Tag Archive for: Stay Away Fay

Nicholls expecting cheekpieces to ‘sharpen’ up Stay Away Fay

Paul Nicholls believes putting cheekpieces on Stay Away Fay for the first time could prove key to a second Cheltenham Festival success for his charge in Wednesday’s Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase.

The seven-year-old sprang something of a surprise when prevailing in last season’s Albert Bartlett as an 18-1 chance and has taken well to jumping fences this term.

He rallied gamely when scoring at Exeter in November and then stayed on strongly to get the better of the reopposing Giovinco at Grade Two level at Sandown over three miles.

Taking on open company in the Cotswold Chase at Prestbury Park on Trials day proved just too stiff a test, as Stay Away Fay finished third behind Capodanno and The Real Whacker, who famously landed this prize 12 months ago when edging out Gerri Colombe.

However, Nicholls was far from discouraged and is looking forward to taking on much-vaunted Irish raider Fact To File.

The Ditcheat handler said: “He’s in good form and will run in cheekpieces, they will sharpen him up a little bit and he’s in good shape.

Cheltenham Festival 2023 – Gold Cup Day – Cheltenham Racecourse
Stay Away Fay winning at last year’s Cheltenham Festival (Mike Egerton/PA).

“The Cotswold run was perfect (as a prep run), he ran very well and he’s much improved since then.

“I just probably wish it was on the New course, which is a bit stiffer, but I can’t complain.

“They seem to think the Irish horse will win every race he starts in from now onwards and obviously he is a very good horse and people who know what they are talking about seem to think he’s a very nice horse, so we will have to see on the day.”

Fact To File was second in last year’s Champion Bumper, after which Willie Mullins opted to bypass a stint over hurdles and send him straight to novice chasing.

He was outjumped by American Mike when second at Navan first time out this term but was much more fluent over the obstacles when trouncing Champion Hurdle third Zanahiyr at Leopardstown over Christmas.

That set up a fascinating match with Gaelic Warrior at the Dublin Racing Festival and Fact To File had already got the measure of his stablemate when Paul Townend was unseated by that sole rival at the final fence.

Mullins said: “Fact To File has done everything right. His speed figure at the Dublin Racing Festival was fantastic.

Leopardstown Christmas Festival – Day Three – Leopardstown Racecourse
Fact To File and jockey Mark Walsh after winning at Leopardstown (Brian Lawless/PA).

“Someone told me at Christmas that in his beginners’ chase he did a huge one, I’m into what I see visually and the way they do it, but the run at Christmas it transpired was right and he doubled down on it.”

American Mike followed up his triumph over Fact To File with a disappointing effort at Limerick but returned to winning ways when stepped up to three miles for the Grade Two Ten Up Novice Chase back at Navan.

The seven-year-old was subsequently supplemented for this contest over the same trip and Gordon Elliott said: “We just thought it was the race to go for, so that’s where we’re going.

“He’s a good horse and we’re looking forward to running him. Obviously, Fact To File has gone the right way (since we beat him), but we’ll see how we go.”

Henry de Bromhead is hoping Monty’s Star can remain on an upward curve after he followed up a fair third behind Corbetts Cross at Fairyhouse with a convincing Punchestown victory.

“He’s in great form, he’s travelled over well and all is good,” said the trainer. “He won nicely in Punchestown and he’s progressing.”

Sandor Clegane was third behind Stay Away Fay in the Albert Bartlett last term and renews their rivalry after a couple of solid second-place finishes in graded company across the Irish Sea over fences, most recently when chasing home Embassy Gardens at Naas.

“He had a good run here last year and we’re hoping he’s in a better place,” said Paul Nolan.

“I think his last run, even though he was beaten a long way by Embassy Gardens, was a good run. He sort of went around on his own on the inside and we were delighted after schooling him last week. He took all his fences better and I think he’s a better horse than he has been all year.

“One of the best horses in Cheltenham this year seems to be Fact To File, Willie has spoken very highly of him and he’s going to be very hard to beat, but I think our fellow is there with a chance and I’m hoping we’ll be in the first three.”

Try Tix for Better Tote Returns

Nicholls excited by Cheltenham novice chase pair

Paul Nicholls is heading to this year’s Cheltenham Festival with a streamlined squad that looks strongest in the novice chase department, with Ginny’s Destiny and Stay Away Fay holding leading claims in their respective races.

