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Richard Fahey's Barefoot Lady lands £35k Knavesmire feature
TOUGH as boots is how Robin O’Ryan described Barefoot Lady after she landed the Listed Stobart PJA Testimonial Lyric Fillies’ Stakes at York Racecourse last night.
The four-year-old (10-3 fav) simply refused to be beaten in the mile-and-a-quarter contest, coming back from the dead to head off Emirates Queen by a neck.
Trained by Malton ’s Richard Fahey and ridden by Tony Hamilton, Barefoot Lady has been running with the very best over the past year – last seen out when finishing sixth in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month.
Dropped back in grade, she travelled well throughout the race and led narrowly at the two-furlong marker.
But she was overhauled by Emirates Queen, ridden by Kieren Fallon, and, well inside the final furlong, looked beaten.
She was not to be denied, however, and somehow found renewed determination to fight back and take the lion’s share of the £35,000 prize.
O’Ryan, Fahey’s assistant trainer, said: “She’s as tough as boots. She’s the toughest in the yard and a little star. She deserved that and Tony gave her a great ride. She would run every day.
“She’s healthy, tough, and on your side.”
He added: “It’s easy to say that you will drop down and pick these races up, but they all take winning.
“It’s been a while since she won and it’s nice for the filly, and her owners, to win a race. It’s all right saying she ran well, finished fifth and fourth, and had a blinder but there is nothing like a winner. She is a star.”
Malton jockey Paul Hanagan enjoyed the easiest winner of the evening when just having to steer Ebn Arab (5-2 fav) to a runaway success in the Batleys Cash and Carry Median Auction Maiden Stakes on his racecourse debut.
The juvenile, trained by Charlie Hills and ridden by Hanagan in his role as retained rider to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, struck for home with a quarter of a mile remaining in the seven furlong contest and left his rivals well behind on his way to a five-length victory over Related.
A return to York next month for the Ebor Festival could now be on the cards for the two-year-old.
Hills said: “He hasn’t really done much wrong and Paul gave him a lovely introduction. It was pleasing. We’re in the Gimcrack but I won’t drop him back in trip and we will look at the Acomb and see whether he is eligible for that race.
“He hasn’t really put a foot wrong and he has shown a nice temperament. He’s a nice horse.”
Elsewhere, the opening Future Cleaning Apprentice Stakes was claimed by Elegant Flight (16-1), trained by Alan Jarvis and ridden by Michael J Murphy, after the three-year-old held off the awkwardly away Henry Allingham (7-2 jt-fav) by a length.
And Julius Geezer (12-1) came out best in a cavalry charge for The Seddon Property Services Stakes, staged over six furlongs.
The four-year-old, trained by Tom Dascombe and ridden by Richard Kingscote, got the nod in a photo- finish by a nose over Prodigality.