HE is one of Ryedale racing’s heroes. He has captured the minds of the horse racing nation. His ability is often questioned, but never his heart. The horse in question is Brian The Snail, writes Lucy Russell-Hughes.

The Richard Fahey-trained stalwart, has proved time and time again that age is just a number and class is permanent.

The grey sprinter powered to his third victory this season, with a tremendous win under the lights at Kempton last week to claim the Class Two Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Handicap.

Now a six-year-old, Brian The Snail overcame odds of 14/1 to land last week’s six-furlong contest in fine style to record his eight career win.

It was a career best performance from the gelding who has been trained masterfully by his Musley Bank trainer over the years.

“He’s a star," said Fahey. He has got quite a following which amazes me.

"I’ve called him a lot of names in his time, but he seems to be running consistently at the moment which is good.”

Malton jockey Jack Garritty was in the saddle as the pair weaved their way through the field of eight runners to win by only a short head.

The Ryedale raiders were given the verdict after a photo finish in which they beat the heavily odds-on favourite, a progressive and unexposed colt – Premier Power.

From the powerful connections of trainer Roger Varian, jockey Silvestre De Sousa and owners King Power Racing, Premier Power was in search of his third career win but denied by a horse who has clearly thrived this year under these particular underfoot conditions.

Considering the short margin of victory, Garritty expressed his delight after the result had been called.

“At the line I thought I had won but it was quite close," he said.

"To be fair to the horse he has battled on well to the line and it was a good performance by him.”

Whether Brian The Snail makes another appearance on the artificial surface before the start of next season remains to be seen. But one thing that is certain, is his liking for this type of track.

His first run on the Kempton Polytrack last week was a winning one and his two other victories this campaign have both been at Newcastle on their all-weather course.

When asked about the key to his wellbeing, Garritty said; “I think the boss and his team know him very well.

"He is a proven, hardy sprinter, sometimes he can be a little inconsistent and sprinters can be like that but on his day, he is good, and he has proved that tonight.”

Garritty, who was riding Brian The Snail for only the second time competitively, felt the horse had his optimal conditions on the night which played in their favour.

“It was ideal tonight because we were in stall one and the plan was to go forward and take a lead and it worked out perfect," he said.

"We followed the favourite all the way and thankfully we have prevailed.”

Looking to follow in the footsteps of his father and now his younger up and coming brother, Garritty is about to embark on a new chapter in the national hunt sphere.

He added: “I’ve had a good spell recently. I have a new agent who is doing a good job for me and hopefully we can keep up the good work.

"I have my bumper license as well so I will have a go at riding in some bumpers this winter if anyone wants to give me a ride."

Once a very talented two-year-old, Brian The Snail was snapped up by racing giants Godolphin after impressing early on in his career.

He was sent off a very short priced favourite for the Listed Westow Stakes at the 2017 York Dante meeting at the age of three but failed to beat a rival.

For that season he was racing off marks in the low 100’s and was thought of very highly by those around him. He appeared to struggle in group and listed pattern races and became inconsistent at the top level.

However, Fahey remained loyal. So did his groom Eireann Cagney.

Cagney holds an amateur jockey’s license and has been a work rider at Musley Bank for many years. He looks after the son of Zebedee and has accompanied him to most if not all of his racecourse encounters, including Kempton last Wednesday evening.

Speaking about Brian The Snail, Cagney said “Throughout his career he has taken me to some of the main events in the racing calendar, with along the way becoming a household name. He’s an absolute credit to the team and the good Doctor.”

The good Doctor as Cagney alluded too - is Dr Marwan Koukash, whose grey silks with the yellow star have become a regular sight on racecourses up and down the land.

After acquiring the gelding at the 2018 horses in training sales, Brian The Snail has won four times under his ownership, three of those have been this season.

Koukash spoke on Twitter after last week’s gallant performance from his grey and said “This Brian is the best Brian I have known. Well done everyone.”