Richard Fahey: Going for a Touch
Richard Fahey provides the lowdown on his Saturday team, with both Another Touch and Innocent Touch heading to Newmarket.
We've two runners chasing big prizes abroad this weekend.
Donjuan Triumphant heads to Deauville for Sunday's Prix Maurice De Gheest. It's a very warm contest as as you'd expect but my fellow goes there in great form. The softer the ground, the better for him.
On the same day Eastern Impact runs at the Curragh in the Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club Phoenix Sprint Stakes. He was slightly disappointing at Chester last week but came out of the race well and track and ground will be ideal for him here.
Spring Offensive is our first runner on Saturday in the Betfred Duke Of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry Handicap at Haydock. He's had a good season so far but has crept up the handicap as a result. He'll need a lifetime best to win this but we're taking five pounds off with Adam McNamara's claim and we're happy with at home.
We're double handed in the Betfred Haydock Park Ladies' Trophy Handicap. English Summer had a great time of it in 2015 – winning four times – and while he's been winless so far this term has run ok on a few occasions. Rain would help him.
Gabrial's King has been a fraction disappointing. I thought he'd run really well at York last time but he never quite got into the race. He wouldn't be without a chance either in a tight race.
Gabrial has been running out of his skin all season. He may be seven now but he's racing more professionally, he's more relaxed in his races, and we've been keen to step him back up to ten furlongs as we do in the Betfred Rose Of Lancaster Stakes. Any rain would help him too.
Spirit Of Zeb has enjoyed a good year so far and he'd have an obvious chance in the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Handicap. There's nothing hidden from the handicapper with him but he's in great form.
Canyari has been a disappointment. He's dropped down the handicap to a good mark but he's come down because he hasn't been running well. If he's back to anything like his best he'd be a danger to them all but we haven't seen it on the racecourse of late.
Our final runner at the meeting is Pushkin Museum in the Betfred 'Like Us On Facebook' Handicap. He's another who has been frustrating. We've tried making the running with him, taking headgear on and off – all to no avail. He's a well handicapped horse and if he put his best foot forward he'd take some beating – it's just hard to be confident he will.
We've a nice team heading down to Newmarket.
Heatongrad is first up in the Royal British Legion Nursery. He's been a little disappointing so far as we think he's a nice horse. He comes into this on a lower mark than I was expecting and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him run a better race here for all it's hard to know what you're up against.
Belle Meade takes a big step up in class in the German-Thoroughbred.com Sweet Solera Stakes. I was very impressed with her debut win at Pontefract where she did it nicely from out in stall 12. She steps up to seven furlongs here and there are mixed messages in her pedigree. Sire Roderic O'Connor would give you up hope it will suit but the dam's side is all speed. We're happy to take a chance in a good race.
Innocent Touch ran into a progressive rival when second here the last day. He returns to the track for the Buy, Breed And Train In Germany Handicap. At first glance there isn't an unexposed rival in among this field and our fellow is running well. It's not going to be easy to win a race like this off 90 but we have a good, solid chance.
Farlow is as high as he'd want to be off a mark of 99 but they don't come down if you don't run them. He's run well at the track before and he goes in the Bbag-Sales-De-The German Bloodstock Sales Silver Salver Stakes. We'd be thrilled if he was to win but he does need everything to go right for him.
Another Touch has been working extremely well ahead of the Royal British Legion Handicap. There are some potentially progressive types in there against him but I'd like to think we'll be very competitive.
Forster Square is our first runner at Redcar. He's been disappointing hence the fact he runs in the Racing UK Free Day Pass August 6 Selling Stakes. This isn't that competitive a race and six furlongs will suit him better than the five at Catterick last time but you'd like to have seen more from him.
If Normandy Knight puts his best foot forward he could win the Pinnacle Racing Syndicate Shares Now Available Handicap but he's been too keen in his recent races and needs to learn to relax.
Back To Bond drops in grade for the High Definition Racing UK Claiming Stakes. I hope he runs well for the owner because it's not a good race and on official ratings he's the one to beat.
Lexi's Hero is in for a shock when he gets out of the horsebox to find out he's not at Chester! He's been running well there of late but I'd like to some rain for him to be at his very best in the Racing UK Free Day Pass Today Handicap.
Finally we have four runners at the Ayr evening card.
Yarmouk is a horse we like. He was drawn out wide on his Doncaster debut and was too keen. He then got knocked over at a vital part of the race and is better than that run suggests. We beat Kings Gift with a horse called Andok at Redcar and he will be a danger in the QTS Miss Scotland/British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes but it wouldn't be a surprise to see Yarmouk bounce back here.
I'm disappointed Bahamian Bird is drawn ten of ten for the QTS Training Handicap. She's still a bit raw and green but is handicapped to win a race like this. Whether she can from out in ten though remains to be seen.
Ballesteros is what he is but at his best would have a chance in the QTS Ladies' Night Grand Spectacular Handicap and the ground will suit him.Finally Carnageo runs in the QTS Group Handicap. I thought the handicapper was very tough on him for winning at Ripon but this represents a step down in grade from his recent races and that will help.