Racing: Gabrial going local next time out after Lincoln win

Gabrial, ridden by jockey Tony Hamilton (left), winning the Betway Lincoln Heritage Handicap.
Gabrial, ridden by jockey Tony Hamilton (left), winning the Betway Lincoln Heritage Handicap.
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Malton handler Richard Fahey combined with jockey Tony Hamilton and owner Dr Marwan Koukash to win Doncaster’s Betway Lincoln for a second time in four years on Saturday after Gabrial pounced by a neck.

Fahey achieved a lifetime ambition when Brae Hill was successful in 2011, and this year he had two runners, with last year’s sixth Gabrial’s Kaka, also owned by Koukash, the better fancied of the pair.

But as a previous Listed race winner and well handicapped on his old form, it was Gabrial who produced the goods.

David O’Meara’s French import Mondialiste broke away with a furlong to run but when Hamilton extricated himself from a pocket, Gabrial (12-1) quickened up smartly to win with a degree of authority.

The wayward Moohaarib was third, with What About Carlo fourth and the well-backed Mange All fifth.

“When I started off in racing I always wanted to win the big handicaps, Cesarewitch, Ayr Gold Cup and the Lincoln,” said Koukash. “When I first met Richard I asked what race he would like to win the most and he said this one. Now we’ve done it twice so I’m delighted.”

Fahey said: “Tony said he always felt like he was going to win. The only reason he was running over further last year was because after Mount Athos got injured. Marwan wanted a Melbourne Cup horse but he (Gabrial) didn’t stay. He’s a Listed winner and while I doubt he’s getting better, we’ll hatch a plan and see where we go, I presume it will be Chester (Koukash’s local track).”

Koukash added: “He’ll go to the Huxley Stakes over 10 furlongs at Chester.”

The Betway Spring Mile was won impressively by Alan King’s Chatez (14-1) after a spell hurdling. Winning jockey Fergus Sweeney said: “He looked a hurdler to follow early on but lost his way a bit and then had a wind op and it’s obviously worked.”

The Andrew Balding-trained Tullius was sent off the 1-2 favourite to win Betway Doncaster Mile but had to work hard for the victory while Naadirr (5-1) looks booked for a big summer after running out a very impressive winner of the Betway Cammidge Trophy.

A year ago Silvestre de Sousa won the Dubai World Cup with African Story and while the victory of Ravenhoe (7-2) in the Betway Brocklesby Conditions Stakes was not as lucrative, it could be just as pivotal in the jockey’s career.

Before De Sousa took up his position as former stable jockey for Godolphin, he had a fruitful partnership with Mark Johnston and it appears the Middleham man will be calling on his services once more.

Johnston’s son, Charlie, said: “It’s been well documented we’ve got a different make-up to the yard this season as we’ve got 130 two-year-olds. To win with the first one is fantastic.”

Johnston’s second juvenile runner of the season, Rah Rah, also won at Kempton and Buratino made it three out of three at Chelmsford.