Realtra camp have Sprint concern
Views from connections ahead of Saturday's Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury.
Richard Fahey has a slight worry that Weatherbys Super Sprint favourite Realtra may not be quite quick enough as the filly drops back down to the minimum distance at Newbury.
Realtra appears to be Fahey's best chance of landing back-to-back wins in the £250,000 sales race, where weight carried is determined by the price fetched at the sales.
The Malton handler runs five in his bid to win it again and Realtra, who runs off bottom weight of just 8st having cost only 10,000 euro, finished second to the unbeaten Beach Belle in a Listed race in Ireland when last seen, but that was over six furlongs.
Fahey said: "Realtra is a smart filly and she must have a chance off just 8st. I'd just be worried whether she's quick enough over five furlongs, that's my only worry with her. She's been saved for this, though.
"Diamond Creek ran quite well at Newmarket last week (in the Duchess of Cambridge) but she just didn't quite get home over six. Dropping back in trip will suit her.
"Bond's Girl won her first two well and I thought she ran better than her finishing position suggests in the Albany at Ascot. She's got no weight and would have a chance.
"Tachophobia won over six last time so coming back in trip would be a worry for him. The owners won the race last year (with Peniaphobia) so they were keen to have a go and he's improving.
"Spirit Of Zeb is a maiden and I'm surprised he got in. There's money down to tenth so once they have the entry you may as well run. He's quite a nice horse and I like him.
"I wouldn't like to say which has the best chance. Realtra has a nice weight but she'd be better off over six."
Richard Hannon, whose father won the race seven times, also has five representatives.
The obvious first string is Queen Mary runner-up Tiggy Wiggy.
"You need a lot of luck as they usually split into two or three groups, but this has always been the target for Tiggy Wiggy and if she can reproduce the form she showed when second in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot she must have a big shout," said Hannon on www.richardhannonracing.co.uk.
"She is a class act, but we have a 5lb penalty for winning the National Stakes at Sandown, and, while she was fine on the fast ground at Ascot, I would not mind if the forecast showers materialised.
"However, on ratings Parsley comes out 2lb in front. Whereas Tiggy Wiggy cost 41,000, Parsley was only 17,000, so she receives 13lb from a filly who is only rated 11lb superior. Parsley found the ground a bit soft at Newmarket last time, but she had previously run a cracker when second in the Empress, and at the weights you have to give her serious consideration.
"Our others are up against it strictly on ratings, but the prize money is such that you have to give it a go. Be Bold (85), who is very reminiscent of his grandfather, Assertive, was beaten at Bath last week and could probably do with the rain arriving, while Flyball (78), who found the company a bit hot in the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot, and L'Etacq, who broke his maiden on the all-weather at Lingfield, are both sharp types who will hopefully hang on for a slice of the cake."
Flyball is owned, like the Fahey duo Realtra and Diamond Creek, by Middleham Park Racing and their racing manager Tim Palin added: "We always saw him (Flyball) as a Super Sprint type and at the start of the season if you'd told me he could run in it off 8st 4lb I'd have really fancied his chances.
"He was third in the Brocklesby on his debut and then won a bonus maiden and after that I fancied him strongly for this.
"Since then the wheels have fallen off somewhat. He may have been a little out of his depth in the Windsor Castle but he ran no sort of a race.
"This is a better race for him but I am worried about his lack of recent form. Hannon snr thinks he wants further and he's probably right."
Clive Cox has a couple of runners and whatever the weather does he appears to have his bases covered.
"Secret Spirit has shown plenty of speed which is why we are happy enough to drop her down to five furlongs for this," he said.
"They are forecast to get some heavy showers and as we know she stays further that would suit her.
"She's only got 8st 6lb to carry and that encouraged us to have a go.
"In contrast, the rain would not be welcome for Brazen Spirit.
"He's had four runs and not managed to win yet, but he will have more experience than most for a race like this.
"He's shown ability over five, but we know he stays further which I think you'll have to do in a strongly-run race like this. He just wouldn't want any rain."
Charlie Hills' Magical Memory was second to Ivawood in a Sandown maiden and then won at Leicester. He represents the Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds syndicate who won this with Charles The Great in 2011.
Roger Varian calls on Haxby, who ran well at Royal Ascot when fifth in the Windsor Castle, and the Newmarket handler told his website: "This has been a long-term plan for Haxby. He looks great and has been working well.
"His form is good and I think he will run very well."
Kevin Ryan runs Captain Colby and Fast Act, the mount of Jamie Spencer, while William Haggas sends out Pillar Box.