this filly is very much on my radar. This daughter of Galileo out of a Listed 6F winner ran twice as a 2yo. Fourth on debut over 6F in October when green at the start, made progress to challenge a furlong out but didn’t know what to do. Then just a fortnight later in a hot 7F maiden she was an excellent third to Tempura and Asking. She makes her 3yo debut over 11F on the sand and I expect her to take giant steps forward in the very capable hands of Seamie Heffernan.
Keep an eye out for
Nottingham 3.20 A cracking 14f Listed renewal of the Further Flight stakes. Wall of Fire is the one to watch for me as Hugo Palmer his trainer thinks he could make up to Cup horse. Ed Dunlop runs Trip to Paris to see if he still has the enthusiasm for racing. Elidor has some excellent handicap form and Ralph Beckett’s unbeaten Moonrise Landing hasn’t been seen for almost a year. I don’t think this race is a major target for any of them but instead a stepping stone for the summer. Watch but no bet.
Nottingham 3.50 MISS VAN GOGH This is a cracking C3 8F handicap with loads of likely types such as Weekend Offender, Midhmaar and GK Chesterton but Miss Van Gogh is a Course and Distance winner, now below her last winning mark, bottom weight and Hanagan on board. My #FantasticMrFahey notebook says “Just about down to a winning mark, OR85. Stiff mile with some ease in the ground and preferably Hanagan on board.” There’s the rub. The going tomorrow is Good to Firm, Good in Places. Selective watering to maintain. 5mm applied to bends and back straight Monday pm. A further 5mm will be applied to home bend on Tuesday. She could well be a non-runner.
Dundalk 7.30 A 7F Listed 3yo contest with AP O’Brien saddling Intelligence Cross and War Secretary whilst Jim Bolger has the much vaunted Holistic Approach, “He’s ready to go now. He was disappointing in the Killavullan, but it was a race we were happy to draw a line through at the time. It just didn’t work out for him. I don’t think he’ll stay much further than a mile and I don’t think any ground will be a problem for him. I definitely see him as a stakes horse.” Mick Halfords Ambassadorial is unbeaten in two.