Racing News: 24 July 2017

Fahey First At Newbury Again, Tragedy At Haydock and Sibling Rivalry In King George

Bengali The Boss In Super Sprint

Saturday’s big betting race came down at Newbury, with the latest renewal of the Weatherby’s Super Sprint. With the trainer having taken the prize twice in the past four years, the runners from the yard of Richard Fahey were high on the short list of many punters here.

The dropping in class Maggies Angel looked the obvious one and went off a solid 9/4 favourite. She ran a decent race in third, but was simply no match for Fahey’s second string, Bengali Boys. This one has clearly improved leaps and bounds for his recent mini-break. He also seemed to thrive for this first encounter with soft ground. The result could be called a fair way from home here as the son of Clodovil blew the field away for an impressive six length success.

Thanks For The Memories Cathy, Get Well Ana and R.I.P. Stephen

This past week certainly wasn’t without incident when it came to events highlighting the inherent dangers of the racing game. The rigours of time and injuries have finally caught up with Cathy Gannon, who has now been forced into retirement. One of the shining lights amongst the female jockeys, her tenacious attitude will be missed by many.

Ana O’Brien meanwhile is at the other end of her career, but will now be facing a battle of her own having suffered fractures to her neck and back in an awful incident at Killarney. Here’s hoping for a swift and full recovery for the daughter of Irish Champion trainer, Aidan O’Brien.

The worst incident of all however came at Haydock where a terrible accident involving the starting stalls resulted in 60 year old stalls handler, Stephen Yarborough losing his life in truly tragic circumstances. A well-liked, experienced member of the stalls handling team, this was a loss that reverberated around the racing world.

Brothers Battle in Berkshire

Looking ahead to the coming weekend, the undoubted highlight comes at Ascot. The Berkshire venue plays host to the 2017 renewal of the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday afternoon.

Won by all-time greats such as Brigadier Gerard, Mill Reef and Galileo over the years, this year’s edition looks set to be another thriller. Having landed this last year, Highland Reel bids to become just the third horse to bag the prize on more than one occasion but will face some stiff competition. His full brother and stablemate, Idaho looks likely to be one of his main rivals, along with the classy dual Oaks winner Enable, whose weight concession from the colts may prove telling.

It’s the tough as teak Highland Reel who remains favourite though at 2/1. However, should Enable be confirmed for the race on Thursday morning, it wouldn’t be the greatest surprise to see her start favourite on the day. A real cracker in store then, and with Glorious Goodwood also edging ever closer, there is certainly plenty for racing fans to look forward to.

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