Richard Fahey: I gotta Feeling
Top trainer Richard Fahey has runners all around the country on Saturday. Check out his thoughts on every single one, including a quartet at Epsom on Investec Derby day.
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Ideally I’d be at Epsom on Saturday with a runner in the Investec Derby, but although we’re not represented I’m still really looking forward to the big race. Not quite as much as I am the races we have runners in though!
We had a cracking day with the owners last year after Arctic Feeling won the Voyage By Investec Stakes that closes the meeting and it would be brilliant for it all to happen again.
Nobody needs me to tell them that the most important thing you need over six furlongs at Epsom is some luck in running, but winning the race again has been the plan for a while and I’m hopeful for his chances, even though he’s 2lb out of the weights.
His draw’s clearly not ideal, but he ran really well in blinkers at Haydock last time and if things had panned out differently and he’d had something to tow him into the race rather than seeing all of the daylight I think he might have won. I’ve put some headgear on him again and hopefully he can go close in his bid for a repeat.
I’ve got two in the Woodcote Stakes, Ballymore Castle and Burtonwood, and there wouldn’t be a lot between them.
At the start of the season I thought Burtonwood was among my very best two-year-olds and I still have high hopes for him as I don’t think we saw the best of him at Newmarket last time out. It was a falsely-run race, he didn’t get a run when he wanted one and then by the time he’d got one, they’d gone. He’ll stay six furlongs well.
Ballymore Castle is improving fast and if he finds more, he is going to go close too. I was impressed at Chester last time because it’s not easy for a two-year-old on just his second start around that track. Hopefully that was a sign he will handle Epsom too.
They’re both drawn towards the outside but I don’t mind that so much. In fact, I’d prefer them to be drawn out there than in one, two or three. I know you’d like me to choose between them, but I can’t.
Ballesteros runs in the Investec ‘Dash’ and I certainly wouldn’t give up on him yet.
He boiled over at the start at York last time, so I’ve put a hood on to try and keep a lid on him.
If he can hang on to them until halfway, he’d have a chance, but it’s a race in which luck plays a part almost more than any other, especially if it’s soft ground and everyone is trying to get on to the stands’ rail – put it this way, I wouldn’t want to ride in the race!
Liberty Sky runs in the opening Ladbrokes British Stallions EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes at Doncaster and she’s a quality filly.
We wouldn’t really press the buttons too hard at home on a nice filly like this, so we don’t really know what she’s capable of, and it’s definitely possible that something could have the edge on her in terms of experience, but I like her a lot and I’m hopeful of a big run first time out.
Sir Reginald is our other runner at Doncaster in the Download The Ladbrokes App Handicap and he deserves a change of luck as he has been a bit frustrating this season.
Paul [Hanagan] felt that he would definitely have been in the frame if he’d had a better run last time and if he gets the breaks he’ll go close. He’s in good order.
The prize money at Musselburgh is fantastic and they deserve credit for putting on such a good card.
Vimy Ridge and Diamond Creek both run in the Totepool Edinburgh Castle Stakes. To some extent, they’re there because there aren’t that many places to go when you’ve won your maiden, but they’re both nice types and hopefully they’ll run well.
The Grumpy Gnome makes a bit of a belated reappearance in the Bet ToteQuadpot Handicap. He was a horse who disappointed me last season, but I felt he was never really concentrating so we gelded him over the winter.
It’s just possible that if the operation has straightened him out, he might be well handicapped but this is quite a tough ask first time out and he’ll come on for it.
In the Totescoop6 Edinburgh Cup, both Innocent Touch and Hesketh Bank run – it was a pleasant surprise to get them both into the line-up for such a valuable race.
Are they good enough to win? Probably not. But they’re both fit and well and we’ll give it a shot.
Into the evening and it’s on to Newcastle where I send three.
Winstanley runs in the Alan Shearer’s Speedflex Maiden Stakes and if they back one against him they must think a fair bit of it, because I’d say ours sets a decent standard. He’s honest, I thought he ran well at York, and I’d like to see him break his duck.
Ewell Place is seeming a bit hard to win with and if there’s a key to him then I haven’t found it yet.
Finally, it’s Foxy Clarets in the Speedflex (Dallas) Handicap. I thought he’d win last time, but he just bumped into one. Headgear has definitely helped him though and hopefully he can get his head in front.