THE mighty Garswood secured his place as a stallion and provided Richard Fahey with another career highlight when bagging a “deserved” Group 1 prize in France, writes Tom O’Ryan.
In the hands of veteran jockey Gerald Mosse, the four-year-old achieved his first success at the premier level in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville on Sunday, carrying the colours of David Armstrong, who shares the colt with Cheveley Park Stud.
Garswood, previously successful at Group 2 and Listed level, and placed in Group 1 company, pocketed a first prize of more than £166,000 and could well be crossing the channel again before the season is over.
Having finished third in last year’s Prix de la Foret at Longchamp on Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe day, the early-October showpiece is likely to be considered again.
Fahey could not be present at Deauville. The tail-end of Hurricane Bertha disrupted air travel and the Malton trainer was unable to secure a flight to France. It did not reduce the delight of seeing Garswood give him a third career Group 1 win after Mayson’s 2012 July Cup triumph at Newmarket and the Prix Jean Luc-Lagardere won by Wootton Bassett at Longchamp in 2011.
“He deserved it,” said Fahey of Garswood’s win. “He’s always been a horse with a lot of ability and, with such a laid-back temperament, you often feel you’ve never reached the bottom of him.”
Garswood’s success followed a Saturday four-timer for the Musley Bank trainer, comprising Our Gabrial’s narrow victory under Olivier Peslier at Ascot’s Shergar Cup fixture, Dave Nolan scoring on Rene Mathis at Newmarket, and Ewell Place and Ingleby Symphony winning at Ayr under stable apprentices Jack Garritty and George Chaloner respectively.
Remarkably, Fahey went on to record another four-timer on Monday, three of his winners coming at Thirsk’s evening meeting, all ridden by Tony Hamilton.
Meanwhile, David O’Meara was another Ryedale trainer to make his presence felt at the Shergar Cup meeting, where jockeys from all around the world pit their skills on mounts drawn by ballot over six races.
O’Meara drew the services of Richard Hughes for Highland Acclaim and Britain’s champion jockey shone on the sprinter when getting him home by a nose - the same margin of victory enjoyed by Our Gabrial.