Richard Fahey column including Arc weekend and the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket

Last Updated September 30 2017, 14:13Racing
Sands Of Mali
Sands Of Mali

Richard Fahey guides us through his weekend team as he goes for Group One victory with Sands Of Mali at Newmarket.

Richard Fahey's best chances

2.55 Newmarket

9
9
39-0OR: 116D
9/2

3.15 Haydock

13
9
79-0OR: 99BF
10/1
T: R A FaheyJ: Sammy Jo Bell (3)
Watch last raceLast run

4.15 Chester

3
5
Zap16
39-1OR: 93D
9/4
T: R A FaheyJ: J Garritty
Watch last raceLast run

It's another wonderfully busy weekend with runners up and down the country and we're hopeful of celebrating more top-class success with Sands Of Mali in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes.

We like the guy a lot - he's getting better with experience and we're very happy with him. Look, it's another step up and we'll have to see where we are with him at this level but he's an exciting horse and we're looking forward to seeing him run.

This is the ideal next step for him after winning the Gimcrack and I'd be hopeful he's not 'just a two-year-old' as he's a big, fine horse with plenty of scope and quality about him.

Darkanna obviously faces a tall order in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes. She has very sporting owners and I don't blame them for having a go, but if she can be placed then I'd be over the moon.

Exhort is quite a laidback filly but she's progressing at home and goes into the British EBF "Jersey Lily" Fillies' Nursery Handicap on a hat-trick.

I'd be a little bit worried the drop back to seven is against her as she clearly stays well but it's a valuable race and we'll give her a chance. Ryan Moore rides her for Cheveley Park, who also own Clubbable.

She's done nothing wrong - the filly that beat her at Donny went on to win a Group Three so the form is solid. She's honest and very genuine.

The team going to Newmarket is completed by Scofflaw, who won well at Epsom. He's up 5lb and needs a career best but he's in good form.

There's also Group One honours up for grabs at Chantilly on Sunday and it's great to have three representing the yard on Arc day.

The best chance of the trio looks to be Queen Kindly in the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp Longines.

She's been over-racing a bit, especially when too keen for her own good when down the field behind Harry Angel in the Haydock Sprint Cup last time, and dropping back to five furlongs here hopefully won't do her any harm.

She's a big price but she's a high-class filly when she's on song and hopefully this kind of test might bring out the best in her.

Queen Kindly (right) drops back to five furlongs in France

We've decided to head for the Qatar Prix De La Foret, rather than Haydock, with Toscanini and he's got a small chance. It'd be nice to give him a day in the sun after he came back to form over this trip at York last time.

Melesina completes our French challengers at the weekend in the Prix de l'Opera Longines and she's no more than an outside chance - I'm realistic about expectations surrounding her, for all she's proven in soft ground and looks worth another chance at the trip.

Back to Saturday and up at Haydock we've ended with four in the rearranged 32Red Gold Cup, the 17-runner sprint handicap salvaged from Ayr's abandoned Western Meeting last week.

The ground will suit Growl and if he bounces back to his best he should go well in spite of top weight. Mr Lupton is definitely better suited to big handicaps like this than he is Group races. I thought he ran alright in the Sprint Cup and a repeat would translate quite well here. I hope he goes well for the owner.

Withernsea is back in trip but if he can hang onto them early then he'll definitely be coming back at the finish. He must have a chance this horse.

Rene Mathis is in good form but does look better at seven furlongs. Given the conditions at Haydock, they'll all need to get home, though, and stamina could come into play.

Withernsea - makes quick return to action at Goodwood
Withernsea is expected to be staying on well at Haydock

We're running Constantino and Spring Offensive in the 32Red.com Handicap. The former has run well on turf but most of his best efforts are on the all-weather and he ran well at Chelmsford last time. He doesn't look brilliantly handicapped in truth.

Spring Offensive is entered there on Friday (5.05) and his Saturday entry was just a precaution.

We go double-handed in the nationwidevehiclecontracts.co.uk Handicap, too, and Powerallied looks to follow up his Chester win. He seems to be better around there but we're happy with him and it was a good handicap he won the other day so a 5lb rise isn't too bad.

You could say the same for Boundsy as well although he's also run quite well on straight tracks. He's got a chance in a competitive race.

George Bowen tops the weights in the Alan Mirfin 75th Birthday Handicap and it's probably the worst race he's contested for a while. He's basically been a bit of a disappointment, as most of you will know by now, but he has won a race this year and isn't badly treated off 90.

Narcos has to give weight away in the 32Red Casino EBF Novice Stakes. He won his maiden well at Doncaster and he's a big scopey horse. I'd probably have him ahead of A Bit Of A Touch, who is a bit big and backward. He might be one more for nurseries.

Suegioo looked a bit reluctant the other day so we'll see how he goes in the 32Red Handicap, though his best run this year did come on this track. Gabrial's King is a bit out of sorts too ahead of the 32Red Casino Handicap. He's not badly handicapped, but he's not getting any younger either.

Onto Chester and another Gabrial - The Saint - has been drawn one for the Instarmac Novice Auction Stakes. I was pleased with his first run when second here a fortnight ago and he'll improve a bit for that. He's up from six to seven furlongs and should be right on the scene if he stays.

We've got three in the #thembnateam Handicap including Dark Devil. I wish it was another seven and a half furlong race as I'm a bit worried the bare seven might catch him out. But he's always run well at Chester.

