Richard Fahey: Oh Rene!
Richard Fahey wouldn't mind a drop of rain as he prepares to saddle his usual bumper team up and down the country on Saturday.
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I’ve got runners around the country on Saturday and I’m hopeful of a winner or two, as the horses are running well – although a drop or two of rain is definitely going to help our chances, so I’m keeping a close eye on the weather forecasts.
Ballesteros starts things off in the first race on the Shergar Cup card at Ascot, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash.
The prize-money isn’t quite as good as it once was, but it’s still pretty decent, and owners get looked after well at the meeting, so we like to have runners if we can.
That said Ballesteros really does want rain and if it doesn’t come, I might be forced to take him out as I don’t want to keep banging his head against a wall on ground that’s too quick for him.
If the rain comes, I think he’s fairly-handicapped now on bits of his best form.
We’ve got Hayley Turner in the draw for jockeys, which is good news. In fact, I think I’ve done pretty well on that front.
Dolphin Village is only third reserve for the Shergar Cup Challenge, which is a shame, as I’d like to have seen how he would have got on.
Olivier Peslier rides Our Gabrial in the Shergar Cup Classic. I was pleased with how he saw out the mile and a half last time and I think he’s got the right sort of man on board as he needs a ride.
Rufford has top-weight in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint. He’s had a bit of a break as we waited for a bit of juice in the ground but to be fair there haven’t been many obvious opportunities for a horse with his rating.
He’s come down a few pounds this season, I suspect he might need to come down a few more, but we’ve got Frankie [Dettori] on our side here and you never know. He seems well at home.
Docs Legacy has been off for a year after doing a suspensory but gets back on the road in the Betfred Goals Galore Handicap.
The handicapper never seems to drop ours when they’ve had long absences as they seem to do for other stables, so he’s 4lb higher here than when he was second on his most recent start.
The form of that race worked out well enough, but I’d be surprised if he was ready enough to win this. He’s done plenty of canters, but there’s no substitute for race-fitness.
I’m running Brae Hill and Extraterrestrial in the Betfred Duke Of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry Handicap.
ET may be 10 but he genuinely seems as good as ever this season. A drop of rain wouldn’t harm him, but this is tough.
Brae Hill is another who just needs some rain. He’s showing bits and pieces of form but it might just be that he wants to go back to Doncaster now.
Rene Mathis goes to Newmarket for the Buy German, Race German, Win German Handicap, with David Nolan on board again.
He’s a bull of a horse, who ran another great race at York last time. He’s really tough and, again, rain wouldn’t harm his chances, although he goes back up to seven furlongs here and I’m certain that’s in his favour too. I’d love to see him run well again.
Ideally, I’d like to get him into the Ayr Gold Cup, but he probably needs to win this if he’s going to make the cut.
I’m going to sound like a stuck record but Nashville wants a drop of rain too. He’s knocking on the door and can run well in the Pamela Happy 80th Birthday Handicap if the race goes his way.
Chiswick Bey had a really busy time last year, running on the all-weather right up to the end of 2013 and he’d earned a break.
It will be a tough ask for him first time back at Redcar in the Market Cross Jewellers Handicap against race-fit rivals, but I wouldn’t be that surprised to see him run well at a big price. He seems particularly well in himself now and I hope we can get him winning races again.
Personal Touch was going to run the other day but picked up a little knock, although he’s fine again now.
Rain is going to help him in the Win A VIP Day Out Handicap, although to be fair to Redcar, it never seems to get that quick there. He’s had a bit of a break since his last run but he’s in good form.
The rest of my runners head up to Scotland to Ayr, where I suspect the going is more likely to be on the soft side.
Ewell Place has become very frustrating, but I’d love to get a win out of him in the QTS Training Ltd Apprentice Handicapand we’ll have to see what Jack [Garritty] can manage. He’s basically a horse who doesn’t try very hard, but this does looks a fair opportunity.
Cosmic Statesman runs in the British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes. I’d like to think he’ll win a maiden and he’s come on for his debut but there could be a couple of live ones in here against him. He’s a good, solid sort of horse though.
Kyllachy Star is well-handicapped now, if he can find his form again. He seemed to have gone a little off the boil, so I’ve freshened him up. Now we’ll see what he can do back on the track in the Unison's Ayrshire & Arran Health Branch Handicap.
It was only a seller in which Lady Mai was third at the start of the week, but it was frustrating because she really should have won if she’d got a bit of a clearer run and getting wins out of these horses is what it’s all about.
She’s only moderate but at least she seems in good heart at present so I'm hoping she goes well in the Gas Sure & James Frew Handicap.
Polski Max is in the QTS Ladies Night Grand Spectacular Handicap.
After a couple of wins early last season, he’d gone up to a mark from which he simply couldn’t win and it’s been a long struggle for him since.
On the plus-side, he has now come right back down in the weights and I've stuck some cheekpieces on him. In fact, this is his lowest-ever handicap mark and he will never have run in a race as easy as this, so I’m trying to be hopeful. But the thing now is to try and get his confidence back.
Last, but hopefully not least, is Ingleby Symphony in the QTS Ladies' Night Handicap. She ran well last time when going back up to a mile and quarter seemed to help her. She’s an honest sort of filly who deserves to get her head in front again.
Richard Fahey, David O'Meara, Niall Hannity and Mark Howard are on the panel for a special York Ebor Meeting preview night, to be held at the racecourse on Tuesday August 19.