Fahey sounds Guineas warning after Wootton's lacklustre gallop

Trainers of the old school may not be concerned by the way Richard Fahey deals with his horses – though the evidence, for all the obtuseness of the sport's wealthiest patrons, is that they jolly well ought to be. Yesterday, however, Fahey showed that his dealings with the public are just as exemplary.

It is easy to think of a few established trainers who might keep their misgivings to themselves, had a leading Classic contender failed to convince in his work. But yesterday Fahey candidly volunteered his alarm over Wootton Bassett's preparations for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, a fortnight on Saturday.

The unbeaten colt, whose Group One success in France last autumn sealed a breakthrough season for his trainer and jockey, Paul Hanagan, suffered a setback during the winter and Fahey was dismayed by his weariness after a racecourse gallop over the weekend. The Malton trainer now admits him no better than 50-50 to line up at Newmarket.

"There's nothing wrong, but we just might be running out of time," he said. "Hopefully, we're going to get him away again in the next eight or nine days. He's in the French and Irish Guineas as well. The thing is he's got to be 100 per cent. In this modern day you've got to let people know. I might be doing it wrong: in the next eight or nine days I might be 100 per cent happy. But he just took a good blow the other day. He missed groundwork, you can't replace that."

Victor Chandler responded by making Frankel a still hotter favourite (4-6 from 4-5) for the Guineas. Frankel has apparently been working with undiminished gusto this spring, and remains on course for his rehearsal in the Totesport Greenham Stakes at Newbury on Saturday. So few are prepared to take him on, in fact, that the race was reopened yesterday. The first in a series of Classic trials will be staged on Newmarket's first card of the season tomorrow. Sing Softly, already winner of two races for Ballydoyle this spring, is 9-4 favourite with William Hill for the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes.

Wootton Bassett is not the only elite juvenile whose connections are warning he may drop out of the Guineas. Dream Ahead's trainer, David Simcock, yesterday reiterated that he would only run on good ground. If conditions are any faster, he will wait for the equivalent in France or Ireland.

Turf Account

* Chris McGrath's Nap

Fadhaa (4.20 Wolverhampton)

Out of a half-sister to Sakhee and caught the eye on his debut at Doncaster last autumn, a fine specimen who made encouraging ground before tiring to finish just behind the principals.



* Next best

My Valley (3.30 Folkestone)

Rejuvenated on the all-weather, beating the rest comfortably when bumping into a well handicapped one last time. Form on fast turf in her younger days.



* One to watch

Wyse Hill Teabags (Jim Goldie) proved well treated on his handicap debut at Aintree on Thursday, hampered at a critical stage and rallying for a close third.



* Where the money's going

The Minack is 7-1 from 9-1 with the sponsors for the Coral Scottish National at Ayr on Saturday.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Accounts Executive

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Administrator / Secretary - South East

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time Administrator/Secreta...

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor