Fahey plots new Wootton course
Wednesday 20 April 2011
The white flag was finally hoisted yesterday on behalf of 2,000 Guineas candidate Wootton Bassett, whose trainer, Richard Fahey, had been struggling to ready him for the season's first Classic since the colt suffered a setback earlier in the year. But the redoubtable Malton-based handler put a positive spin on his frustration, looking forward immediately to pitting his charge's talent against that of the season's putative superstar Frankel later in the year.
Wootton Bassett, who put himself in the elite frame last year when he gave Fahey a first Group One success by taking France's top juvenile contest, showed that talent intact yesterday morning, but in terms of his fitness it was too little too late. "He worked well and had a good blow," the trainer said, "but we've just run out of time. It's disappointing but we didn't want to go to the Guineas if he wasn't 100 per cent.
"We missed three and a half weeks with him just at the wrong time. Newmarket will just come too soon."
Fahey will spread his Classic net elsewhere next month before any meeting with the odds-on Guineas favourite Frankel, who made a winning comeback for the Henry Cecil stable in the Greenham Stakes four days ago.
"We'll look at other options," Fahey added. "We could go to the Curragh for the Irish 2,000 Guineas or Longchamp for the French version. And hopefully we will meet the wonder horse somewhere down the line. I was very impressed with him at Newbury. But hopefully Wootton Bassett can stay undefeated and that would be grand."
Wootton Bassett was the second 2,000 Guineas challenger to defect in 24 hours, following the chief hope from the Godolphin stable, Dubai Prince. A decision will be made as to whether or not the Blues' back-ups, Casamento and Saamidd, will take the field on the Rowley Mile on Saturday week will be made after the pair work this week.
Kieren Fallon will know tomorrow whether he will be free to partner Ed Dunlop's Craven Stakes winner Native Khan, now perceived as the strongest home opposition to Frankel, in the Guineas. The jockey picked up a 10-day ban last week, when he was judged to have dropped his hands in a finish and lost a place, and will have his appeal against his punishment, which would rule him out of the Guineas meeting, heard in the morning.
Chris McGrath's Nap
Sand Skier (3.45 Epsom) Yet to win in handicap company but resumes his domestic campaign on a feasible mark after shaping well in a left-field warm-up in France, an amateur lady riders' all-weather contest.
Barney Rebel (4.20 Epsom) Shaped well enough in his two introductory outings last year and appeals as the type to progress.
One to watch
Alainmaar (R Varian) Has not raced for nearly a year owing to injury, but if his recent homework is an indication will soon make up for lost time.
Latest in Sport
Kevin Garside: Manchester United may have history and tradition but, as David Moyes never realised, a big-time manager always bends such things to his will
F1 Hungarian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton disobeys orders and closes gap to Nico Rosberg in title race
Manchester United latest: Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing Angel Di Maria fails to improve
Arsenal: Arrival of Calum Chambers and David Ospina puts Arsène Wenger's spending past £50m
Tour de France 2014: Vincenzo Nibali confirmed as champion as he puts Italy back on the map with triumph
- 1 Secret Cinema interview: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Iraq crisis: End 'very near' for Christianity after Isis takeover, says Bishop
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable software house is looking ...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established professional services...
Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION SO...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...