Fahey’s four in Wilfrid
Richard Fahey is pleased to have got as many as four horses to make the cut for the William Hill Great St Wilfrid Stakes at Ripon on Saturday.
Growl, Eastern Impact, Right Touch and George Bowen are Fahey's players in the valuable six-furlong contest which the Musley Bank handler has won twice before, with Baccarat in 2013 and Don't Touch in 2015.
"I'm surprised I've got that many in," he said.
The first-named heads the weights and also the ante-post market, having run with great credit in the July Cup and the Stewards' Cup on his last two starts.
"Growl ran well in the Stewards' Cup and we're happy with him," said Fahey.
Eastern Impact was only beaten four lengths when 11th in Goodwood's six-furlong dash and was a close seventh in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot.
However, Fahey believes the Bahamian Bounty gelding may be in the grip of the handicapper.
"He ran well at Newmarket (in May) but he's struggling a bit at the moment. Whether he needs a bit more help from the handicapper, I don't know, but we're happy with him at home.
"There were no excuses at Goodwood. He's in good order though."
Fahey would like to see the assessor give Right Touch more of a chance but is happy with the venue.
"I just feel he's in the hands of the handicapper, but he likes the track. Ripon is a like or loathe track," he said.
"Any rain will suit George Bowen. He's in great form."
Pipers Note is a six-times course winner and has run well in this race twice in the past.
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His trainer Ruth Carr is praying for dry weather to aid the seven-year-old, who appears to have taken his run in last weekend's Shergar Cup at Ascot in his stride.
"If it could dry out, we would really like it. He's hardly had fast ground this year and he does love it like that," said the York handler.
"He's in good form and has come out of Ascot well. He goes out in the field and doesn't do too much in between. Hopefully he'll put in a big run."
George Dryden was fifth in this race 12 months ago and trainer Ann Duffield is expecting another good show from the five-year-old.
"He's not been over-raced this season because our yard has had its problems, but he's in very good order," said the Constable Burton handler.
"We're fitting cheekpieces on him for the first time which we've been keen to do for a little while, but we didn't want to do it when we were stepping him up to seven.
"Now we're back to six which is better for him and there's sure to be a fast and furious pace which will suit him.
"He's in great form at home so we go there optimistic. Fingers crossed, he'll run well."
Bryan Smart reports the 2016 hero Nameitwhatyoulike to be 100 per cent again after suffering a setback when under par on his latest start.
"He's in good form. He ran a little bit disappointing at York last time out and we found he had an abscess in his foot three days later," he told At The Races.
"He gets six furlongs really well, he's in great order and he's got black type form.
"He's in rude health, so I'm hoping for a good run from him."
Tim Easterby would like to see the heavens open for Mattmu, who was a Group Two winner in 2014.
"He'll run if there's some juice in the ground – the wetter the better for him," said the Great Habton handler.
"He could have a chance. We sent him to stud earlier in the season and couldn't get any mares to him, so we brought him back and decided to run him again.
"We're sort of aiming for the Ayr Gold Cup with him. That's the idea."
Irish raider Maarek may not be the force he was in 2013 when he lifted the Group One Prix de l'Abbaye, but his trainer Evanna McCutcheon feels it would be foolish to write off the 10-year-old, especially if there was some rain around.
"A bit of rain would be appreciated and we'll see what he thinks of Ripon. He's never been there before, but he usually likes a change of scenery so that will be a plus for him," said McCutcheon.
"He's gone down to a nice mark and we're claiming off him. We're giving him every chance, but I would like a drop of rain."
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