Fahey bids for York title

Richard Fahey heads into York's season-ending October meeting on Friday and Saturday with a healthy three-winner lead in the race to land the 'Charles Clinkard Top Trainer at York' award.

Richard Fahey: Top trainer at York

But the man from Musley Bank near Malton said: "We'll need another couple of winners to just seal it."

Fahey has enjoyed another great season at York, having sent out no fewer than eight winners on the course.

It has left him in prime position to reclaim the Knavesmire's top trainer title, which he won for no less than seven consecutive seasons up to 2012.

Fahey said: "It would be great. It was getting a bit embarrassing there at one stage – a bit of competition did me no harm!

"Everybody wants a winner (at York), so it's an achievement to be leading trainer there. North, South, East and West try and get winners there. But anyway, we still have to put it to bed yet."

The chasing group, on five winners, are the three powerful stables of Sir Michael Stoute, William Haggas and Kevin Ryan.

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As a demonstration of his desire to regain the title, at the initial entry stage for both of York's cards, Fahey has chances in thirteen of the fourteen remaining contests, reflecting a whopping thirty-two horses entry. Hambleton based Kevin Ryan has an equivalent sixteen entries, while Skipton-born Haggas has ten and the Master of Freemason Lodge just the five.

Fahey said: "I know deep down William would love to win it. His horses are flying at the moment, so I'm sure he'll have a big team coming up. I'm sure we'll need another couple of winners to just seal it."

Despite having a significant team of horses bound for the Knavesmire, Fahey is not 100 per cent sure how many will get balloted out. Even so, he expects to be represented in both of Saturday's features – the Listed coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes and the £100,000 Coral Sprint Trophy.

Fahey has three in that Listed race for juveniles – which he won last year with Donjuan Triumphant – and four in the feature sprint.

He said: "Rosebride was second in the Group 3 at Ayr (the Firth of Clyde Stakes) – she'll probably run in the Rockingham. Mayfair Lady is in the sprint but I'm not sure what will get in – Mayfair Lady should, as she's 100-plus." The three year old filly who carries the Steel family colours, also has course and distance winning form from the June Meeting.

Whatever happens over the two days, Fahey is entitled to look back with pride at his string's success at York in 2016. Starting at the Dante Festival, Vona supplied him with a victory in the Listed Langleys Solicitors EBF Marygate. The winners have kept flowing throughout the summer, including those of Mr Lupton in the very valuable 888Sport Charity Sprint and Queen Kindly in the Group 2 Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

"Not too bad," is Fahey's understated assessment. "We always want more, greed is good!

"There were some good winners there this year but any winner at York is good. To get a couple of winners at the Ebor meeting was great – The Wagon Wheel won the nursery as well. Any winner at that meeting is great. "

In the Living North-sponsored race to finish as York's top jockey, Italian aces Andrea Atzeni and Frankie Dettori are tied on seven winners apiece.

Friday's seven-race card gets underway at 1.45pm. The most valuable race that afternoon is the £50,000 stanjames.com Handicap. Saturday's racing begins at 2pm with the £100,000 Coral Sprint Trophy sure to be a race to savour.

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