Luis Vaz De Torres likes the track too as he was second last time - it was a pleasant surprise that run so I hope he can back up. We've another one in there too with Connor Murtagh claiming 7lb from Gabrial The Tiger. He's another course winner and he's extremely well handicapped, it's just a shame his best form is on quicker ground.

Nothing went right for Gabrial's Kaka last time but I'm sure he stayed the trip and he's well treated these days. I really hope he runs a big race as he's still enjoying his racing.

The sportingbet.com Nursery Handicap is the first race of its type for It Dont Come Easy, who I still believe to be quite a nice horse. He's been a bit below what we've expected in better races and it'll be interesting to see how he gets on here.

I expect the trip and the track to really suit Zap, who has run well in valuable races at York and Doncaster the last twice. He might just have needed the York race after being gelded and I was encouraged by his fifth to Laugh A Minute last time. He's still open to a bit of improvement and shouldn't mind the ground, being by our July Cup winner Mayson.

Zap
Zap could be a danger to all in the valuable nursery at Chester

We've got Monaco Rose and Liquid Gold in the Minstrell Recruitment Fillies' Handicap and the draw hasn't been ideal. Liquid Gold might need a bit of luck from stall 10.

Angel Gabrial and Gabrial's Star have been drawn 12 and 1 respectively in the Icompile Handicap and I wish I could swap them around. Gabrial has been running well and Star tends to drop himself out so it's unlikely he'll be able to take advantage of the inside stall.

Last but not least, we have eight in total up at Ripon. Showmethedough has run two good races and is a good, solid horse in the Theakston Legendary Ales EBF Novice Stakes.

Three runners in the Michael Raby Memorial Nursery Handicap and Indomeneo was a bit disappointing the last day. We'll give him another go, while Panophobia definitely has a chance if he gets a mile. Normandy Blue will be better in time and looks a bit weak yet.

Ballesteros would have a squeak on a going day in the Noel Hetherton Memorial Handicap, while Brian The Snail and Right Touch run in the Ripon Cathedral City Of The Dales Handicap. I'd love to see Brian The Snail bounce back, while Right Touch could be worth a look as the handicapper has given him a bit of a chance. He's down to a mark of 90 and he likes the track at Ripon.

Royal Connoisseur enjoys it there too and he looks to be running himself back into a bit of form ahead of the Lloyd Land Rover Ripon Apprentice Handicap.

Related horse racing links

Most Read Racing

Check out Ben Linfoot's latest big-priced selections1

Value Bet: On the Farm

Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selections from around the country on Saturday and he has bets in the top handicaps at Goodwood, Haydock and York.

Oli Bell's Saturday Yankee2

Oli Bell's Saturday Yankee

ITV Racing presenter Oli Bell provides his Saturday yankee, made up of runners from four of the UK's top Flat yards.

Sands Of Mali3

Richard Fahey: Mali magic

Richard Fahey can't wait to unleash Sands Of Mali in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock - check out his thoughts on a bumper Saturday team.

First Sitting4

Simon Holt: First past the post

Simon Holt fancies First Sitting for a repeat victory at Goodwood - check out his four selections for Saturday's racing.

5

Catching Pigeons: Super Stoute

Get all the gallops gossip and weekend selections from the major training centres ahead of what could be a big weekend for Sir Michael Stoute.

Most Read Racing

Check out Ben Linfoot's latest big-priced selections1

Value Bet: On the Farm

Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selections from around the country on Saturday and he has bets in the top handicaps at Goodwood, Haydock and York.

Oli Bell's Saturday Yankee2

Oli Bell's Saturday Yankee

ITV Racing presenter Oli Bell provides his Saturday yankee, made up of runners from four of the UK's top Flat yards.

Sands Of Mali3

Richard Fahey: Mali magic

Richard Fahey can't wait to unleash Sands Of Mali in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock - check out his thoughts on a bumper Saturday team.

First Sitting4

Simon Holt: First past the post

Simon Holt fancies First Sitting for a repeat victory at Goodwood - check out his four selections for Saturday's racing.

5

Catching Pigeons: Super Stoute

Get all the gallops gossip and weekend selections from the major training centres ahead of what could be a big weekend for Sir Michael Stoute.

Next Race Off
03:34 Evangeline Downs
10
(10)
Green Lakes
J: Colby Hernandez
4
(4)
Kohensrising
J: Timothy Thornton
12
(12)
Baby B Gone
J: Alfredo Contreras
5
(5)
Agirlnamedsyd
J: Wallynette Rodriguez
8
(8)
Steamy Cry
J: Ashley Broussard
2
(2)
You Could Be Mine
J: Luis Negron
9
(9)
Chispa
J: Diego Saenz
1
(1)
Cindy Marie
J: Alexis Batista
7
(7)
Its All For Gene
J: Odilon Martinez
6
(6)
Clever Miss
J: Cristina Bonilla
3
(3)
Azuralee
J: Carlos Marquez

Racing Tips

Check out Ben Linfoot's latest big-priced selections

Value Bet: On the Farm

Ben Linfoot seeks out the best Value Bet selections from around the country on Saturday and he has bets in the top handicaps at Goodwood, Haydock and York.

Oli Bell's Saturday Yankee

Oli Bell's Saturday Yankee

ITV Racing presenter Oli Bell provides his Saturday yankee, made up of runners from four of the UK's top Flat yards.

First Sitting

Simon Holt: First past the post

Simon Holt fancies First Sitting for a repeat victory at Goodwood - check out his four selections for Saturday's racing.