Barnet Fair retains ability

June 11th, 2016 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

Sometimes we take heart from minor successes. Whilst I had little idea where the winner of the Derby was concerned, I was pretty sure the Dante form would not be good enough and Wings Of Desire duly finished a creditable but well-beaten fourth. He does not look top class and, unlike other Gosden-trained horses with a similar record, does not come across as a likely St Leger winner.

Derby day proved again that previous experience down the Epsom chute is very, very important in the “Dash”, Caspian Prince overcoming a long absence to cling on gamely. I rather messed up the closing six-furlong handicap because, whilst George Bowen came home well from a tricky draw and will probably win a decent race, I should have covered the well-handicapped Blaine, who was at least a stone below his mark in the early days with Kevin Ryan. Dandy Nicholls will never have quite the strength in depth of a few years ago but he still knows the game and when he teams up with Kieren Fallon they generally mean business. Dandy was only inches away from completing the big sprint double on the day.

Down among more moderate sprinters, I fancied Malcolm Saunders’ Babyfact at Chepstow on Friday evening more than anything on Saturday but, like several others, she was taken out. It looked a curious race, with jockeys going over towards the far side from half-way so perhaps there were misgivings about the track. Babyfact was fairly treated, attracted good money during the race for such an ordinary contest and may not have such a clear chance again for a while. No doubt she will go back to Bath, though Saunders relies on Ginzan and Silverrica in the 2.55 on Saturday. If Silverrica is spot-on for her first appearance of the campaign, and she probably will be, she looks the pick of that pair but it’s a tightly-knit contest.

Elsewhere, Richard Fahey’s LEXI’S HERO is on a fair mark at a course he likes in the last at Chester.
Musselburgh stages the William Hill Scottish Sprint Cup and the consolation for same. Several from the “Dash” turn out again and runner-up Kimberella must have a leading chance for Nicholls, with last year’s winner Red Baron, who won it last year but missed the Epsom charge, possibly the main danger. In the consolation, I think Nicholls’ BARNET FAIR retains enough ability to be right there at the death. The recent form at Haydock is working out rather well.

Charity day at York looks extremely difficult but the one thing that hits you between the eyes is Richard Hannon’s booking of Katie Walsh for NAYEL in the opener. The horse has been raised for his course win and there is nothing straightforward about the race but he will have every assistance and may well get punters off to a good start. He and Barnet Fair would be my main things on a day when, to be frank, there is rather too much going on.