Growl to tee off in Wentworth
View from connections ahead of the Betfred Mobile Wentworth Stakes at Doncaster on Saturday.
Growl bids to bow out on a high at Doncaster
Richard Fahey hopes Growl can end his season with a win in the Betfred Mobile Wentworth Stakes at Doncaster on Saturday.
After just coming up short in the Ayr Gold Cup, when beaten by Brando, he took his form to a whole new level at Ascot on Champions Day.
Only beaten by The Tin Man there, with Brando close behind, he proved once again that there is very little between the top handicappers and the best sprinters around.
The Malton handler is hoping a reproduction of either of those runs – he is 6lb clear on official ratings – will be good enough to see him collect.
"It would be great if he could go out with a win," said Fahey.
"I wouldn't say his Ascot run surprised me. I made no secret in saying I thought he'd win the Ayr Gold Cup, he didn't, but Ascot proved him and Brando are two very good horses.
"A couple might have underperformed at Ascot but it was still a good run. He goes on any ground so I'm no worried about it being quick.
"If the form book is right and he runs his race he should be thereabouts."
Jim Goldie's popular seven-year-old Jack Dexter won the race in 2013 and last year but they are his only two victories in the last three seasons.
"It's forgotten to rain this year!" joked Goldie.
"Everybody else is quite happy, but we're not. He's there again, but I'd imagine on that ground he'd struggle a bit.
"This is his time of year, each season we target the Ayr Gold Cup, Ascot and Doncaster but this year it hasn't worked out for him. When it's soft and heavy he's as good a sprinter as there is but he's just not had his ground much the last couple of years.
"There'll probably be one or two too good for him, but he's in good order."
Rae Guest's filly Jane's Memory already has a Listed win to her name at Haydock earlier this season and was not disgraced when upped in class on her next two starts.
Last time out she was last of nine at the Curragh, but Guest feels she had genuine excuses.
"She got a little bit of a chill going over, she was a bit off-colour the day after so it was that combined with the very heavy ground last time," he said.
"She seems in great form again now so we thought we'd have one last go with her. I think we've all got Growl to beat if he runs to form but she's fresh and well so we'll see how she gets on.
"The plan is for her to stay in training, she's already a Listed winner."
Richard Hannon's Burnt Sugar has not won since his juvenile days but has several good efforts to his name this season.
"He hasn't won for a while but has produced a few decent efforts this season and been threatening to win again and I have no doubt the ability is still there," Hannon told his Stan James blog.
"It's particularly tricky to place horses like him as he's so highly rated that he often has to shoulder top weight and he's probably a little below Group standard now but this Listed race looks very much up his street and he goes there with a decent chance if he puts it all in.
"There's every chance he might be kept going on the all-weather during the winter."
Andrew Balding would welcome any rain that falls at the South Yorkshire track to help aid the chances of Absolutely So, who is seeking a first success since winning a Listed event at Salisbury last June.
He said: "He has had a bit of a frustrating season in terms of it being stop-start. He has run some cracking races this season and he deserves to win one.
"I know his last win was on quick ground, but a drop of rain would be appreciated.
"The form of his last Salisbury run looks strong with the first and second running excellent races since. Hopefully he can go well."