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Happy hunting-ground at Ayr to yield winners for Richard Fahey
Richard Fahey, sending a huge team of horses to Scotland for the three-day Ayr Gold Cup Festival, can get proceedings off to a flier tomorrow with a treble.
The Malton trainer, who has a tremendous record at this meeting, is fancied to score with Heaven’s Guest, Unsinkable and Our Boy Jack.
Heaven’s Guest ran a race full of promise at York earlier this month when staying on strongly to finish second to The Art Of Racing. That display was a marked step forward on his unplaced debut and there is further improvement to come in the opening Fly Ryanair Maiden Stakes.
Unsinkable is unbeaten in two outings and the juvenile grey bids for hat-trick honours in the British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing Novice Stakes.
Successful on his debut at Newcastle and a gutsy winner next time at Doncaster, Unsinkable will relish the step up to a mile and the expected soft ground and may prove superior to the more experienced and useful Oasis Cannes. Tony Hamilton, also the rider of Heaven’s Guest, pilots nap selection Unsinkable.
The Isle Of Skye 8-Y-0 Blended Scotch Whisky Handicap is the target for Our Boy Jack, an unlucky loser at Thirsk last time.
His saddle slipped when he was in with every chance inside the final furlong and his apprentice rider Laura Barry had no option but to ease him up. He was still beaten only a length and a half into third by Trail Blaze.
Compensation awaits the consistent Our Boy Jack, who will again have Barry on board.
The £20,000 williamhill.com Handicap looks a suitable opportunity for Muffin McLeay, trained near Thirsk by David Barron, who, like Fahey, has a useful record at this meeting.
Muffin McLeay was a convincing winner at Ripon last time out. A mile and a quarter with give in the ground are his ideal requirements. He has plenty going for him in the feature contest.
Also worth noting on the eight-race card are Chookie Royale (5.10), a good second at Thirsk last time, and Vittachi (5.45), who will appreciate the step back up in distance after being taken off his feet over shorter at York at the beginning of the month.
At Pontefract, Sheriff Hutton trainer Tim Walford aims to strike while the iron is hot with Talent Scout. An all-the-way winner at Newcastle on Saturday, the gelding turns out again in the Book Your Christmas Party Here Handicap and, with Gemma Tutty’s apprentice allowance completely erasing Talent Scout’s 6lb penalty, he looks sure to go well.
Norton trainer Ollie Pears placed Jade to win on this course last season and the four-year-old is fancied to follow up in the featured Arkle Finance Fillies’ Handicap.
Jade ran a fine race in defeat at Haydock recently when beaten less than two lengths into fifth by Trade Secret. She may not need to improve much on that form to win under Mick O’Connell.
Mel Brittain’s Generous Dream won well at Ripon three weeks ago, leaving the impression there was more to come from the four-year-old in the Arkle Finance Handicap over an extended two miles.
2.10 Heaven’s Guest, 2.40 Majestic Manannan, 3.10 Unsinkable (NAP), 3.40 Our Boy Jack, 4.10 Ingleby Exceed, 4.40 Muffin McLeay, 5.10 Chookie Royale, 5.45 Vittachi.
2.30 Consistant, 3.00 Cross My Heart, 3.30 Majestic Dream, 4.00 Jade, 4.30 Generous Dream, 5.00 Keeping Time, 5.30 Danchai, 6.00 Talent Scout.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Kempton and Yarmouth.
Today’s meetings: Beverley, Kempton, Sandown and Yarmouth.