WOOTTON BASSETT, Ryedale’s big hope for Classic success in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, will not run in the big race on Saturday week.

Richard Fahey has admitted that the prestigious event has come too soon for his stable star, who was unbeaten in five races last year, clinched a Group 1 triumph in France, and scooped more than £500,000 in prize money to make him the biggest money-earning juvenile in England and Ireland of 2010.

Wootton Bassett suffered a setback at the beginning of this year, which forced him to miss three weeks work, and Fahey has been fighting a battle since to have him ready in time. After a recent racecourse gallop at Newcastle, the Malton trainer declared that his three-year-old had “had a good blow,” and “was only 50-50” to make his April 30 Guineas deadline. He has now conceded defeat and, earlier this week, he conceded: “We’ve run out of time. He’s not going to run at Newmarket, not because there’s anything wrong with him, but basically because he’s not ready. To be fair to the horse and to everyone, he’s got to be 100 per cent to go and run in a Classic, and I don’t feel he is at the moment. Missing that work at the turn of the year was always going to make things tight, and we’re not there with him yet.”

Fahey has not, however, given up hope of still bidding for Classic glory with Wootton Bassett. He explained: “He’s in the Irish and the French 2,000 Guineas next month. We’ll keep both those options open and, hopefully, he’ll be able to go for one of them.”

The Musley Bank trainer may still be represented in the Newmarket Guineas, but in the 1,000 and not the 2,000. Barefoot Lady earned herself consideration for the fillies’ Classic after last week winning the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes – a traditional Classic stepping-stone – in ultra-game style on the same course.

Owners Helen and Norman Steel now have to decide whether to stump up a supplementary entry fee of £30,000 to put Barefoot Lady, who was not originally entered, into the Guineas line-up. “She’s come out of the race fine and is a filly who is all heart. I shall be discussing the Guineas with her owners this weekend and between us we’ll make a decision about whether she runs,” said Fahey.

Barefoot Lady completed a stupendous big-race double for Fahey at Newmarket. On the same day, Sir Reginald, making his first appearance of 2011, clinched the Tattersalls Million Stakes, which carried a first prize of more than £83,000, for owner Jim McGrath, well-known as a racing presenter and pundit on Channel 4.

• AFTER that notable Newmarket double on Barefoot Lady and Sir Reginald, which he described as “one of the best days’ racing I’ve ever had,” a big week beckons for Paul Hanagan, who will don his dinner suit again on Thursday night as he steps into the spotlight at the Professional Jockeys’ Association ‘Lesters’ Awards in Birmingham.

Malton’s highly-celebrated champion jockey is nominated for three awards – much coveted ‘Lesters’, named in honour of the greatest of jockeys – as a result of his magnificent 2010 campaign. Only one other jockey, Tony McCoy, jump racing’s perennial champion, has three nominations.

Hanagan, who is already the holder of two ‘Lesters’, is short-listed for Flat Jockey of the Year, Ride of the Season – on Opening Nite, a narrow winner at Ayr last September – and the Flat Jockey Special Recognition award.

“It’s unbelievable to be up for three awards, it’s something I never expected,” said Hanagan, who will be opposed by his good friend and stable-mate Tony Hamilton for the Ride of the Season prize.

Hamilton has been nominated for his skilful handling of Kyllachy Star at Chester last August, when he overcame a wide draw on the gelding to gain a slender win – with Hanagan in second place.

Amy Ryan, daughter of Hambleton trainer Kevin, is one of four nominees for the Female Jockey of the Year, while Norton-based Jimmy Sullivan, who is attached to Mick Easterby’s Sheriff Hutton stable, is in the running for the Apprentice Jockey of the Year award.

• ONE week shy of the end of the jumps campaign, Malcolm Jefferson added a sizeable layer of icing to his seasonal cake at Ayr last Saturday when the giant-sized Gilbarry gained a major triumph at the popular and prestigious Scottish Grand National meeting.

Partnered by Graham Lee, Gilbarry won the Grade 2 Scottish Sun Future Champions Novices’ Chase by a yawning 16 lengths after a faultless display of jumping to prove himself a high-class recruit to the fencing game.

Jefferson said; “The trip (two and a half miles) suited him. He went to Aintree the previous week over two miles and that was probably on the short side for him. I think he’ll get three miles in time. He’s a big horse, a bit of a looker, and he’s got plenty of size for the future.”

Jefferson came close to a double at Ayr when Attaglance ran a fine race in defeat under James Halliday, going down by only a length in the handicap hurdle.

• PONTY ACCLAIM. Make a note of the name, because you could be hearing a lot more of it. The Tim Easterby-trained filly made an impressive winning debut at Ripon last Saturday and looks a cut above average. Partnered by Duran Fentiman, the daughter of Acclamation asserted her superiority entering the final furlong and was more than two lengths clear at the line.

“She only cost £5,000,” said Easterby, who seemed far from surprised at her success. “She’s a lovely filly and she had been working well at home. The Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury in the summer is her target.”

Ponty Acclaim is the second juvenile debutante Easterby has scored with at Ripon this season. At the opening meeting, he sent out Queens Revenge to win under David Allan.

Ponty Acclaim’s success completed a cracking week for Fentiman, who had ridden a double at Catterick on Wednesday aboard Noel Wilson’s Irish Boy and Trading for Easterby, who confirmed the well-being of his Habton Grange team when Border Reiver underlined his liking for Wetherby on Sunday with a third course success.

• NAWTON trainer David O’Meara was doubly pleased to see King’s Counsel win at Catterick last week. Not only was the gelding well supported in the betting before scoring at 11-4, he was ridden to victory by Danny Tudhope, who was riding his first winner of the year after undergoing keyhole surgery on his knee.

“I’m really pleased for Danny, because he comes in regularly riding out for us and has been working hard. He’s a good jockey, an asset to us, and we’ll be supporting him all we can,” said O’Meara.

Freddie Tylicki was also on the scoreboard at the same meeting. Malton’s 2009 champion, who missed the second half of last year after shattering his shoulder in a severe fall at Musselburgh, won on Shadow Catcher, his third winner in a week for Darlington trainer Michael Dods. “Things are coming together well,” said Tylicki, who is relishing the challenge of picking up the pieces of his career and getting firmly back in the winning groove.

• MEANDMYSHADOW is certainly well named. As she flashed past the winning post at Beverley last week, the Ryedale filly did indeed have a shadow, a persistent rival named Exchange – and the judge was unable to separate the pair after calling a photo-finish.

The thrilling outcome to the race was a dead-heat, with the pair finishing just a neck in front of Ever Roses, trained by Paul Midgley.

Meandmyshadow is trained at Yedingham by Alan Brown, who was posting his second success in the first three weeks of the Flat turf season.

Midgley again came off narrowly worse with a Ryedale rival the following day at Wolverhampton when his Marino Prince failed by half-a-length to beat Barton Bounty, trained by Peter Niven and ridden by Shane B Kelly in the apprentices’ race.

Among other local trainers on the mark last week were Geoff Oldroyd, who sent out Lady Gar Gar to win at Beverley. Twenty four hours earlier, the Brawby trainer had seen his stable-star Ladies Are Forever finish fifth to Barefoot Lady in the Nell Gwyn Stakes, which was her first attempt beyond six furlongs. Highly respectable effort, though it was, Ladies Are Forever appeared not to stay the extra distance and now seems unlikely to be upped further to a mile for the 1,000 Guineas on Sunday week.

• AND finally, congratulations go to Toni Syddall, who has ridden her first winner on only her second mount.

The amateur rider, who is attached to Richard Fahey’s Musley Bank yard, hit the target aboard Bawaardi at Doncaster last Saturday evening when getting the gelding home by half a length at odds of 7-1.

For any rider, the first winner is a never to be forgotten moment. And it was made even more memorable for Syddall by the location. “It couldn’t have been better,” she said. “I’m from Doncaster and my family were there to see it. It was great.”