ASSISTANT trainer Robert Fayd’Herbe is a man with a dry sense of humour, evident especially when he’s arguing with his brother Bernard.
When Robert refers to his long-time boss Mike Bass as the “Old Man” it is out of deep respect and nothing else – he did so in a Gold Circle interview this week, saying there’s nothing he’d like more than to win Sunday’s Mike and Carol Bass Champions Cup with the stable’s ace runner Marinaresco, odds-on favourite to land the Gr1 race for Bass, Marsh Shirtliff and partners.
The meeting will officially be the last of Bass’ glittering career and Fayd’Herbe said: “Mr. Bass has been very good to me and to my family (Bernard was stable jockey for many seasons).
He revealed the Summerveld grass on the bend had been opened during the week for his big race charges and said, “The grass was actually fantastic and the horses (Marinaresco, Helderberg Blue and Nightingale) all worked very well.”
Fayd’Herbe said about Marinaresco: “He came out of the July well, in fact I think he’s actually come on a bit. He’s looking well and his work has been good, he‘s enjoying life. He is also effective over a mile to 1800m and doesn’t take a lot of work.”
He was also bullish about the chances of Helderberg Blue in the Gr 2 eLan Property Group Gold Cup over 3200m. This horse was notoriously difficult in his younger days and invariably boiled over at the racecourse. However, Fayd’Herbe said, “He has quietened down a bit with age and with his pony leading him down is more settled. Grant (Van Niekerk) enjoys riding him now.” Helderberg Blue has a plum draw of four.