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Horse Racing - Racing: Fahey's Power surges to Greenham glory

The last few days have really witnessed the Flat season getting into full stride, with the bet365 Craven Meeting at Newmarket followed by Newbury's Spring Trials Weekend.

Trainer Richard Fahey will be hoping he's got a genuine Classic horse on his hands with Perfect Power after Saturday's Greenham Stakes win.

It wasn't all Flat action, with the Easter Festival at Fairyhouse in full swing too as Galopin Des Champs put himself front and centre in the 2023 Gold Cup picture and Ireland's champion trainer achieve another place in the record books.

Here's our look back on the weekend's action just gone by.

Perfect start for Fahey's charge

Saturday's Greenham Stakes at Newbury went the way of Perfect Power, his masterful display leaving trainer Richard Fahey already contemplating if he might be the best horse he's ever trained.

Winner of two Group 1 races as a two-year-old, Perfect Power was attempting the seven-furlong trip for the first time and he laid to rest any immediate stamina worries.

He moved with menace throughout as Angel Bleu and Frankie Dettori made the running. Also seeking a third Group 1, Angel Bleu was too keen early and was overhauled by Lusail, but Christophe Soumillon and Perfect Power covered that move and picked up powerfully to score by a length-and-a-half at the line.

The response was a quote of 10/1 for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on 31st April after this stylish win.

Impressed though Fahey was, he admits that the mile poses another question, though the Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum-owned colt is clearly very smart and might well be up to making his mark in some top-level sprints at six-furlongs this summer.

"It would be unfair on some of my other horses to say he's the best, but he's a dual Group 1 winner," Fahey said of last year's Prix Morny and Middle Park winner.

"I was very confident he would get seven furlongs, Christophe said he'd stay seven last year. I thought it was quite a deep Greenham.

"I'm not being awkward, but I'm not making any decisions (yet) about the Guineas. We will sit down and have a think about it."

Wild Beauty enhances Guineas claims for star duo

There's no doubting that Charlie Appleby and William Buick are the hottest combo in town right now. They ended Saturday having won ten of the last 15 races they've contested together, quite a strike-rate.

Amongst those was Wild Beauty in the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

A consistent filly last term, Wild Beauty enjoyed her finest moment when taking the Grade 1 Natalma Stakes in Canada in the autumn, before also running a commendable fifth in the bet365 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket behind Inspiral.

That John & Thady Gosden-trained runner remains unbeaten and is 5/2 for the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on 1st May, with Wild Beauty trimmed to 20/1 for the Classic contest after her Newbury win.

Roger Charlton's Jumbly looked to be gaining the upper hand in the Fred Darling, but the Godolphin-owned three-year-old rallied from the furlong pole to gain ground and overhaul her rival by a half-length.

A Guineas bid is almost certainly next, though the exact location is yet to be decided says Wild Beauty's rider.

"A mile next time out will suit her down to the ground. She will have to go for one of the Guineas'," said Buick.

"We will leave that to Charlie and the team. I don't know which one, I honestly don't, but the French one was touted beforehand."

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Galopin Des Champs makes up for mishap

Galopin Des Champs was the winner in waiting of last month's Turners Novices' Chase at Cheltenham, only to fall at the final fence, an agonising moment for Paul Townend and Willie Mullins in the Cotswolds.

The big, imposing Galopin Des Champs was back on track on Sunday at Fairyhouse, a commanding winner of the Gold Cup Novice Chase at the Co Meath track, pulling 18-lengths of Master McShee.

Afterwards Mullins declared: "I reckon he's a Gold Cup horse" and it's hard not to agree with him. Galopin Des Champs is now 7/2 ante-post favourite for the big race, taking over from reigning champ A Plus Tard who is at 4/1 in the betting.

The Irish pair dominate the market and their intended collision at Cheltenham will come on St Patrick's Day in 2023.

Mullins was fulsome in his post-race assessment and is taking aim at the Gold Cup next season, all being well.

"I have to discuss it with Greg and Audrey (Turley, owners), but he looks a horse for the Gold Cup," said Mullins.

"Once he changed gear between the last two it was over bar jumping the last. He just seemed to be on a wrong stride and Paul let the horse decide. He put down lovely and got over it.

"He quickened away after the last and he couldn’t pull him up going around the bend."

Brandy Love wins as Mullins set another record

The quirky Brandy Love won the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse for Mullins and Townend as the Closutton chief set another record.

Mullins equalled the record for most runners from one stable in a Group 1 or Grade 1, sending out eight in this €100,000 prize to match Aidan O'Brien's tally in the 2007 Derby at Epsom.

Brandy Love was perhaps the most talented in the race, but she'd proved wayward over course and distance in her previous start and once more she veered off to the left in this race, ensuring champion jockey Townend had to be at his peak to produce a late burst before they saw off Cheltenham Festival winner Love Envoi by eight-lengths to score.

"Paul did a fantastic job of keeping her straight and between the rails up the straight because we saw how she virtually went off the track last time and gave away her race. Top marks to Paul for producing her like that," said the winning trainer.

"This mare has a lot of ability and I think if we can get her going back left-handed it will be better for her."

Brandy Love missed Cheltenham this year with a late setback but her Fairyhouse win sees her quoted at 8/1 to win the Mares' Hurdle in 2023.

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