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Fahey’s Stewards’ Cup hopes rest on promising Alben Star
When Superior Premium won the Stewards’ Cup for Richard Fahey in 1998, he was yet another promising young trainer, aiming to prove his talents.
Fahey has since underlined his training prowess in no uncertain terms and sits in third place in Britain’s championship table as he aims to win a second Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood tomorrow.
The Malton handler saddles Alben Star, the mount of Tony Hamilton, who is napped to land this £100,000 Blue Square-sponsored showpiece, despite lining-up against 27 rivals.
Alben Star has always been held in high esteem at Musley Bank. A five-times winner in his 11-race career, he was successful in his latest start at Haydock, a victory which came after he’d run a fine race to be beaten little over three lengths into ninth place in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot.
This is one of the tightest sprint handicaps of the entire year, and solid cases can be made for any amount of horses in the field. But Alben Star is primed to make a spirited assault for Fahey, 14 years on from Superior Premium.
The £160,000 Market Insurance Nassau Stakes, a Group 1 affair, is the most prestigious event on the card and John Gosden holds an extremely strong hand, having elected to saddle both The Fugue and Izzi Top.
The Fugue won the Musidora Stakes at York in May and looked an unlucky loser of the Oaks at Epsom, where she finished third after meeting a troubled passage. She has since finished third in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot.
William Buick, Gosden’s number one jockey, has, however, chosen to reject The Fugue in favour of Izzi Top, unbeaten in three starts this season and winner of a Group 1 race at The Curragh last time out. Buick’s judgement could prove justified.
If none the worse for his efforts in the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes earlier in the week, Dominate, who finished a creditable sixth in that speed test, should go well in the bluesq.com Nursery, stepping up to six furlongs under Richard Hughes, who rides this course so well.
Franciscan, a gutsy winner at York in May, subsequently came unstuck on soft ground at Haydock when finishing unplaced in the Old Newton Cup. He is worth another chance back on a sound surface in the Toyo Tires performance Handicap. Kieren Fallon teams up with Luca Cumani’s charge.
At Thirsk, Lastchancelucas may be the answer to the £12,000 Constant Security Nursery over five furlongs.
The Declan Carroll-trained juvenile won his first two races at Pontefract and York before coming up short when raised in class in the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom’s Derby meeting.
Two months on and he now makes his debut in handicap company. He hardly looks thrown in at the weights, but regular rider Jason Hart’s 7lb claim makes him look fairly attractive and it would be no suprise to see him make a bold bid.
Carroll has good prospects of completing a double with recent winner Come Here Yew in the concluding Shirley Anne Faill Memorial Handicap over two miles.
The £30,000 totepool.com Thirsk Summer Cup looks a wide-open race and Kyllachy Star may prove the pick of Fahey’s three runners. He has been running creditably in defeat, most recently when third at Newmarket last Saturday. A drop of rain would increase his chances, but he is fancied to run a big race all the same.
Solar Spirit, narrowly beaten at Pontefract, can go one better for Tracy Waggott in the Peter Bell Memorial Handicap.
2.05 Jedward, 2.40 Franciscan, 3.15 Izzi Top, 3.55 Alben Star (NAP), 4.30 Hoarding, 5.05 Dominate, 5.40 Landaman.
1.55 Time And Place, 2.30 Geanie Mac, 3.05 Lastchancelucas, 3.35 Kyllachy Star, 4.15 Solar Spirit, 4.50 Raheeba, 5.25 Come Here Yew.
Tomorrow’s other meetings
Doncaster, Hamilton, Lingfield, Newmarket and Newton Abbot.
Goodwood, Bath, Bangor, Musselburgh, Newmarket and Thirsk.