Richard Fahey: Off to the City
The top trainer reflects upon another good season and previews his Saturday runners, including four at Chelmsford City.
The heat was one for the top trainer throughout 2016, but he always managed to stay cool.
As this is the penultimate column of the year it's a good time to reflect on the season at Musley Bank.
As I felt we went into the campaign with a lot of badly-handicapped horses, we've done extremely well. It was good to pass the £3million prize-money barrier in the week and I'd like to see us reach 200 winners before the year is out.
I see I've been installed as second-favourite to win the all-weather trainers' championship but I fear the bookmakers must know more than I do. We have bits and pieces to run over the winter but I'd be very surprised if I was to go on and pick up that title.
There have been many highlights along the way this year. It's always special to win a race at Royal Ascot and Ribchester did just that in the Jersey Stakes while his victory in the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville was another great day.
So was Queen Kindly's triumph in the Sky Bet Lowther at York and the fact she and Richester will both be around again next year is very exciting. We have a number of promising two-year-olds too, so there's an awful lot to look forward to.
But before then we have a handful of runners on Saturday.
Chiswick Bey goes to Newmarket for the Tracy Hawkes Handicap. He is what he is but has good days and can be competitive here – although it would need to be a very, very good day for him to win.
Our final four runners are all at Chelmsford City.
I thought Inaam ran well coming back from a break at Newcastle last time. He's entitled to come on for the run, not in terms of fitness, but it could have sharpened him up. He goes into the toteplacepot Six Places In Six Races Apprentice Handicap in good form.
Buccaneers Cove has had three runs in maidens and steps into handicap company in the totepool Chip And Pin Betting Nursery. He doesn't show an awful lot at home and while it will be interesting to see how he fares off a mark of 65. The evidence on the gallops suggests he isn't thrown in.
There's no hiding place for Billy Bond in the totepool Live Info Download The App Handicap. I'd be delighted if he was placed but he needs to be on his A-game.
We are stepping Rubis right up in distance for the Barking Brickwork Handicap. On pedigree she shouldn't stay – I trained the dam, Princess Cocoa, and this wouldn't have been her trip, but all this filly does in her races is keep on galloping. If she does stay, she'd have a big chance.