Gabrial is not out of this

May 14th, 2016 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

Naturally I was delighted by Aldeburgh’s victory at Nottingham last week. He was returned at 14/1 but there was no difficulty in finding some 16/1 during the day so I hope you made a handsome profit.

Jim Old has been a good friend over the years and I hope we shall benefit another time or two, maybe via Southerly Buster, a big weak horse a while back but stronger now and ready to win over two miles. He was in the mile and a half apprentices’ handicap at Newbury on Friday and Jim is pleased with him but a late change of plan saw him taken out. I shall let you know as soon as I know any more.

There is nothing comparable this week but the Lockinge at Newbury looks a fascinating race. I was a big fan of Arod last year, though I thought Peter Chapple-Hyam asked a lot of him over trips further than a mile in the autumn. The trip to Australia was particularly optimistic.

Arod should strip a bit fitter following his seasonal reappearance at Ascot but I thought GM Hopkins picked him up pretty comfortably and the form may well be confirmed. People will always think of Richard Fahey’s Gabrial as a Lincoln winner and therefore an upgraded handicapper. But he wasn’t far behind Arod in the Sussex Stakes last year when classy French raider Solow proved too good for both. There have been better Group 1s than this Lockinge and I’d be inclined to have a little each-way on GABRIAL at a decent price.

This is the sort of Saturday when Fahey cuts loose and he also has chances with Gabrial’s Kaka in the last at Newbury, a tricky mile handicap, and Grandad’s World in a valuable sprint handicap by Thirsk standards. I just prefer RED BARON each-way, though it is unusual for Eric Alston to pull a horse out again so soon after running well; the seven-year-old was a good fourth at York this ifweek. Keep an eye on the weather; if, by any chance, Thirsk stays good to firm, Red Baron will have a good chance but I doubt his ability to see it out if there is give underfoot. I’m certain he is better at five furlongs than six, which is another concern.

Otherwise it looks a difficult day, though I see Adam McNamara’s 7lb claim counting for plenty on Fahey’s GROWL in the 4.35, again at Thirsk.