Noel Fehily, one of the understated stars of the weighing room, signs off his career at Newbury on Saturday afternoon and he might go into retirement on a winner!
There are two interesting Fehily mounts on the Newbury card. In the bumper it looks as though trainer Harry Fry is determined to see the Cork native off on a winner via Get In The Queue, unbeaten in two starts so far.
He was impressive at Exeter last time and could have gone to Cheltenham for the Champion Bumper. Fry and Fehily have won this valuable race for the last two years and the trainer suggested this week he’d “never known pressure like it” in his bid to send the jockey out on a winner. They look to have very strong claims.
Earlier on the card the eye is also drawn to Charlie Mann’s Prabeni, who ran well for a long way in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham 10 days ago but was undone by his jumping in that typically frantic affair.
He’d previously won two of three starts over hurdles and it is noted that the trainer sends him out so quickly once again. Also worth a second look is the 38% strike-rate Fehily has for the Mann yard over the previous 12 months (5-13). That’s enough of a plot theory for me at a decent price.
Staying at Newbury, Nicky Henderson’s mare She Might Bite looks a worthy contender in the Mares’ ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle Series Final.
The Irish point winner is steadily improving in her outings over timber, including when second at Sandown in early February over this trip on her handicap bow.
She looked to have strong claims of opening her account next time at Ludlow, having yet to be asked for an effort when she was brought down at the third last. Nico De Boinville takes over and they are strong players.
On the all-weather at Kempton, the David Evans-trained Derry Boy can take the opening contest. He was strongly backed to win a C&D novice contest a fortnight ago and gave best only to a newcomer from the Richard Hannon team.
That could prove fair form, with Derry Boy battling resolutely to reel in the leader in the final furlong, going down only on the nod at the line. The talented Jason Watson takes over for this handicap bow and, with a good draw, they are likely to take beating.