Richard Fahey: Eyes to the skies
Richard Fahey is hoping rain reaches Haydock - and plenty of it. Our man brings us a full guide to all of his runners.
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With the rain due to arrive, I just had to put Garswood in the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock.
Frankly, I'm just hoping they get what they are saying they might get and a little bit more besides. It's not so much that he needs soft ground, although he does appreciate some give, but the drop back to six furlongs that would be the worry if the rain doesn't come.
To be honest, it once again illustrates the folly of 48-hour declarations. Look at the Ebor meeting and the horses that were taken out at the final stage who would have run if those thunderstorms had come earlier on Thursday.
It's a case of once bitten twice shy for me and I couldn't stand the idea of leaving him out and watching a lot of rain arrive on Friday, so he's running as things stand although as I say we'll need to see what the weather does.
He's been in absolutely tip-top shape since Goodwood and Ryan Moore is going to ride him, so that's another boost for his chances.
If you've been reading these columns all year, you'll know what I think about Garswood and there's not a doubt in my mind that he's good enough to win if everything falls right for him.
Earlier on the Haydock card, Gabrial is in the Betfred.com Superior Mile having run another decent race at York last time.
He was just a bit keen there and I'm hoping they go a better gallop here to try and help him to settle. In fact, we might go from the front with him this time, but I'll need to have a closer look at the race.
Kiama Bay lines up in the very competitive-looking Old Borough Cup and he's a horse who is obviously in good heart at present.
This is tough but I'm not too worried about moving back up to a mile and six as he ran well enough on his first start for us over the trip. He's another who would appreciate some rain too.
Marwan [Koukash, owner] is keen to crack on and run here and I can't give him a reason not to!
I'm hoping to see plenty of rain at Thirsk too, as a few of hours would appreciate some give in the ground.
Emerahldz runs in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes and she needs to show us something. I thought she was okay, but she barely raised a leg last time and it's time for her to step up now.
Shot In The Sun moves up to a mile for the first time in the Marc Findlay Nursery and she looks like she's crying out for it.
I thought she perhaps had an excuse or two for not getting closer last time and if she comes back to her Goodwood form, she should run a big race. She doesn't show a lot at home, but if she's keeping it for the track that's no bad thing.
Gabrials Kaka and Asgardella both run in the following one-mile handicap and again I'm praying for rain.
Asgardella jarred herself up on quicker ground earlier in the season, so we've been giving her time and waiting for the right race since. She's definitely capable of winning races.
Gabrials Kaka went through a patch a few weeks ago where he really looked to have lost his way, both at home and on the track, but he's clicked again the in the last couple of weeks and you can see that on the gallops too. The more rain he gets the better.
I hoped Simply Shining would win at least a couple this season, so you'd have to say she's been disappointing.
She keeps being the bridesmaid - you can't say she is doing much wrong, but she just seems to lack that gear where it matters. It might just be a bit of rain will help her too in the Adorn Hats Fillies' Handicap.
It was strange the way that Eric The Grey stood still when the stalls opened last time, but he has a chance to make amends in the Hambleton Cup although it looks tough.
This is a horse who really doesn't show a lot at home and to be honest he has already exceeded my expectations. But I keep telling the owner this and he keeps coming out and running well and making me look silly. He's been through the stalls fine at home since last time and a decent break would give him a better chance this time.
We've been waiting for soft ground for Strange Magic, who runs in the closing sprint and in the process she's got herself better handicapped now. To be fair, she was always going to struggle from the mark that she started off this season and even now I'm not convinced, but if the rain comes that will definitely help.
Romantic Settings is a filly we like a lot and she hasn't been over-raced this season, with one eye on keeping her in training next year.
She's a black-type filly, having finished second in the Musidora, but there haven't been that many races for her since so we have had this Ladbrokes Mobile Handicap at Ascot at the back of her minds for a while.
It's a tough contest, but there's £150,000 up for grabs so you can't be too surprised that other stables fancy a go.
I think she's probably capable of winning off her mark, but whether she's going to be quite good enough here I don't know. I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but some rain would help her.
The other one we send to Ascot is Gym Shoes. I must admit I wasn't expecting her to get in the five-furlong nursery and it was a bit of a speculative entry but for some reason the race has cut up.
She disappointed me last time and looked like she didn't even stay five furlongs, so the jury is out for now. I'd like to see her show some form.
I'm not much of a traveller myself but I'm thinking of going out to watch Ladys First, who goes to Canada for a Group Two on Sunday week that we won with Barefoot Lady for the same owners last year.
It was fantastic to see her come back to winning form at Sandown last weekend and the conditions of the Woodbine race suit us so I'm just hoping that all of the travel goes smoothly.
Glen's Diamond will go for the Stockholm Cup on the same weekend. You've got to look abroad for the prize money these days.
Finally, a quick word on Parbold, who was third in the Gimcrack, but I'm still not sure we saw the best of him.
He's still learning all the time, he's a big lad and maybe we have just been trying to do too much too soon with him. He's in the Champagne next week but I'm inclined to give him some time off now and come back next month for the £500,000 sales race at Newmarket.