The champion trainer might only send a dozen horses into battle against the Irish juggernauts of Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott, but Ginny’s Destiny currently heads the ante-post markets for the Turners Novices’ Chase and Stay Away Fay is prominent in the betting for the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase.

Unbeaten in his last three starts over fences at Prestbury Park, Nicholls admits to being surprised at just how much Ginny’s Destiny has progressed.

“He’s probably one of the most improved horses in training, arguably. He’s won his last three, all at Cheltenham, and he was very good on Festival Trials day,” he said.

Ginny’s Destiny at Paul Nicholls' Manor Farm Stables
Ginny’s Destiny at Paul Nicholls’ Manor Farm Stables (Adam Davy/PA)

“I think he’s almost favourite for the Turners, he loves Cheltenham, he’s made all in his last three, he stays well and would probably stay three miles but we haven’t gone that far yet.

“What I like about him is he’s a solid horse, he jumps well, he goes a good gallop and keeps galloping, he’s a smart animal.

“It’s always hard to pick out your best chance but he has to be one of them because he’s so solid and I think he’s still improving.

“I’d say he’s every bit as good as Stage Star (winner of the Turners last year) and I think he’s rated higher than he was going into the race last year.

“Dan (Skelton) is adamant his horse (Grey Dawning) would have beaten him the first day at Cheltenham without the mistake but I’m not convinced, and jumping is the name of the game. His form has worked out and he keeps on improving.

“Willie has said Fact To File goes for the other race, but we were either taking him on with this lad or Stay Away Fay so it made no difference to us.”

Stay Away Fay looking alert at a stable visit on Monday
Stay Away Fay looking alert at a stable visit on Monday (Adam Davy/PA)

Stay Away Fay already has a Festival win to his name in last season’s Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and while he lost his unbeaten record over fences against his elders in the Cotswold Chase, Nicholls felt he enhanced his reputation.

“He’s had a good season. He won the Albert Bartlett last season having been beaten at Doncaster the time before and improved enormously from that run. I’m hoping we can do the same again from when he ran on Trials day,” said Nicholls.

“He won first time out at Exeter, he won very well at Sandown and then ran a good race in the Cotswold Chase in a muddling race which turned into a sprint – at the weights he ran well, so we were pleased with that.

“I’d have preferred the Brown Advisory to be on the New Course, the stiffer track as he’s all about stamina and that experience won’t be lost on him, he’ll improve an awful lot.

“Running in the Cotswold did him no harm at all. I could have run him in a novice chase and won easily but learned nothing about him, so it will stand him in good stead. It was all about experience, we never went into it thinking he’d win, just thinking he’d run well.

“He’ll take on Fact To File and plenty of other good ones but you expect that at Cheltenham. He’s all about stamina, he’ll keep on learning and he’s in good shape at the moment.”

Try Tix for Better Tote Returns

Nicholls rates Cotswold the ‘perfect race’ for Stay Away Fay

Paul Nicholls views Saturday’s Paddy Power Cotswold Chase as the “perfect race” for his star novice Stay Away Fay.

The Ditcheat handler has saddled five previous winners of the recognised Cheltenham Gold Cup trial, with See More Business triumphing in 1998 and 2001 before the subsequent victories of Taranis in 2010, Neptune Collonges in 2011 and Frodon in 2019.

Stay Away Fay, a winner at last year’s Cheltenham Festival in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, has run just twice over fences, making a successful debut at Exeter before outstaying Giovinco in the Grade Two Esher Novices’ Chase at Sandown last month.

Nicholls is well aware his charge has plenty on his plate as he takes on more seasoned campaigners this weekend, but he is happy to roll the dice.

“He has got to go somewhere before the Cheltenham Festival and this gives him more time than if he goes to the Reynoldstown (Novices’ Chase) at Ascot and has a hard race. He has worked well and schooled well since Sandown and we are looking forward to it,” he said.

“This race has always been on my mind for him. For a horse like him it is the perfect race. He might have to take on some better ones, but apart from Royale Pagaille there are no real Gold Cup horses in there.

“This would do him good and it is all good experience and that is what you need. He has not been over fences around Cheltenham and that is why we are quite keen to do it.

“He is fit, stays well and he is in good order and we think he will run a nice race.”

