Richard Fahey made it three from the last five, when Bengali Boys romped to victory in Newbury’s Super Sprint.
Splitting into three groups from the off, the guys down the centre of the track had a distinct advantage, and from the pack Barry McHugh sent Bengali B to the front at the two-furlong pole. He coped better than most with the rain-softened ground to storm clear in the closing stages. Maggies Angel had come-in for strong support prior to the off, and ran well to make it a one-three for Fahey. Declarationoflove split the pair in second. Corinthia Knight was miles clear of those that stayed stand-side, and finished an admirable fourth. Along with the winner, his performance was arguably the most eye-catching.
But it was undoubtedly Fahey’s day, and the Malton trainer, content at ‘mission-accomplished’, said of the victory: “It looks like he likes that ground! He'd been working well and had some solid form. It's a race we target every year. I said the day we bought him he'd win the Weatherbys Super Sprint, it's not often you can say that. He was really impressive, he didn't look like he was going to get beat at any stage.”
Bengali Boys was a bargain when bought for just 11,000 euros, and now looks sure to be stepped-up in class. The trainer added: “The soft ground has helped him, we thought it would but you don't know until you run them on it. The handicapper will obviously have a say. I've no concrete plans at this stage, but I guess we'll be looking at a Listed or Group race for him next.”
It proved to be a cracking weekend for trainers of juveniles in the north, when yesterday Karl Burke captured the Group Two Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte with Unfortunately. Sent-off the outsider in a field of six, the youngster battled bravely for victory, as British trainers dominated the finish. The leaders came close inside the final furlong, with the winner keeping the spoils after a stewards’ enquiry. The Tom Dascombe-trained Frozen Angel went down by just half-a-length, with Clive Cox’s Heartache a short-head back in third.
Speaking after the tense conclusion to the race, Burke said: “I'm relieved we kept the race in the stewards' room. I'm not sure we would have done if the French horse had finished second. It's a great result and I'm delighted for everybody. We had a bit of a sticky six months of the year, but the horses are coming to themselves now and running well. If he'd finished third or fourth I'd have been satisfied, but I'm not surprised he's run so well. He's a horse with a lot of ability.”
The form of the race has helped a little to bring some clarity to the juvenile sprint division. Frozen Angel had finished fourth to Sioux Nation at Royal Ascot, a place behind the recent July Stakes winner, Cardsharp. That pair look to be towards the head of the pile. Whilst Heartache had won the Queen Mary at the Royal Meeting, and looks to be one of the quickest juvenile fillies.
She was possibly a little unlucky this time, having been bumped early, and consequently running with the choke-out for most of the five and a half furlongs. The winner had previous experience at the track, having finished runner-up in the listed Prix La Fleche in June, and clearly enjoys his trips abroad. Unfortunately looks a solid sprinter rather than an outstanding one, and it’s likely the good to soft ground played to his strengths. I’ll stick my neck out and say that the second and third will reverse form on quicker ground, especially over the minimum trip.