By James Brennan

ROOKIE trainer Ed Bethell is relishing the prospect of unleashing his two stable stars at this month’s Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

Bethell is enjoying a fine first season with a licence, saddling 18 winners so far. During York’s seasonal showpiece, he is set to be represented by Fearby in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes and Moss Gill in the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes, both of which are held on Friday, August 20.

Progressive juvenile, Fearby, landed the Dragon Stakes at Sandown prior to running second behind Armor in the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood. He has yet to race beyond the minimum trip, but Bethell is excited about stepping his charge up to six furlongs on Knavesmire.

The Middleham-based trainer said: “He ran very well at Goodwood. Maybe the draw bias played against us - he was a bit centre-pack, rather than up that rail, while there was a strong headwind that day.”

“We didn’t get any cover - that’s nobody’s fault, but just the way the race panned out. Would we have beaten the winner had we had a similar draw to him? It’s difficult to know.

“I was very happy with the way he ran - obviously we would have loved to have won, but the step up to six should be right up his street.

“He’s come out of that race really good - he’s very fresh. They’ll go a nice, good gallop on the flat six at York and hopefully he’ll hit the line strong.”

The Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes, a Group 2 worth £150,000, has been the long-term aim for Fearby, with Bethell hoping the speedy juvenile can become his first winner at his local track.

“The owners are a northern-based syndicate, we’re a northern-based yard and it was always the aim after he won the Listed race at Sandown to go for the Gimcrack - that’s been his main target this year,” he said.

“York is where we want to have winners, it’s where our catchment area is and it’s where all of our owners want to have runners. It will be a big thing for me to get the monkey off my back and saddle my first winner there.”

Regarding underfoot conditions for Fearby, Bethell added: “He’s not really ground dependent. He’s won on good-to-firm, he’s won on good-to-soft and he’s been second on soft. You’d almost think he needs a bit of rain, but I think you’ll see a better horse on a faster surface.”

Fearby will be joined on Knavesmire by Moss Gill, who ran third to the recently retired Battaash, in the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes last year .

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday, August 18 until Saturday, August 21, inclusively.

For tickets, phone 01904 620911 x 225 or visit