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Richard Fahey to win battle of North Yorkshire colts
Two highly-regarded North Yorkshire colts, who both ran at last month’s Royal Ascot meeting, are set to go head-to-head tomorrow on the opening day of Newmarket’s July Festival.
Gabrial, trained by Richard Fahey, and the John Quinn-trained Red Duke will contest the Portland Place Properties Conditions Stakes over a mile.
Winner of a valuable handicap at Haydock in May, Gabrial was beaten little more than three lengths in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on his latest start, a cracking effort given the strength of opposition.
As for Red Duke, winner of a Group 2 race on this course last season, he finished third in the German 2,000 Guineas two starts back and, although tenth at Royal Ascot in the Jersey Stakes, he ran a blinder under a penalty, beaten by only three lengths.
The ground could be significant tomorrow. Whereas Gabrial will not mind the expected give in the ground, Red Duke prefers a sounder surface. Kieren Fallon teams up for the first time with Gabrial, who is marginally preferred.
The TNT July Stakes offers Paul Hanagan a fighting chance of clinching his first Group 2 prize for his new boss Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum – assuming his mount Alhebayeb can beat stable-mate Sir Prancealot.
Both are trained by Richard Hannon and Sir Prancealot, whose only defeat in three starts came when he finished fourth in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, has the stronger credentials on paper.
But there is reason to believe Alhebayeb can raise his game.
A Nottingham winner on his debut when he looked green, he went down by inches to Hototo in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot when still looking as if the experience would benefit him.
He should relish tomorrow’s extra furlong, and while he has something to find with Sir Prancealot and one or two others in the line-up, he is napped in the hope he can continue his progressive profile.
Hanagan has another decent chance on the card, aboard the promising Fleeting Smile in the Three Chimneys Fillies’ Stakes.
Another Hannon-trained juvenile, owned by Sheikh Hamdan, Fleeting Smile was sent off evens favourite on her debut on this course but she bumped into Newfangled, who beat her and went on to gain an impressive win in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Fleeting Smile will be unlucky to cross swords with one as good as Newfangled tomorrow.
Red Cadeaux, winner of the Yorkshire Cup on Knavesmire in May, has since finished second in the Coronation Cup and third in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. He can return to the winning trail in the featured Prince of Wales’s Goldsmiths Stakes.
At Doncaster, Magic Destiny, a smooth winner at Haydock last week, can defy a penalty in the Terry Bellas Memorial Fillies’ Handicap, while Shaloo Diamond, who has been in such good form lately, can return to winning ways in the Yorkshire Radio Handicap.
The promising A Certain Romance (2.40) and the speedy Sir Geoffrey (4.50) are two others to note.
1.20 Shantaram, 1.50 Alhebayeb (NAP), 2.25 Nabucco, 3.00 Red Cadeaux, 3.35 Fleeting Smile, 4.05 Gabrial, 4.40 Taurus Twins.
2.05 Tarantella Lady, 2.40 A Certain Romance, 3.15 Macchiara, 3.45 Magic Destiny, 4.20 Shaloo Diamond, 4.50 Sir Geoffrey, 5.25 Lizzie.
Tomorrow’s other meetings
Epsom, Folkestone and Warwick.
Catterick, Kempton, Lingfield, Worcester and Yarmouth.