Harry Cobden celebrates winning the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle on Stay Away Fay
Harry Cobden celebrates winning the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle on Stay Away Fay (Tim Goode/PA)

While Nicholls has given Stay Away Fay an entry in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, he is currently planning to revert to novice company come the big meeting in March.

He added: “I’ve given him an entry in the National Hunt Chase and Gold Cup, but I would say he would be one for the Brown Advisory at the Festival after this.”

Stay Away Fay is set to face five rivals over an extended three miles and a furlong, with last year’s winner Ahoy Senor and Betfair Chase hero Royale Pagaille heading the field.

The Real Whacker won his first three starts over fences at Cheltenham last season, including a Festival win in the Brown Advisory, but has not troubled the judge in two starts so far this term.

Jamie Snowden’s Coral Gold Cup winner Datsalrightgino and the Willie Mullins-trained Irish raider Capodanno complete the line-up.

Try Tix for Better Tote Returns

Denman Chase ‘a possibility’ for Gold Cup hopeful Bravemansgame

Paul Nicholls has raised the possibility of Bravemansgame contesting the Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury next month en-route to a second tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The nine-year-old had to make do with the runner-up spot in his bid for back-to-back victories in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, with Nicholls of the belief he may have held off the fast-finishing Hewick had he not been hampered by Shishkin’s exit two fences from home.

Last season Bravemansgame headed straight from the King George to the Gold Cup, in which he finished second to Galopin Des Champs, but admitted in his latest ‘Ditcheat Diary’ instalment with Betfair that he is having a change of heart as how best to approach the blue riband this time around.

“He’s come out of the race very well actually, he’s had an easy time and has kept his condition this year better than ever before,” said the champion trainer.

Paul Nicholls and Bravemansgame
Paul Nicholls and Bravemansgame (Adam Davy/PA)

“There’s lots of debate going on about who would have won and I think if Shishkin and Bravemansgame hadn’t got in a bit of a muddle, it would have been really interesting. He (Bravemansgame) definitely showed signs he’s coming back to his best and I think it would have been very close.

“I was going to go straight to Cheltenham and I haven’t spoken to Bryan (Drew, owner), but I’ve spoken to Clifford (Baker, head lad) and I said ‘look, every time we went to the Gold Cup with Kauto Star or Silviniaco Conti or Denman, we always ran in the Denman Chase en-route to Cheltenham’.

“I just thought why not change tack a little bit and rather than being too hard on him at home, keep him nice and fresh and have a look, possibly, at the Denman Chase and then go on to Cheltenham.

“The Denman Chase is a possibility, I’m not saying it’s definite, but we could try to do something different with him and train him a little bit differently.”

Bravemansgame is one of two Gold Cup entries for Nicholls along with star novice Stay Away Fay.

Stay Away Fay was a Sandown winner before Christmas
Stay Away Fay was a Sandown winner before Christmas (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Nicholls expects the latter to stick to novice company at the Festival at this stage, although that could change if he takes his chance and impresses in the Cotswold Chase on Festival Trials Day.

He added: “He’s very unlikely to run in the Gold Cup, I just put him in that because we were in the Cotswold Chase.

“He’s on schedule to run possibly in the Cotswold Chase, or the Reynoldstown is the other good option for him, and if you’re not in it (Gold Cup) you can’t run.

“Let’s just see how we run on our next start. I don’t think I’ve ever run a novice in the Gold Cup, but novices have won it, so it is possible.

“Last year’s winner (Galopin Des Champs) looks the one to beat – he looks head and shoulders above everybody else – but has he improved that much from when he beat Bravemansgame seven lengths last year?

“In that race the other day in Ireland (Savills Chase), he looked good, but I can’t believe he’s that far in front of all the others. Maybe he is, but we’ve got to keep all our options open.”

Try Tix for Better Tote Returns

Fay outstays Giovinco to land Esher honours

Stay Away Fay’s star continued to rise over fences as he took the Betfair Esher Novices’ Chase at Sandown.

Paul Nicholls’ bay was the winner of the Albert Bartlett over hurdles last season and made a winning start to his chasing career at Exeter last month.

He stepped up to Grade Two level at Sandown in a field of four, including the horse he beat by a length and three-quarters at Exeter – Joe Tizzard’s The Changing Man.

Stay Away Fay was the 8-11 favourite under Harry Cobden and made the running with an athletic round of jumping, only running into trouble when The Changing Man unseated Brendan Powell and caused a bit of mischief when running loose.

