Past Winners » Fareer


I really like Rainbow Peak as a horse, he won on all three of his starts last season, on all three of his career-starts, and he looked most impressive in winning his final race in October when he travelled and quickened like a good horse to win what looked like a good handicap at Newbury.

However, he is short today, and you can pick holes. That race was run over 10 furlongs on soft ground at Newbury (as was his previous race when he looked good in winning at Ascot), today’s race is over a shorter distance on faster ground at a faster track, and, while he isn’t devoid of speed, there is a chance that it will all happen too quickly for him on his seasonal debut. He is a hold-up horse, and York is not generally a track that favours hold-up horses on good or fast ground unless they go bananas up front, which they are unlikely to do here.

The two horses that chased him home that day, Salden Licht and Dr Livingstone, went hurdling during the winter, and fell a little way short of top class even in that sphere. Furthermore, Rainbow Peak is up 6lb for his Newbury run and, while he is reported to be going well at home, and while Michael Jarvis has his team in good form, it is still probable that he will improve for this run. He is a potential Group horse this season but, on his debut, competing under what are probably less than his optimum conditions, at the price I am happy to let him run …

I much prefer Fareer at 8/1. Ed Dunlop’s colt shaped with a lot of promise when winning a good three-year-old handicap at Chester last May, and won the red-hot Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot two starts later off a 4lb higher mark. He didn’t race after that last season, but he returned this term in the Group 2 Bet365 Mile at Sandown on Whitbread Gold Cup day. He raced very keenly that day, as you would have expected on his first run since Royal Ascot last year, he never settled, but he did move up threateningly on the outside two furlongs out before his early exertions took their toll and he faded to finish eighth of the nine runners.

That run should have knocked the freshness out of him. He should settle better today and, if he does, he has the pace to quicken and the class to win a hot handicap like this one. He is 10lb higher than the mark off which he won the Britannia, he has to race off a mark of 102 today, but he is lightly raced and he is progressive enough to be able to cope with that type of hike. Like Rainbow Peak, he is a potential Group horse this season and he is competing today under what are probably his optimum conditions having already had a run this season. He should be at least the same price as Rainbow Peak in my book. He is well drawn in stall four (with Extraterrestrial out he is just three off the rail) and, as long as Richard Hills can get him settled early, he should run a big race. With (some of the bookmakers) going ¼ the odds a place, he is an each-way bet.

FAREER WON (ADV 8/1, SP 11/2)