Tuesday 20 March 2018

Fahey targets Topham tilt for He'llberemembered

Philip Hobbs at Sandown racecourse
Philip Hobbs at Sandown racecourse

JA McGrath

Aintree's Topham Chase could be on the agenda for He'llberemembered following his victory at Leopardstown on Saturday.

Trainer Paul Fahey first plans to give the 11-year-old a try over a Grand National-type fence to see if he takes to them. The Byrne Group Plate at Cheltenham is another race Fahey has in mind for He'llberemembered after his game win over Daring Article.

"He came out of it perfect – no bother at all," said the Co Kildare trainer. "I'll probably also make an entry for him in one of the handicaps at Cheltenham, the Byrne Handicap over two-and-a-half miles, and then there's the Aintree option.

"A race I'd really like to run him in, if we can get a bit of schooling into him over the Aintree fences, is the Topham.

"It's a left-handed track, a very level track. I know the fences are different, but they all have to take them on and I wouldn't mind having a go at that – it would be interesting."

Elsewhere, trainer Philip Hobbs is upbeat about the chances of long-absent Fingal Bay in Sandown's staying handicap hurdle on Saturday.

"Fingal Bay is in great form," Hobbs said. "He has had a tendon injury, but I'm happy with him and the expected soft ground will be to his liking."

Fingal Bay, whose record is an impressive six wins from nine starts, looked a potential top-liner when he finished second to the David Pipe-trained Dynaste in a novice chase at Cheltenham in November 2012.

Over hurdles, Fingal Bay had the class to beat the smart Simonsig over two-and-a-half miles at Sandown and remains a bright prospect.

Hobbs has entered If In Doubt for Sunday's Pertemps Hurdle Qualifier at Musselburgh, but the trainer says it will be a late decision.

"There are three other courses where he could qualify, but the weather and ground is the worry at present," he said.

Those concerns will be echoed by others, especially after Leicester joined today's fixtures at Newcastle and Ludlow on the abandoned list. Only Kempton's twilight Flat card remains.

Prospects for Towcester tomorrow are not bright with an inspection at 8.0am today, while Chepstow's Friday meeting must pass a noon inspection today. Hopes are higher for Wincanton tomorrow where no inspection is planned, while Kempton will stage an extra six-race 'jumpers' bumper' fixture on Friday. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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