Nicholls’ runner and Lucinda Russell’s Giovinco shared the lead in the latter stages but it was the former horse who eventually came out on top to secure a length-and-a-half victory.

Stay Away Fay and Harry Cobden
Stay Away Fay and Harry Cobden (John Walton/PA)

The winning trainer said: “He digs deep and stays and gallops. He is a proper horse. I knew he would stay and gallop all the way to the line. It is hard in front as he doesn’t do a whole heap in front.

“In those better races, when you have loads of company and they go a true gallop, it helps him. No one was going to take us on, so we were left in front and we had to do the donkey work and you are a sitting duck, but one thing he does is gallop all the way to the line and he stays on strong. He is a good horse.

“I’m definitely not going for the National Hunt Chase and if he runs anywhere it will be the Brown Advisory at the Festival.

“We might look at something like the Reynoldstown at Ascot, but there are no real plans. He will not go to Kempton (for the Kauto Star), that is for sure, as he will have a little break now.”

Stay Away Fay is jointly owned by Dave Staddon and Chris Giles, the latter of whom said: “He had a lot of work to do. He did a lot of work by himself. It was a tough race for him, but it was a nice, staying finish and that is what you want up the Sandown hill.

Stay Away Fay clearing an obstacle
Stay Away Fay clearing an obstacle (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“I think the second is a good animal and that is a nice race to win. We are very happy, especially as he was giving 3lb away.

“It was lovely to see him do it over those fences. Around the railway fences down the back straight twice meant there was a lot of jumping involved. He did not miss a fence. I think Harry thinks he would be better with a lead.

“He stays as he has got the stamina. I don’t think he is ever going to be a horse that wins by 10 or 15 lengths, but more so by two or three lengths. He will give us a lot of fun.

“We will miss the Kauto Star Chase for sure, but you wouldn’t be afraid to go straight to Cheltenham. I think he is proper horse and it was lovely to see him do that today.

“Listening to Paul, he thinks he is a proper horse and he doesn’t want to over race him in his novice season as there is more to come. You have got to (think of the Gold Cup next season) when you go and see him do that.”

Try Tix for Better Tote Returns

Stay Away Fay makes perfect start to chasing career

Stay Away Fay made a winning debut over fences when taking the Betway ‘Future Stars’ Silver Bowl Novices’ Chase at Exeter.

The Paul Nicholls-trained bay won the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle last season, after which an eventual switch to chasing was immediately mentioned.

Exeter was his first outing over the larger obstacles and he started as the 5-6 favourite under Harry Cobden, with the race only attracting five runners and Dan Skelton’s Grey Dawning seeming to be his main rival.

There were no concerns over the market leader’s jumping as he looked totally at ease over each of his fences, leading for much of the way before looking to falter slightly on the turn for home.

When passed by other horses he quickly rallied, however, and was able to reel in those before him when easing up to a length-and-three-quarter success.

Nicholls said: “He stays, he jumps and he gallops. He is classy and that is what you want. I’m thrilled with that.

“I was a bit worried all week as I thought he looked big and round and that he would improve for a run. You almost expect too much from these horses and you have got to have them ready to do that, but also have them ready to improve. There is lots to come from him.

“He absolutely winged the last and I thought from there he would stay on strong. Harry said he could have done with them coming to him a bit earlier as he was idling a little bit in front. It is a great start to the season for him and he is a really classy horse.

“I was fairly confident he would gallop all the way to the line. I just thought he might need the run, and he might still have done.”

Sandown’s Betfair Esher Novices’ Chase on December 8 is the next port of call on his way to the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Christmas

Nicholls said: “There is a new novice chase at the Tingle Creek meeting at Sandown over three miles worth sixty odd thousand pounds, so he will go there then to Kempton Park and then we will give him a break. That is a good route here, Sandown then Kempton.”

As a result of the victory, Coral made the gelding a 10-1 chance from 12-1 for the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase and 10-1 from 14-1 for the National Hunt Chase, but the trainer only has the first-named contest in mind.

He added: “He will run in the three-miler at the Cheltenham Festival as he is too classy for the National Hunt Chase. He will run in that and you would like to think he will ultimately end up being a Cheltenham Gold Cup horse. That is what the owners dream of.

“It is a long way up that ladder put he has put his foot on the first step. I think there is a lot to come from him.”

