SATURDAY belonged to Richard Fahey as Don’t Touch’s William Hill Ayr Gold Cup success proved the highlight of a magical 5,984-1 four-timer north of the Border.
On a day when he also claimed the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury with Ribchester and was successful at Catterick, too, Fahey smashed through the £3 million prize money mark for the first time.
The Malton handler had not won Scotland’s biggest Flat race in nine years but Don’t Touch righted that record as he extended his unbeaten run to five with a half-length success over Poyle Vinnie.
Fahey said: “It’s been a while since we’ve won it, but it’s a race that’s very hard to win. You need a proper horse to win this. You’ve got to be progressive and nearly be a Group horse.
“For a three-year-old who didn’t run until May, it’s pretty special. I think he’ll be a seven-furlong horse, but he travelled better today. We’ll probably finish for this season now, he’s done enough.”
Fahey was also on the mark in the consolation race, the Silver Cup, as Tatlisu defied a big weight to hold off his well-backed stable companion George Bowen.
Jockey Jack Garritty said: “He enjoys these big fields, he likes running into trouble and we got that. The race was run to suit. In the last half-furlong he wasn’t doing a tap really, but he held on. He is a good horse on his day and I’m glad today was it.”
Garritty and Fahey then teamed up with Right Touch (5-1) in the Microtech Group Handicap, while Another Touch’s success in the opening QTS/EBF British Stallion Studs Nursery Handicap had got the day off to an excellent start for the handler.
Punters got a taste of what they will miss next season as Lady Cecil and Hayley Turner teamed up to win the Group Three William Hill Firth of Clyde Stakes with Shaden, while Andrew Balding’s Scottish (9-2) was a topical winner of the Listed William Hill Doonside Cup.
Yesterday, Alexandrakollontai was an impressive winner at Hamilton Park as she landed the feature race for the second year running. Ridden by James Sullivan, the Alistair Whillans-trained Hawick raider showed her rivals a clean pair of heels in the £20,000 Totepool EBF Stallions Flower of Scotland Fillies’ Handicap, beating Lacing by two lengths.
Whillans said: “She loves this place and this is her fifth win over course and distance. She likes a wee bit easier ground and wet, soft going is best, although she did handle conditions okay today.
“We’ll probably giver her one more run this year and I’d say next season will be her last before she starts as a broodmare.”
At Hamilton today, Atlantic Affair is a rare runner in plating class for Mark Johnston in the £10,000 Totepool Hopes N Dreams Selling Stakes.
The Kingsley House trainer has a 24 per cent strike-rate this season with his Yorkshire raiders, Atlantic Affair dropping into a seller after a close second in a Class 4 at Musselburgh nine days ago.
One of his rivals is Piccadilly Jim, who was runner-up in a non-selling handicap over course and distance last month for Fahey.