NOT since Mrs McArdy, in the hands of Edward Hide, triumphed for Mick Easterby in 1977 has the 1,000 Guineas been brought back to Ryedale.
That is the task facing Sandiva at Newmarket on Sunday when she aims to bridge that 37-year gap by providing Richard Fahey with his first Classic success.
To be ridden by Frankie Dettori, wearing the Al Shaqab colours on behalf of his retaining owner Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, Sandiva came through her dress rehearsal with flying colours. In the Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago, she came out on top by half-a-length over seven furlongs. In the Qipcosponsored Guineas, she will have one more furlong to travel.
“Frankie thinks she’ll stay,” says Fahey, who likewise believes that Sandiva’s growing confidence and demeanour will give her every chance of seeing out the demanding challenge of the Rowley Mile. “She’s settling and relaxing in her races.
That will help her,” adds her trainer, whose horses are in excellent form.
Significant among Fahey’s winners last week was Angel Gabrial, who booked his ticket for the Chester Cup under a brilliantly executed ride from David Nolan in the featured two-mile race at Ripon last Saturday.
Last year, Sandiva emerged as one of the best juvenile fillies in Britain.
She won at Group 3 level in France, a Listed race in Ireland and also finished second in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Saturday is a major test. Generally priced at about 16-1, Sandiva will need to produce a career-best performance to prevail – just as Mrs McArdy did all those years ago. And, for those who believe in significant coincidence, Mrs McArdy also started at 16-1.
• ASK Rachel Richardson to nominate her favourite horse and it’s surely a safe bet that she’ll opt for Fast Shot.
Having recently won a £20,000 handicap on the gelding at Pontefract, Richardson topped that victory by following up on Fast Shot for her boss Tim Easterby at Ripon on Saturday in a £25,000 sprint.
“I just can’t believe he’s won again,” said the 23-year-old from Filey, who originally rode as an amateur before turning professional and taking out an apprentice licence last season.
“Rachel has improved a lot,” said Easterby. “We felt the horse was a bit high in the ratings and needed claiming off and Rachel has hit it off with him.”
Three other female Ryedale apprentices have also enjoyed moments to savour recently. Julie Burke gained a runaway win on Hit The Jackpot for her boss David O’Meara at Beverley, Danielle Mooney rode her first winner of the season – and her first for Mick Easterby – on Alluring Star at Catterick, while at Haydock, Megan Carberry made it three-from-three on Memory Cloth for Brian Ellison.
• TWO horses who were both nominees in the Gazette & Herald’s ‘Ten to Follow’ this season, fought out a tremendous finish at Newcastle last week.
G Force and Soul Brother were separated at the line by only half-alength after the pair had swept four lengths clear of the remainder of the field in the five furlong maiden.
A brother of high-achieving stablemate Body And Soul. Soul Brother went down fighting in second and is surely a winner waiting to happen.
G Force contributed to a tremendous week for O’Meara, who sent out doubles at Catterick and Ayr, a nine-length handicap winner at Beverley in the shape of the Julie Burke-ridden Hit The Jackpot, and also a fluent scorer at Sandown in Eccleston.lllll TOM EAVES reached a milestone last week when chalking-up the 800th win of his career.
The Norton jockey brought up the score aboard Vosne Romanee at Wolverhampton, but wasn’t aware of his achievement until he was told by a particularly well-informed racegoer at Newcastle two days later after he had made it 801 winners on Ko Cache, likewise trained by Keith Dalgleish.
Eaves, whose tally of 16 winners under National Hunt rules before switching to the Flat are included inthe scoresheet, added to the numberboard at Doncaster on Friday aboard Repetition, a 9-1 winner for Norton trainer Kristin Stubbs.
Clever Cookie was also successful at Doncaster for Peter Niven, proving that he’s versatile as well as talented. A Grade 2-winning hurdler at Kelso in March, the gelding comfortably won a maiden on his Flat debut, opening up extra avenues of opportunity for Niven to pursue in the months ahead.
Graham Lee, rider of Clever Cookie, was also seen to good effect for Paul Midgley at Newcastle when gaining a cool, but slender victory onFrosty Berry. “She’s a hold-up mare, who needs to creep into the race and Graham gave her a great ride,” said Midgley.
Mark Walford’s excellent run of success, meanwhle, continues under both codes. The Sheriff Hutton trainer, who took over from his father Tim on February 1, has sent out a stream of winners in the last six weeks and added a couple more to his tally last week, courtesy of Oliver’s Gold, 16-1 winner of a handicap hurdle at Newcastle and Lorimer’s Lot, who scored under Duran Fentiman at 12-1 at Ripon on Saturday.
Lorimer’s Lot is part-owned by Peter Lorimer, one of the key players of Don Revie’s Leeds Utd team of the 1970s. Still a stalwart of the club, Lorimer missed seeing his colours carried to victory at Ripon; he was at an away match witnessing Leeds’ 3-1 drubbing of Birmingham.
• RYEDALE stable staff are being given the opportunity of pulling on breeches, boots and colours and riding in a race at Beverley in August, as part of the Malton Open Day celebrations.
Once again, stables in the area, big and small, will be open to the public on Sunday, August 31 with proceeds going to a number of charities, including Jack Berry House, Malton Hospital and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
One week before the Open Day, tagged on to the end of Beverley’s raceday on August 24 will be a fivefurlong race for staff from stables taking part in the popular event.
Entry forms have gone out to trainers and, with the deadline not far off, Tim FitzGerald, chairman of the Malton Racing Association, is urging staff and trainers not to miss out.
“It’s open to anyone who works in one of the yards that take part in the Open Day, provided they have been in racing at least a year and haven’t ridden a winner. There are lots of very good riders in local yards who may have had a few rides earlier in their career, but who never made jockeys, that might jump at the chance of getting back on the course and riding in a race. Everyone who rides will get six tickets on the day to allow family and friends to come and support them and all we ask is that riders raise £500 for the Open Day charities.”