Nicholls and Cobden enjoyed another promising triumph on the card as Insurrection made light work of the Betway Novices’ Hurdle at 11-4.

The six-year-old was a point-to-point winner who had just one bumper outing before a wind operation in readiness for his debut run over hurdles.

The market was focused on Joe Tizzard’s Diamond Ri, the evens favourite, but it was Insurrection who made all of the running and swept to an easy eight-and-a-half-length win.

Nicholls said: “We have won this race with some good horses and that was really good. We always thought a lot of him last season, but he was disappointing at Ffos Las (beaten bumper run), but that was because he was choking so we put that right and you wanted to see him do that well today.

“He has won a point-to-point over three miles, he obviously stays and he was fit, so the thing to do was bowl along in front. What I liked more than anything was that he sprinted from the back of the last.

“He has (taken me by surprise) a bit, but that is what novice hurdles are about as you get some that are disappointing and some that go well.

“He might be the sort of horse to go down the route Tahmuras did last season, by finding another race like this then go for what was the Tolworth Hurdle.”

Try Tix for Better Tote Returns

Stay Away Fay powers to Albert Bartlett victory

Paul Nicholls earned his second Grade One victory of the week at the Cheltenham Festival when Stay Away Fay was given a masterful ride by Harry Cobden to take the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

The 18-1 chance travelled well throughout and was always up with the pace in the three-mile test, which provided its usual searching test of stamina.

It was not without incident, either, as favourite Corbetts Cross ran out at the final flight, sending jockey Mark Walsh crashing to the turf.

Though challenging at the time, the winner seemed to have his measure having led at the second-last where plenty were still in with a chance.

Cobden put the six-year-old’s stamina to good use and gradually wore down his rivals to give the champion trainer his first success in the race.

Noel Meade’s Affordale Fury (150-1) relished the step up in trip and got within a length of the winner, just holding second from the Paul Nolan-trained Sandor Clegane.

Nicholls said: “I thought he’d run well as he should have won the last day and he’s taken a step forward since then and he looked fantastic.

“We were very positive on him today, he jumped really well and it’s only the third run of his life, there’s loads of improvement to come.

“We’ll probably go to Aintree with him if he’s all right, otherwise it will be chasing next year.

“He’s been quite backward, that’s the best he’s jumped today, he’s just a young, improving horse.”

He added: “At home he does all his work with Hermes Allen as they are both a bit one-paced and he has taken a big step forward.

“He probably should have won at Doncaster, he’s improved since and it’s just fantastic.

“I think Hermes Allen will probably have a wind op but he’ll go chasing too, they are two really nice horses to go chasing with.”

A jubilant Harry Cobden
A jubilant Harry Cobden (Tim Goode/PA)

Cobden added: “I thought they’d have gone faster but we only went an even gallop. He travelled very well, jumped great and when we turned in, I thought he had a nice bit left because I knew he’d stay right to the line, he’s obviously very good.

“I could feel them all stacking up behind me and from a jockey’s point of view, it is a long way to be in front turning in before the last, especially on an inexperienced horse. He was pulling up a little in front so he did well to keep going.

“I really fancied him, I thought he had a massive chance because I’ve won it before on Kilbricken Storm and I knew he was better than him.

“First time out he was green, Lorcan (Williams) was a bit unlucky on him at Doncaster but he has been trained for one day.”

Noel Meade trains the runner up
Noel Meade trains the runner up (Donall Farmer/PA)

Meade said of the runner-up: “He was only 150-1 because he virtually pulled up the last day and there were reasons for that.

“He got a fall when they went too quick in the Monksfield Novice Hurdle at Navan in November – they went a mad gallop and he ended up on the floor.

“He probably would have won that day had he stood up and then we ran him back within four weeks in the Grade One at Naas and it was too soon – he just bombed out.

“We freshened him up and he is a very, very good horse. I think he’ll be a right good chaser as he’s a good jumper and a good stayer and he got the most brilliant ride today from a young fella (Sam Ewing).”

Nolan was slightly left wondering what might have been with Sandor Clegane.

He said: “It was a big run. We knew he was better than his run in Leopardstown and he had to go to the line better than he did that day.

“He probably didn’t get the run of the race today. He got hampered at the very first and then he was shuffled back to last and pushed out wide. I’d like to look at the race again, but I think maybe he might have been the unlucky one.

