Richard Fahey: Bidding for bronze
Richard Fahey has plenty of runners at Ayr's Western Meeting and he has high hopes for Miss Van Gogh on Thursday.
Miss Van Gogh (right): Runs at Ayr on Thursday
We've a big team heading up to Ayr for the Western Meeting starting with Double Touch in the H&V Commissioning Services EBF Novice Stakes. He's a horse who is progressing with racing having been very keen early in his career. He settled at Chester last time and if he does so again here he'll run a big race.
The Hillhouse Quarry Supporting The Ayrshire Hospice Handicap is the worst race Miss Van Gogh has contested for some time. A mile on soft ground is where we want to be with her and while she has plenty of weight to carry, I'd expect her to run better than of late.
We also saddle Our Boy Jack. I was gutted when the handicapper put him up seven pounds for winning a claimer last time. I hope he was right to do so but I don't think he was so it's going to be very tough for him here off a mark of 82.
Novinophobia is drawn wider than I'd have ideally liked for division one of the Barclays Bank Supporting The Ayrshire Hospice Handicap. Seven furlongs with juice in the ground is ideal for him but he'll need luck from out there.
We're double handed in division two. Bahamian Bird has run well the last twice and is still improving mentally. That means she could go forward in performance terms too and we'll have to see if that's good enough here.
Balance is a bit of an enigma. She won a bad maiden on her only start last season and the handicapper didn't really take any chances. She's down to a mark of 70 now and is another who will be suited by conditions.
We've three in the British Stallion Studs Scottish Premier Series EBF Fillies' Handicap. Luna Mare could progress. She hadn't run for a long time before winning a two-runner race at Carlisle last time. If she's recovered from it she could be on the right side of the handicapper and will go well.
Siren's Cove ran a very good race at York last time but is out in stall 13 here. She'd still have a chance on her best form.
Island Flame has won a couple of races this season and is what she is. There are no secrets with her but she'll run her race.
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Imshivalla was very disappointing at Haydock last time and we don't know why. She goes up in class for the William Hill Doonside Cup Stakes and I'd be absolutely delighted if she finished in the first three.
Moving onto Friday and Re-Run makes his debut in the opening Al Maktoum College, Dundee/British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes. He's quite a nice colt and if he handles the soft ground he could run a big race.
Navarone runs in division two. He was very disappointing at Carlisle the last day and we've given him a bit of a break. Trip and ground look ideal for him but he needs to bounce back.
So does Spin Doctor in the Shadwell Stud Nursery. We thought an awful lot of her early on but she disappointed at York last time. Her work at home is still good though.
We also run In First Place and Heatongrad. I'd love the former to win for the owners and it's a valuable nursery. He is what he is but ran a solid race when second at Hamilton last time.
Heatongrad has been improving with racing. He needs to step up on what he's done before but gets in here off a low weight and it could have been more competitive for the money on offer.
It feels as though the Al Maktoum College, Dundee Handicap is the worst race Arctic Feeling has contested for years – but he's in this grade because he's been showing nothing. Soft ground and five furlongs are ideal for him and we take five pounds off his back with Adam McNamara. If he was back anywhere near his best he'd be bang there but he has been disappointing of late.
Giddy was one of my horses to follow at the start of the season but is yet to win. She's been working extremely well ahead of this and I'm hoping the drop back to five furlongs will help her. I'd love to see her return to winning ways – and on homework she would – but it's an open race.
Private Matter is progressing nicely and ran a good race to be second in the Ripon Champion Two Year Old Trophy last time. Five furlongs on slow ground will be absolutely ideal for him and he must have a big chance in the Shadwell Stud/EBF Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes.
We're trying to get some Black Type with Kocallada in the same race. She's a hard filly to place after winning her first two starts and this is no easy option. If she finished in the first three I'd be over the moon.
We've five in the William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup and I really would struggle to pick between them.
El Viento isn't getting any younger but ground and trip are fine for him – as they are for Lexi's Hero down at the bottom. Khelman ran well at Doncaster last time and is in good form at home. He has a good draw too.
If Grandad's World came back to his very best he would have a good chance and ran well enough a couple of starts ago to offer some hope. Ballymore Castle ran well over seven furlongs the other day and I'm sure the six furlongs here with some cut in the ground will be right up his street.
Gabrial's Star is what he is and won't mind the ground in the Bam Properties Ltd Handicap. He'll run his race.
Firedanser is working very well at home ahead of the closing QTS Group Handicap. He's quite a big horse who has taken time to come to himself but did his best ever piece of work last week which is obviously an encouraging sign.
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