Lathom leads home Fahey 1-2 in Weatherbys Super Sprint
Richard Fahey saddled an unprecedented eight runners in the £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint (3.45pm) and the North Yorkshire trainer enjoyed a 1-2 in the highlight at Newbury today, Saturday, July 18, as Lathom edged out Mr Lupton in a tremendous finish.
A field of 22 went to post for the six-furlong contest and the Tim Easterby-trained Excessable looked set to triumph after storming to the front entering the final quarter-mile but the 2/1 favourite was swamped in the closing stages with Lathom scoring by a neck at odds of 28/1 – the longest-priced scorer for 10 years.
Winning jockey Tony Hamilton said: “Lathom was electric out of the gates, so I was able to sit where I wanted to be. Paul Hanagan gave me an ideal lead and I travelled well – it was all about looking for a bit of room and, when I found it, he picked up well.
“I probably have myself to blame a little bit for his run in the Windsor Castle Stakes. The American horse went very quick and I half tried to lay up with him. I went too quick, too soon and he didn’t finish. He got a lead today, picked up nicely and won it well.”
Runner-up Mr Lupton(25/1) is the first horse to run in the colours of Noel Kershaw and the owner said: “He ran a fantastic race and nearly got there but I am delighted. This is my first season and I am having a great time. Richard is fantastic and very inclusive – I feel that I have learnt so much more about the racing game.
“This isn’t going to be good for my wife, because I am going to be into it for a bit more next year. The train back to Bradford will be interesting this evening!”
There was a nose back to the third Field Of Vision who could make a quick reappearance next week after finishing third, a nose behind Mr Lupton, at odds of 33/1.
His trainer Joe Tuite, who trains locally at Great Shefford, revealed: “He is entered at Bath on Wednesday and we will see how he comes out of this race. He is tough and hard – we prepared him to come here hoping for a big run and he has run better than expected.
“The owners are a great bunch of people and he was a cheap horse. We aimed him at this and said that we would have a day out and it is great fun to get a few quid.”
Fahey, as well as sending out the first two, was responsible for the fourth, 50/1 shot David Duchess, who finished a length and three quarters behind the third and a length ahead of Excessable in fifth.
Less than a length and a half covered the field in the Group Three Al Basti Equiworld Hackwood Stakes (3.10pm), as 4/1 chance Strath Burn, trained in Lambourn by Charlie Hills, followed up success in a Doncaster maiden with a smooth victory under Jim Crowley from Godolphin’s Portamento.
Hills said: “We were worried about the ground and I think he will be a better horse when he gets a bit more juice in the ground but it’s great to see him get his head in front. He thoroughly deserves to win a Group race.
“The main problem has been with his one of his feet, which has always held us back. He ran a couple of times last year when it was bottomless and he kept pulling the shoes off.
“It’s great getting on a nice, level track today, which helped us. He is a very big horse, who hits the ground hard and has a bit of a knee-action. I think he likes to feel his feet hitting the ground – it helps him keep balanced.
“I have always thought that he could win a Group race and we will have a look where to go next.”
Jim Crowley added: “The ground might have been a bit quick for Strath Burn today but he goes on it and I think that you will see a better horse on slower ground next time.
“He was very brave today and got into a battle from two furlongs down – he stuck his neck out and tried hard. Charlie told me to keep it simple and he stays six furlongs very well. It worked out nicely.”
A step back up in class beckons for Intilaaq, who continued his perfect record at Newbury with an impressive win in the Listed JLT Stakes (2.35pm). The Roger Varian-trained three-year-old readily won a maiden at the course in April before disappointing in the 2000 Guineas.
Mustadeem raced off into an uncontested lead at the start of the 10-furlong contest and still held an advantage of 30 lengths turning for home before being collared over a furlong out, with 2/1 chance Intilaaq staying on well to beat 6/4 favourite Consort by two and a quarter lengths.
Varian commented: “It is always a relief when the ones that you think are good win. I am delighted for the horse and he is very exciting. He is very lightly-raced and there are hopefully better things to come.
“They are funny races to watch when they pan out like that. You can’t help but worry turning for home when you have so much to make up but, on the flip side, you think the horse can’t keep up a gallop like that. I think I was confident that we had a good shout halfway down the straight.
“He is well entered up and we will get him home and see how he comes out of this race. He has options going forwards and the Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock in about three weeks could be a possibility. I will speak to Paul, Angus Gold and Sheikh Hamdan and make a plan from there.
“I wouldn’t rule returning to a Group One but I wouldn’t think that it will be his next race.”
Winning jockey Paul Hanagan said: “It’s every jockey’s nightmare when one horse goes off out in front – you can’t give them too far but, at the same time, he went off so quickly. It actually worked out well because he was a little bit fresh having not run for a while and was able to drop his head straightaway.
“We have always thought the world of him. His homework is very nice and has got one of the best temperaments that you could ask for. He is an absolute pleasure.
“He is still very inexperienced and it showed there when he hit the front. He had a look bit about so I changed my hands and he went again. He has had a nice day out today.”
Forest Maiden (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) repelled all challengers to bravely take the mile Al Basti Equiworld EBF Breeding Winners Fillies’ Handicap (2.00pm). The Godolphin filly made all of the running to triumph in a thrilling finish at odds of 8/1, with a pair of short-heads separating the first three home.
William Buick said: “Forest Maiden is very game. She took me on a little bit early on, which is never good when you are in front, but she was always comfortable and was never going to give up. It was a good performance because I was there to be a shot at – they all had a go but she kept on top.
“She’s a filly that we always thought quite a lot of last year and she has obviously got her act together now. Hopefully, she can build in this.”
The opening thoroughbred contest of the day, the John Hills Maiden (1.25pm), was run in memory of the popular Lambourn trainer who died from cancer last year. The 10-furlong contest was won by 11/2 shot Heartless (Andrew Balding/David Probert), who headed long-time leader Demonstration near the line to score by half a length under David Probert.
Balding commented: “We sent Heartless up to Doncaster last time and she must have got out of bed on the wrong side – she was keen in the race, ran around and didn’t really finish. We put the cross noseband on today and she switched off nicely and finished really well.
“I will have to talk to the Qatar Racing management about where to go next. Obviously, with their breeding programme, I would imagine they might keep her in training next year if there was a chance of getting black type. She is not a million miles away from it based on what she shows at home and the way she won today.
“It was nice to win John’s race as well as he was a great man.”
The Brian Meehan-trained Windfast (11/2) belied a 351-day lay-off to take the seven-furlong Malone Roofing Handicap (4.20pm) for soon-to-retire jockey Richard Hughes, while 7/2 chance Wordiness (David Evans/Silvestre de Sousa) completed a hat-trick with a game victory in the closing Grundon Recycle Handicap (4.55pm) over two miles.
Katonahotinroof produced one of the performances of the day with a 15-length success in the Royal Cavalry Of Oman Maiden (12.55pm) for purebred Arabians. Newbury hosts the prestigious Dubai International Arabian Races next Sunday, July, 26.