“You’re always happy when you get a cheer at some stage. He ran well and he stays well and he remains an exciting prospect.

“I just thought the way he closed to the line after the distance he had to make up and being wide, we were unlucky, but it is what it is.”

Try Tix for Better Tote Returns

Hermes Allen backed for Ballymore glory

Paul Nicholls is confident he has picked the right Cheltenham Festival contest for his hugely-impressive Challow Hurdle winner Hermes Allen.

The six-year-old, who was an expensive £350,000 purchase following victory between the flags at Kirkistown, holds entries for both the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett over further at Prestbury Park.

But it is the shorter of the two Grade One contests that has always been identified as the preferred option and the son of Poliglote is the general 9-4 favourite for the two-mile-five-furlong event.

Nicholls has seen Gold Cup contender Bravemansgame and the admirable Stage Star both turned over in the day two opener on the back of success at Newbury in the past two years, while Denman is another famous Ditcheat name to suffer defeat in the contest.

However, the champion trainer is bullish his unbeaten charge heads to the Festival as one of his best chances of the week.

He said: “He surprised me first time out when he won at Stratford. He then went to Cheltenham and won very nicely and then went to Newbury and won very nicely on heavy ground.

“I didn’t think he’d want that ground, but he was the only one with the ability to go through it and plenty of those that finished behind him have won since – it’s turned out to be a very good race.

“He’s obviously got huge ability and I’m excited about him going to Cheltenham of course, but I’m as excited about the future with him as he’ll be a lovely horse to go chasing.

“He’s working nicely and is in good shape. He’s in the Albert Bartlett, but I’ve always thought the Ballymore over two-and-a-half (miles) would suit.

“It’s a very good race, the Irish have got some very good horses in there but he’s got a great chance.

“He jumps and can be ridden forward and, on paper, he’s our best chance of the week.”

Nicholls also hopes Tahmuras’ staying prowess means he will be a live candidate in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

The race has an open feel following the defeat of Facile Vega at the Dublin Racing Festival and the champion trainer believes the Tolworth Hurdle winner – who is a best-priced 10-1 for success – gives him similar vibes to the previous Ditcheat winners of the Festival opener, Noland and Al Ferof.

“He looks fantastic and is three from three this year,” continued Nicholls.

Tahmuras with trainer Paul Nicholls during a visit to Manor Farm Stables, Somerset
Tahmuras with trainer Paul Nicholls during a visit to Manor Farm Stables, Somerset (Adam Davy/PA)

“He’s surprised us a little bit to be honest. He won a bumper at Wincanton and we thought he was a nice horse who would win plenty of races, but I never dreamt he’d be going for a Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

“He didn’t really enjoy the ground that much in the Tolworth, but he had enough ability to gallop round and win nicely.

“The ground will be much better for him at Cheltenham, which will suit. I’ve won the Supreme with Al Ferof and Noland who weren’t going to go on and be Champion Hurdlers, they were staying chasers and he is very much the same as them.

“Those horses that stay can actually run very well in the Supreme and he has a lot of ability.

“He’s right in the mix in a very open race.”

One Ditcheat inmate that could be swimming slightly under the radar is Stay Away Fay, who heads to the Albert Bartlett on the final day of the meeting.

Stay Away Fay with a stable hand during a visit to Manor Farm Stables
Stay Away Fay with a stable hand during a visit to Manor Farm Stables (Adam Davy/PA)

In his Lingstown point-to-point, he drew six lengths clear of Henry de Bromhead’s Monty’s Star and the pair may lock horns again at Prestbury Park. However, whereas Monty’s Star is single-figure odds for the gruelling three-mile Grade One, Stay Away Fay’s price ranges from 16-1 to 25-1.

He has looked worthy of his £305,000 price-tag since transferring to Ditcheat, claiming a Newbury maiden in good style before just falling short in the Grade Two River Don at Doncaster last time.

“He’s a nice horse and is not that far behind Hermes Allen, he’s just had one run less,” added Nicholls.

“Lorcan (Williams) will say it probably wasn’t his best ever ride the last day at Doncaster. He got into trouble from the start and in the straight and still stayed on and finished second.

“He runs in the Albert Bartlett and I think there’s a lot to come from this horse. He stays and gallops. He lacks a bit of experience, but I think he’s one of the best big-priced outsiders we’ve got.”

Try Tix for Better Tote Returns