RICHARD Fahey is likely to have a very strong hand in Saturday’s feature Great St Wilfrid.
The trainer is responsible for over a sixth of the runners in the valuable Class 2 handicap.
Heading that team is crowd favourite Growl, who was last seen finishing an excellent third in the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood.
The six-year-old could only manage ninth in the Ripon feature last year, but he started slowly then and never managed to land a blow.
Connections are hoping for better luck this time around, and Fahey’s assistant, Robin O’Ryan, said: “He just hasn’t had things drop right for him yet but he has shown more in his last two runs.
“At York he was drawn on the wrong side and then in the Stewards’ Cup he got messed around a bit, but that happens in these races.
“He’d be our main hope if he runs, I imagine, but you need luck in these races, you could run it five times and get five different winners.
“A few more showers wouldn’t hurt him, either, but he looks to be coming back to form.”
He’ll need to be, though, if he’s to reverse York placings with the Tim Easterby-trained pair of Flying Pursuit and Golden Apollo.
The two fought out the finish on the Knavesmire in the Sky Bet Dash Handicap, drawing over three lengths clear of the rest of the field, with Growl back in fourth.
They make up a powerful team for the northern handler, which also includes Bossipop and Staxton.
Other entries worth noting are David O’Meara’s former winner Out Do, course specialist Pipers Note, unexposed Godolphin four-year-old Reach High, and Stewards’ Cup seventh Spring Loaded.