Hat trick for Fahey's northern powerhouse as Bengali Boys streaks home in Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury
At a pretty wet Newbury Racecourse, Bengali Boys gave North Yorkshire trainer Richard Fahey his third success in five years in the £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint. Bengali Boys routed the opposition in the highlight race of Weatherbys Super Sprint Day - with after racing entertainment from Jess Glynne (Saturday, July 22).
The two-year-old son of Clodovil was allotted 8st 7lb for the five-furlong contest, with the weights decided by each horse's auction price, and the grey colt, who cost 11,000 euros as a yearling, powered clear over a furlong from home under Barry McHugh in front of a crowd in excess of 18,000.
Bengali Boys, a 12/1 chance, continued to open up daylight over his 22 rivals in the closing stages to win by six lengths in 1min 4.05secs on soft going - equalling the record Weatherbys Super Sprint winning distance held by Lyric Fantasy (1992) and Tiggy Wiggy (2014).
20/1 shot Declarationoflove took second for first-season trainer Tom Clover and jockey Oisin Murphy, a neck ahead of another Fahey-trained entry Maggies Angel (Paul Hanagan), who had been sent off the 9/4 favourite. The Malton trainer saddled five runners in this very valuable race.
Fahey, previously successful with Peniaphobia (2013) and Lathom (2015), admitted: "It looks like Bengali Boys likes that ground! He had been working well and had some solid form, but you are not sure which way they are going to go on that ground. He definitely liked it."
"This is a race that we target every year and we have been lucky enough to win it three times now in the last five years. When we go to the sales, we buy horses for the Weatherbys Super Sprint - you need cheap horses for this race and Bengali Boys only cost 11,000 euros."
"Funnily enough, the day we bought Bengali Boys, I said that he would definitely win the Weatherbys Super Sprint. It's not very often that you can say that, but he has sluiced up, so he must love the ground."
McHugh thought Bengali Boys was 'a little star of a horse, to travel on that ground and win like he did': "I came down with Richard in the car and I was more worried about his filly Maggies Angel, but this lad has strengthened up a hell of a lot since his break [he won on his debut at Beverley in April and finished a close second twice in May]."
"Looking at the paper beforehand, he wasn't a no hoper. This is what owning a horse is all about - if you can get one that is reasonable and win a pot like this, it pays for his way and for a few others."
Frankie Dettori, having his first rides for six days as he recovers from a shoulder injury, treated racegoers to a flying dismount after partnering 3/1 favourite Magical Memory, owned by Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, to glory in the 10-runner £60,000 G3 bet365 Hackwood Stakes over six furlongs.
Stepping back up in class after taking a Haydock Park conditions race on July 8, the Charlie Hills-trained five-year-old grey stayed on strongly to take the lead passing the furlong pole and leave Perfect Angel (20/1, Andrew Balding/Martin Dwyer) for a comfortable length and a quarter win He has won eight of his 22 races.
Afterwards, Dettori called Magical Memory 'a lovely old boy': "Today was actually the easiest time that I have ridden him - he usually does just enough, but he put daylight between himself and the rest."
"He has been through the ranks and has just missed out in G1 races. He is better than the rest at this level and he is a gelding, so we have got him for another two or three years."
With hours of heavy rain, the going was soft - sorting out the horses who can cope well with those somewhat unusual conditions for flat racing.
Popular six-year-old What About Carlo, trained locally in Blewbury by Eve Johnson-Houghton, gained a third success at Newbury with a clear-cut victory in the five-runner £37,000 Listed bet365 Stakes over a mile and a quarter.
Sent off the 5/2 joint-favourite alongside G2 winner Best Of Days, What About Carlo hit the front approaching the final quarter-mile and stayed on well in the testing conditions for Charlie Bishop to beat 13/2 chance Arthenus (James Fanshawe/Tom Queally) by two and three-quarter lengths in 2m 12.78secs.
Johnson-Houghton admitted that on the ratings, What About Carlo shouldn't have won: "But he loves Newbury and this wet ground - he loves to get his wellies on! He is just such a star and loves the game."
"You can't put heart and ability in horses, you just have to do the best you can with what you have got, and thank God we have got him."
Racing was followed by an energetic performance from Jess Glynne to round off the day in fine style.
Photos courtesy Newbury Racecourse.