Bassett out to give Fahey first Classic

RICHARD FAHEY is praying Wootton Bassett can keep his unbeaten record intact when he makes his seasonal return in tomorrow’s Poule D’Essai Des Poulains (2000 Guineas) at Longchamp.

The Malton trainer rates the son of Iffraaj as the best he has ever trained and five victories from five juvenile starts gives that theory plenty of weight.

The youngster gave Fahey and champion jockey Paul Hanagan a first taste of Group One glory when winning the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp on Arc day and his handler is now hoping for a Classic triumph in France.

“It’s exciting and a bit nerve wracking, but we couldn’t be happier with him,” said Fahey.

“We’re drawn on the outside (stall 14 of 15). I’d prefer to be a bit lower but it’s not a disaster.

“We’ve been very happy with him the last few weeks and everything has been fine. I just hope he performs now.

“His work has been very good and we feel he’s trained on.

“I haven’t had a really good look at the race and I’m not 100% sure of the French form, but there’s nothing really sticking out and frightening me. We’ll just have to see.”

Imperial Rome edged a Curragh Listed event at the start of the month and is an interesting contender for David Wachman and jockey Ryan Moore.

“It’s a step up for him but we’ll give it a go and see what happens,” said Wachman.

“We’ve always thought he was a nice horse and hoped he might be capable of stepping forward to this level.

“I think it’s good, fast ground, which will suit our horse. We have a good draw and a good jockey, so we’ll see what happens.”

Godolphin’s Midsummer Fair impressed in what looked a strong renewal of the Wood Ditton Stakes at Newmarket on his debut and racing manager Simon Crisford is looking forward to seeing how he fares in a higher grade.

“He’s got a kind draw (stall two) and he’s in really good order,” said Crisford.

“Obviously he’s a maiden winner going for a Group One, so a lot more is demanded this time around compared to his debut.

“It was probably a good race he won at Newmarket, but this is obviously much tougher.

“He is going into the race in top shape though.”

Tom Dascombe’s Hung Parliament has run in France on four of his five starts, winning a Listed race and placing in Group company last season.

He was last of 11 on his return to action over Sunday’s course and distance having taken a fierce hold early and Dascombe is hoping he settles better this weekend.

“There are easier races we could have gone for, but quite understandably the owner is keen to give it a go,” said Dascombe.

“He got very worked up in the Group Three last time, but was only beaten just over five lengths by probably the best French horses in the French Guineas.

“He’s got to improve five lengths more than them, which he can do if he stays a bit calmer.

“Then, of course, you’ve got Wootton Bassett who is probably the best of the lot.

“I think our horse deserves a chance. He has a good draw in stall seven and he should be able to get settled in from there.

“He couldn’t do that last time and he was up there pulling for his head. I just hope they go a proper gallop this time.”

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