Fahey bullish ahead of 'Rebel' run
Richard Fahey and Richard Hannon are the names that have cropped up most on the honours board for the valuable Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury, alternating one year to the next apart from a brief interruption from Jonathon Portman, and, a year after Hannon won it with Ginger Nut, it would appear that this year it is Fahey's turn.
The race is restricted to two-year-olds that cost less than £60,000 (€67,000) and they are weighted according to their purchase price. It is one of Lord Carnarvon's legacies to racing - he won the second running with the brilliantly fast filly Lyric Fantasy.
Ventura Rebel, one of the more expensive in the field, has nine stones to carry but that may not be enough to stop him giving Fahey his fourth win in the past seven years as the form of his excellent neck second to A'Ali in the Windsor Castle Stakes is outstanding.
The Royal Ascot juvenile form seems to be holding up well and that race was run on the soft going. Although Ventura Rebel won his first two starts on good to firm he should not be inconvenienced by today's good-to-soft ground.
Fahey, who also runs three others, has stated that he will be disappointed if the colt does not win, saying: "He is the classiest horse I have ever run in it. He has been in good form since Ascot. Mighty Spirit ran a good race last time. I think she was beaten by a very smart filly and if there are any chinks in Ventura Rebel's armour she will find them."
The danger could come from Karl Burke's unexposed Nottingham winner Never In Paris, who won well despite being green.
British fillies have a good record in today's Kerrygold Irish Oaks. There are three of them this year; John Gosden's Ribblesdale winner Star Catcher and the Ralph Beckett pair, Manuela de Vega and Antonia de Vega.
Beckett is having trouble splitting his fillies. Manuela de Vega was fourth in the Investec Oaks but Antonia de Vega is very interesting over a mile and a half. She had been showing nothing at home so, in desperation, Beckett ran her in a Listed race at Newbury and although she was off the bridle in the early part of the race she went on to win by four lengths. Beckett is hoping they both run well.
"If there's soft in the ground, I wouldn't be surprised if Antonia beat Manuela but, if there isn't, I'd expect Manuela to have the legs on her."
(©Daily Telegraph, London)