Fahey confident Ventura Rebel can continue stable's ace Super Sprint record

The disappointment of just missing out at Royal Ascot could be a distant memory for Richard Fahey on Saturday, as he prepares to unleash narrow Norfolk Stakes second Ventura Rebel in the £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint.

Ventura Rebel finishing a close second in the Norfolk Stakes, photo Liesl King

Fahey is bullish about the claims of Ventura Rebel in a race he has a race he has won three times in the last six years, and bookmakers are in agreement.

Ventura Rebel is a standout 5-2 favourite with William Hill, while the speedy juvenile, who won both starts before Royal Ascot, is as short as 13-8 in places. 

The Abdullah Menahi-owned colt did his best work late to finish a neck runner-up at the royal meeting, leaving Fahey with mixed emotions.

The trainer said: "It's always disappointing when you finish second, particularly at Royal Ascot, but he was probably beaten by a faster horse that day. You'd have to be delighted with the run, though. He continues to improve and it's an ideal race for him at Newbury.

"He’s a nice, laid-back horse and has a good mind being by Pastoral Pursuits. He’s in great form, I couldn’t be happier with him and on paper he's the one to beat. Any horse  who beats him will deserve to win.”

Ventura Rebel lowered the colours of US challenger Lady Pauline at Ascot in May prior to being purchased privately from Middleham Park Racing in the lead-up to Royal Ascot, and connections believe he has been found a good opportunity.

Bruce Raymond, racing manager for owner Menahi, said: "It’s an ideal race for him and the trip suits as he’s sharp, although he'll stay further. He’s pretty quick and it was a very good run at Ascot. 

"He goes there with a better chance than most. Richard was very disappointed he finished second at Ascot as he thought he’d win going into it – he felt it must have been a smart one who beat him that day. He has plenty of ability."

Super Sprint shorties

The record of the last seven horses to go off at 5-2 or shorter in the Weatherbys Super Sprint . . .

2017 Maggies Angel 3rd, 9-4

2015 Excessable 5th, 2-1

2014 Tiggy Wiggy Won, 5-2

2009 Monsieur Chevalier Won, 2-1

2005 Titus Alone 8th, 2-1

2003 Prince of Denmark 4th, 5-2

2000 Romantic Myth 6th, 10-11

Fahey intends to field a strong team of four – featuring Queen Mary sixth Mighty Spirit, Brocklesby winner Show Me Show Me and the lightly weighted Baileys In Bloom – in a race he has won with Peniaphobia, Lathom and Bengali Boys since 2013.

He said: "The Weatherbys Super Sprint is a big pot for the market we’re dealing in so it’s a race we like to target. 

"We tend to deal in the lower end of the market and a lot of our horses didn't cost a lot, so it’s a good race for us. We’ve had some good results there and it’s a good day out for the owners."

Lyric Fantasy, Risky and Tiggy Wiggy are among Group-race fillies to have won the race for the Hannons, and the yard, seeking a record tenth victory, have eight possible runners.

Richard Hannon jnr was successful with Ginger Nut last year, but is not confident of victory as he expects Ventura Rebel to prove very tough to beat.

Hannon said: "I’d say Ventura Rebel looks a certainty for Richard Fahey, but Separate, who was second in a conditions race at Windsor last time would have a chance, and Ocasio Cortez is pretty quick. They would probably be my best chances."

Separate is the shortest of Hannon’s entries at 10-1 with Ladbrokes but the firm expect Ventura Rebel to prove all the rage.

Nicola McGeady, Ladbrokes’ head of PR, said: "As far as we’re concerned, it’s very hard to look past Ventura Rebel. 

"He came an impressive second in a strong Norfolk Stakes and looks a Group-class horse compared to the rest of the field. He is 13-8 now but looks likely to shorten up come raceday."

Sky Bet are offering 9-4 about Ventura Rebel and share similar sentiments.

Michael Shinners, racing PR manager for Sky Bet, said: "Richard Fahey has a tremendous record in the race and I suspect his odds will shorten."