Racing: Fairy Heights to elevate Callaghan: One of Newmarket's smaller stables takes on the best the Cecil and Gosden battalions can muster

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The Independent Online
FOR BRITAIN'S smaller trainers, great days usually come in single figures during a career. For Neville Callaghan, one of Newmarket's less powerful forces, the greatest day so far may come today.

Callaghan, who has just over 20 Flat horses at his base on the Hamilton Road, enjoyed his biggest win to date at Ascot a month ago when Fairy Heights won the Fillies' Mile. She now goes for a second consecutive Group One success, in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster this afternoon, but this time has colts to overcome.

'I'm desperately lucky to have her,' Callaghan said yesterday. 'When I bought her at the sales for 41,000 gns she really caught my eye, and, for once, she was a lucky one because plenty catch the eye and you wish you'd never seen them. She's been a pleasure to deal with from day one.'

Fairy Heights's routine changed slightly this week when her final piece of work was switched from near the Rowley Mile to the July course at Headquarters. 'It was a fresh bit of ground and a rail to run next to rather than an open gallop and she did it well,' Callaghan said. 'She's in very good form, her blood results yesterday were excellent and she looks very well for this time of the year, but I've got to worry about John Gosden and Henry Cecil because if these guys run a horse it's up to the job.'

Gosden runs Xylem, who cost dollars 260,000 as a foal, the extravagant winner of his only race, at Haydock. The chestnut has missed what his trainer calls the 'in-between-race' since then, however, and may be too callow for this venture.

Cecil saddles two runners, King's Theatre and Bude, which are favoured, though will not necessarily finish, in that order. The Warren Place trainer sent out a pair in this event seven years ago, when Reference Point, the last decent winner of the Racing Post Trophy, finished ahead of his stablemate and favourite, Suhailie.

King's Theatre has the better overall form here, though Bude's debut victory from the subsequent Curragh Group Three winner Sheridan has been made to look better by the passage of time. The leader in this department, however, is Fairy Heights (3.10), who numbered the subsequent Rockfel Stakes winner Relatively Special among her victims at Ascot.

The jockey arrangements for the first televised race at Town Moor suggest Half Term (2.10), who is down in class after getting bruised among the big boys, is the better of Gosden's entries, while Great Deeds (2.40) should also win if she can stretch her stamina to a sixth furlong. Yet another Gosden entry, Elatis (next best 3.40), looks leniently treated as she embarks on a career in handicaps.

At Newbury, there are opportunities for Queenbird (1.30) and SEASONAL SPLENDOUR (nap 2.00), while the main race on the card should be captured by a horse from another of Newmarket's lesser known yards, James Toller's Lord Of The Field (2.30).

(Photograph omitted)

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