Gutsy Mickdaam gives Fahey Derby prospects

 

The Roodee

An odds-on favourite already bestrides the Epsom betting, and the flat-out success of Mickdaam in the trial staged across the mire here yesterday did nothing to alter that.

The colt he thwarted, however, may yet intrude on the Triple Crown dreams of those already marking down the Investec Derby for Camelot.

After taking time to find his feet in the MBNA Chester Vase, Model Pupil would have nailed Mickdaam in another stride. Their riders had no idea who had won the day, but Michael Hills could at least later console himself that his mount had proved his eligibility for a very different type of challenge.

In truth, if he could get so close to a rival as seasoned as Mickdaam, careering round these bends in May, then Model Pupil will surely be a force to be reckoned with down the long, galloping straight at Doncaster in September. The sponsors duly introduced him at 16-1 for the Ladbrokes St Leger.

In the meantime, the jockey and trainer of Mickdaam will eagerly embrace the odds against him at Epsom, broadly assessed at 33-1 by the bookmakers. This colt was last month restored to Richard Fahey's Malton yard by Mike De Kock, the South African trainer who had custody of him in Dubai during the winter. Fourth in the UAE Derby, Mickdaam had looked ready for this longer trip when running well on his return at the Craven meeting.

Sure enough, matching the pugnacious style of Tony Hamilton in the saddle, yesterday he saw off the two Irish raiders in the straight before holding Model Pupil's late charge by a nose.

"Not bad," Fahey mused. "A little northern lad like me having a runner in the Derby." If nothing else, it is gratifying to see him finally training for the Maktoum family – the colt is owned by Sheikh Mohammed's cousin – and Hamilton in the frame for a maiden Classic ride. Having won the Lincoln on the first day of the campaign, the jockey is certainly making the most of Paul Hanagan's departure from Malton to ride for Sheikh Hamdan.

"I always knew it might be a big season for me," Hamilton said. "I've been with Richard for 10 years, and with Paul taking the big job I knew someone would have to ride the horses. I didn't know it would be me, but I hoped so. This horse does know how to fight, and that's what he did all the way."

As for Model Pupil, Charlie Hills may have a colt competent to fill the tragic void left by the loss of Gray Pearl at Newmarket last weekend. "Michael said they stacked up in the back, and it just took him a while to get going, but that he was gaining all the time," the young trainer said. "He's very gutsy and get the Leger trip."

The other Group race on the card was also won by a desert migrant. Marcret, who had joined Marco Botti from his Italian homeland for a Dubai campaign, was entered for a sale last week but bought privately by Dr Marwan Koukash when he realised that the Betfair Huxley Stakes would close first.

"I had never seen the horse before today," said the owner, whose expanding string is so focused on this meeting. "But I was desperate for a runner in this race." As it happened, his filly, Myplacelater, finished second – but he can only have liked what he saw of Marcret, both before and during the race.

For Botti, this was a timely tonic before the unbeaten Kingsdesire takes on Bonfire, the nearest rival to Camelot in the Derby market, in today's Stobart Barristers Dee Stakes.

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Imperial Djay (1.35 Chester) From a stable in form, this course winner handles bad ground and is likely to exploit a fair mark, shaping well when set plenty to do last time.

Next best

Bunraku (4.15 Chester) Travelled strongly in Newmarket debut race whose form is working out well, and ran as though she will like this shorter distance.

One to watch

Escape To Glory (Mikael Magnusson) was only 19th in a Newmarket sprint on Sunday but moved powerfully until badly hampered and eased.

Where the money's going

Converted jump jockey Graham Lee is now 7-4 with William Hill to ride 50 winners during the Flat turf season.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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: Experienced Bookkeeper - German Speaking - Part Time

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...

Ashdown Group: Field Service Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...

Recruitment Genius: Sales & Marketing Co-Ordinator

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence