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‘Ranger’ on the prowl

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Forest Ranger will not be a surprise if he causes another in the group two, £185,700 Dante Stakes over ten furlongs of ‘good to soft’ York today; five weeks ago this Richard Fahey-trained Lawman colt stormed home over the straight Newcastle tapeta mile.

At halfway Forest Ranger, a 25/1 shot, was just another runner but Tony Hamilton got a right response close home and they finished nigh on three lengths ahead of previous conqueror, Syphax. The time-figure was tremendous, far better than anything achieved by any of ten rivals.

Armed with this information we’ve got to plot a way through a minefield of form, statistics, and opinions; Forest Ranger is worth chancing and I’ll bet the Malton ‘winning machine’ is looking forward to taking on a clutch of fancied Southern raiders, which include Epsom Derby favourite, Cracksman, trained by mercurial, John Gosden.

Looking forward to this and don’t worry about the extra distance because the uphill climb of Gosforth Park nigh on equates to a mile and a quarter elsewhere.

Remember when we ‘tipped up The Grey Gatsby for this ‘Derby trial!’

Far from the madding crowd a six-race ‘twilight’ fixture on the Newmarket Rowley Mile course where Red Roman is expected to open proceedings with success in a 2-y-o Novice Stakes over six furlongs.

Eleven days ago Charles Hills introduced Red Roman on this famous track and was fairly pleased with fourth (of six!) over the minimum trip. Jamie Spencer reported afterwards that extra distance would be required for this Holy Roman Emperor colt.

Spencer isn’t available and another former champion jockey, Silvestre de Souza is booked.

Way Of Wisdom ran on strongly to win, less than four lengths clear of Red Roman; my time-handicap computation reveals this is just about the best juvenile form on offer to date.

Half an hour later Mutarabby, one of two Godolphin-owned ‘decs’ which were ‘beaten favourites’ last time out, represents a sound each-way bet under Dane O’Neill for a nine-runner 3-y-o Maiden Stakes over the straight ten furlongs; what beats Saeed Bin Suroor’s charge will win and recent losses should be recouped.

O’Neill has been a model of consistency down the years as ‘number two’ for Hamdan Al Maktoum, what more could any ‘forty-something’ jockey want. Does the job, without fuss.

Fehily was banned for seven days

Noel Fehily was banned for seven days by the Worcester stewards after being found guilty of misusing his whip.

Officials inquired into his ride aboard A Three Eighty, winner of the Eventsi Marquee Hire - Visit Mares’ Intermediate Open National Hunt Flat Race.

The stewards found Fehily guilty of using his whip above the permitted level and banned him from May 31 to June 6 inclusive.

Kennedy taken to hospital after a bad fall

Jack Kennedy has been taken to hospital after sustaining a suspected fractured femur in a fall at Punchestown.

The rider, who landed this year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on Labaik, was unshipped from Bobbie’s Diamond at the last fence in the La Touche Restaurant Novice Chase.

Dr Bernard Healy, the medical officer on duty for the Turf Club, said: “Jack was transferred to Naas hospital with a queried fractured femur.

“It’s almost certainly a fracture to the left femur.”


York • 12.30 Forest Ranger (e.w) • Newmarket,

2.50 Roman Red (e.w)

3.20 Mutarabby (nap-e.w).



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