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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Brian The Snail out to recapture his early dash for Fahey

Brian The Snail: out to confirm himself as a useful sprinter at Epsom
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Richard Birch with three to note in the handicaps on Derby day

Court House
Investec Private Banking Handicap (2.00)

This always fiercely contested handicap is often won by a lightly raced three-year-old who goes on to make an impact in better company.

Conduit, winner in 2008, went on to land four races at the highest level, including the St Leger and Breeders’ Cup Turf, while 2010 scorer Dandino lifted the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes.

John Gosden runs the 104-rated Court House, who will be popular with punters.

He looked an unlucky loser at Kempton in March when going down by three-quarters of a length to Gronkowski and then finished second of three in a Newmarket Listed event.

His trainer said: “He'd have a better chance had he not been put up 12lb by the handicapper for finishing second in a Listed race last time.”

Even so, it would be no surprise if Court House proved up to the task.

Across The Stars
Investec Out Of The Ordinary Handicap (5.15)

Across The Stars: lines up in handicap company off a mark of 100

Two years ago Across The Stars started at 25-1 under Kieren Fallon for the Derby, when trained by Sir Michael Stoute, and finished tenth of 16 to Harzand.

Rated 111 after his subsequent victory in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes, he hasn’t added to his tally since and now lines up in handicap company off 100 on his sixth start for Richard Hannon.

However, he went close at York last time, finishing a neck second to Manjaam, and seems sure to have plenty of supporters under Ryan Moore.

Brian The Snail
Investec Asset Management Handicap (5.50)

Godolphin's Brian The Snail looked a sprinter going places at the beginning of the 2017 turf season when unleashing a smart turn of foot under William Buick to land a Pontefract handicap off 95.

However, he failed to win again in five subsequent starts – including in Haydock's Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes behind Harry Angel – and, as a result, begins his four-year-old campaign back on the same mark.

Gelded at the end of last summer, he has also undergone wind surgery since his latest start, and that full MOT could perhaps see him begin to fulfil his undoubted promise.

“He's always worked very well, but it just didn’t happen for him on the track last season,” said trainer Richard Fahey. “He’s had his wind done over the winter and we hope that puts him right.

“He's very fit and very well, and I hope we have him back on track. I’d like to see him get into the Wokingham.”

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He’s had his wind done over the winter, and we hope that puts him right
E.W. Terms
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