Bengali Boys powers through the mud to see off Declarationoflove
Richard Fahey is no stranger to big prizes but the jockey’s 10 per cent of the £120,000 first prize in the Weatherbys Super Sprint was gratefully received by Barry McHugh after Bengali Boys ran away with the five-furlong run in the mud at Newbury yesterday.
Despite regular successes at the top level these days, Fahey’s bread and butter purchases are still under £40,000 and this race, where two-year-olds are allotted a weight according to their auction price as a yearling, is always at the back of his mind when buying.
“‘Cheap speed’ we call it,” he said after Bengali Boys, which cost €11,000 (£9870), had come home six lengths clear of Declarationoflove, by some margin the biggest “winner” in first season trainer Tom Clover’s short career bagging the £52,000 runner-up prize. “We do try to win this race and this is the third time we’ve won it in five years.
“The day we bought him I said he’d win this race,” he said deadpan, before adding, “but I also said it about four others. He had solid form but the ground has brought about a huge improvement in him. Our filly in third, Maggies Angel, hated it and it was only her class that got her home.”
The trainer added: “Barry said on the way down he’d take the winter off if he won. But I’ve bad news for him – he’s not. He was apprentice to me originally and he’s stayed a big part of the team.”
The Super Sprint was not McHugh’s only job yesterday. Fahey had insisted he drive the car from Malton to Newbury. “And then he was giving out to me the whole way,” recalled the delighted McHugh who, in common with all jockeys yesterday, was wearing a black armband as a mark of respect to Stephen Yarborough, the stalls handler killed in an accident at Haydock on Friday. “He’d go and do it again,” said McHugh of the colt. “What a star he is to travel like that in that ground and win like he did.”
After giving his shoulder injury an extra six days’ recovery, it did not take Frankie Dettori long to get back into the winner’s enclosure after Magical Memory, Charlie Hills’ grey sprinter, ran out a comfortable length and a quarter winner of the bet365 Hackwood Stakes.
The gelding, owned by Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, lost his way in the Diamond Jubilee finishing almost last but his confidence has returned and, having won his last two, he will now head to France for the Group One Maurice de Gheest. Proof that it was properly wet and sloppy came in the bet365 Steventon Stakes when Eve Johnson Houghton’s grand six-year-old What About Carlo carted jockey Charlie Bishop to the front two and a half furlongs out before going on to beat Arthenus two and three quarter lengths. Blewbury trainer Johnson Houghton has been going from strength to strength in the last few seasons and every year she has had the sixyear-old, whom Anthony Pye-Jeary originally owned with the late actor Mel Smith, has paid his way.
“He loves to get his wellies on and he loves Newbury – it was right up his street,” said the trainer whose 28th winner of the campaign it was.
Sprint specialist: Trainer Richard Fahey