Richard Fahey's review of the year and horses to follow in 2020

Richard (left) celebrates Space Traveller's Royal Ascot win
Richard (left) celebrates Space Traveller's Royal Ascot win

Our star columnist Richard Fahey looks back on another successful year at Musley Bank and nominates three horses to follow in 2020.

I'm happy enough with how 2019 went, we were a little bit down in terms of the number of winners from the previous year which is never a great thing, but generally I'm happy. We're in the greed industry aren't we, and we always want more though.

Space Traveller winning the Jersey Stakes in June would have to be one of the highlights for me and the team.

Any winner at Royal Ascot is fantastic, it's an almost impossible thing, and going down there I thought we had some good two-years-olds with decent chances, but three-year-old Space Traveller was our winner in the Jersey Stakes. Danny (Tudhope) rode him cold and they went quite quick, which played into his hands.

Realistically speaking it was one of those races where I was delighted but wondered whether it was a bit of a fluke, but he went and backed it up which was great. The step up in trip (to a mile) has definitely helped him.

In America last time the track was just really tight. I rode out there around 29 years ago so knew that but it wasn't until I went back out there that I really remembered what it was like and he just never got racing. He was tight down on the inside there and didn't have much room to move.

But he came back in like he'd never had a race and didn't run desperately. He's one I'd be looking forward to (in 2020).

Forest Ranger was another Group-race winner for us. When you win a Group Two (Huxley Stakes, Chester) that early in the season and you're not a Group One horse it makes it almost impossible to win again because he's lugging the penalty from that point.

But to win the Huxley two years in a row was fantastic. You could say he was a bit disappointing afterwards but it wasn't easy for him after that.

Click on the icon above to watch the video interview for more of Richard's thoughts on the following horses...

  • Show Me Show Me
  • Valdermoro
  • Summer Sands
  • Eva Maria
  • Gabrial The Tiger
  • Fairy Stories
  • Coolagh Forest
  • Gabrial

Click on the icon below to get Richard's views on the apprentice jockeys situation...


Richard Fahey's horses to follow

Custodian (Add to My Stable Tracker)

Sire: Muhaarar
Owner: Cheveley Park Stud
Form: 41

He's a big horse and we were impressed with him at Pontefract on his second start. He just needed his first run and on that second run he improved drastically. We were planning on running him again but ahead of the race I picked out he had a dirty nose. He could be an exciting horses as physically he's done very well. I trained his mother and she was very quick. On pedigree he's bred to be extremely quick but mentally he's not so it'll be interesting to see his first few gallops next year. I went to see his sire the other day at a stallion open day and he's a great big horse. He looks more of a miler than a sprinter so we'll see. On his two-year-old work he's not a sprinter but they can get quicker as they get physically and mentally more mature.

Ventura Rebel (Add to My Stable Tracker)

Sire: Pastoral Pursuits
Owner: Abdullah Menahi
Form: 1124

He's definitely a horse to keep on side. He was a short price favourite for the Super Sprint but came back with a little problem. He's back in training now and in great form, he's done very well. He probably wants a step up to six (furlongs) and he's a great-minded horse and as long as the injury doesn't set him back he could go places.

Istanbul (Add to My Stable Tracker)

Sire: Gutaifan
Owner: D O’Callaghan
Form: 315

He ran in France in a Group Two and you could tell he was going to run a big race but he lost his action a little bit and ended up finishing fifth. He wasn't beaten too far. He's a very quick horse and a very talented horse. He's by Gutaifan and he could be pretty smart.

A'Ali beats Ventura Rebel to win the Norfolk Stakes
A'Ali narrowly beats Ventura Rebel in the Norfolk Stakes


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