Ribchester the star on Fahey day?

May 20th, 2017 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

York for me rested largely with Muntadab in the sprint handicap on Wednesday. He did everything I expected but was caught late on by a 25/1 outsider, which hurt. He is not the luckiest of horses and will be hard to place now.

Richard Fahey had one or two disappointments, notably Brian The Snail on Thursday. He may well strike back over the weekend, when I still regard RIBCHESTER as the most likely winner of the Lockinge at Newbury. There was some 9/4 on Friday, which surprised me, but he seems to have shortened up overnight and has a leading chance after improving throughout last season and resuming with a creditable third in Group 1 company at Meydan. He might well have caught The Gurkha and Galileo Gold with another hundred yards to travel in the Sussex Stakes last year and can reverse placings with the latter.

Soft ground will not trouble him but it is a slight worry where Saturday’s other fancies are concerned. Stable-companion PRIVATE MATTER drops back in trip for the earlier Carnarvon Stakes on that Newbury card and Fahey had Ryan Moore booked several days ago. I think he is the one to beat and the trainer also has good prospects with PADDY POWER in the closing sprint handicap at Newmarket with Sammy Jo Bell claiming 3lb. Paddy Power was entered up all over the place but this looks the right task and he is running into form.

It’s impossible to be confident about the effect of the ground when Roger Charlton’s ESPRIT DE CORPS lines up in the valuable sprint handicap for three-year-olds but in other respects he looks a decent wager. Promptly gelded after showing fair form on the AW last term, he started with an easy victory at Bath the other day and Charlton has turned to talented apprentice David Egan here, just as he did on a couple of occasions in 2016. Egan is a rising star, make no mistake, and Charlton has been aware of it for quite a while. Esprit De Corps can even be backed each-way if the overnight tissue is to be believed and he is probably the value bet of the day, though Ribchester remains the nap.