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Fahey joy as Mickdaam books Derby ticket

Richard Fahey is relishing the prospect of saddling his first ever Investec Derby runner after Mickdaam booked his ticket to Epsom in a thrilling renewal of the MBNA Chester Vase.

The Musley Bank handler is one of the most upwardly mobile trainers in the game, but has yet to have a horse worthy of a place in the most prestigious British Classic of them all.

That will all change next month, however, after 8/1 shot Mickdaam held on by the narrowest margin to land this recognised Derby trial.

The son of Dubawi enjoyed a winter stint in Dubai with master South African trainer Mike de Kock and looked an improved horse when second in the £250,000 Tattersalls Millions 3-Y-O Trophy at Newmarket on his return for Fahey.

Stepped up to a mile and a half for the first time, Mickdaam was caught wide round the Chester bends, but was always travelling strongly for Tony Hamilton.

The jockey decided to press on from the top of the home straight and although Model Pupil was finishing with a real rattle, Mickdaam held on by a nose.

Last year's Chester Vase winner Treasure Beach went on to be beaten just a head into second at Epsom and Mickdaam is 33/1 from 50/1 to claim Derby glory with Paddy Power.

"The horse was with Mike de Kock for the Dubai Carnival, but it was always the intention that he would come back to me," Fahey said. "He handled the conditions very well. He'd only been back (from Dubai) 12 days when he ran at Newmarket last month, so he was entitled to come on for that. It will be fantastic to run him in the Derby."

Dr Marwan Koukash's new acquisition Marcret took the main supporting race, the Betfair Huxley Stakes. The Marco Botti-trained 13/2 chance was making his British debut, but had been purchased by Koukash only last week.

Ryan Moore kicked his mount to the front a furlong out and he held off another Koukash-owned horse, Myplacelater, by half a length.

Irish Independent