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Prominent owner Keith Brown is determined to help ease sad memories from last year by returning to the winner’s enclosure at Beverley this season.

Brown, who is based just nine miles away from Beverley in Swanland, has savoured numerous high-profile triumphs, most notably across the Irish Sea.

Top Notch Tonto won for the first time at Beverley and also famously finished second in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in 2013.

But last season Brown suffered heartache when one of his best horses, prolific Beverley winner Orewa, had to be put down.

Brown said: “Orewa picked up a nail on a back hoof and chipped a piece of the pedal bone.“We went to the end to the end of the earth to get him right, but we just couldn’t get him sound.”

Orewa, a four-year-old son of Helmet, won three times at Beverley. He also hit the jackpot at the Curragh two years ago when he earned connections 148,000 euro in the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes.

Brown added: “It’s been an awful time. He was such a high-class horse for us, but we’ve got to move on and look forward with lots of positive thoughts for the season ahead.”

For all the owner’s big-race success, nothing gives him as much pleasure than a winner at Beverley, which opens its gates for the first time this season next Wednesday (April 18).

Having a runner in two of the keynote races of the Beverley campaign – the Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy and the Hilary Needler Hilary Trophy – is always a priority for Brown.

And this season he could have a perfect candidate for the Brian Yeardley, won last year by Cardsharp, who subsequently finished third in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Group One Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

Brown said: “We’ve a lovely young horse called King Billy, who is a Zoffany colt.

“He’s a very precocious two-year-old and we are intending to run him at Beverley’s first meeting of the season next Wednesday.

“We think a lot of him and if he does what we think he’s capable of, we hope he can become a Royal Ascot horse.

“Beverley is my local track – I absolutely love the place – so it will mean a lot to me to get off to a flying start to the season with King Billy.”

Brown, surprisingly, did not have a domestic winner in 2018. But that disappointment was tempered by the exploits of Dream Walker, who won nearly 60,000 euro with victory in the “Ahonoora” Handicap at the Galway Festival last August.

Dream Walker is, though, set for a change of scenery as this season he will be trained in Ireland by Co Kildare handler Jarlath Fahey.

Fahey has also recruited Top Notch Tonto, who is now eight years old and has not won since June 2015.

Brown said: “Top Notch and Dream Walker both love it out in Ireland.“They’re not getting any younger so it makes sense to see how they get on over there.

“Jarlath is a very good trainer and I’m sure he’ll do a great job with them.”

Prize-money at Beverley has this season been raised to more than £1million, with the Beverley Bullet on September 1, won last year by the mighty Take Cover, now worth £60,000.

Beverley chief executive Sally Iggulden has also introduced a new mile-and-a-half handicap for three-year-old fillies on July 7, which will be contested for £25,000.

Beverley’s parade ring, meanwhile, has undergone a complete overhaul, with new safety rails and walkways in place to increase the welfare of the horse.

A new winner’s circle has been installed, too, with the intention to make even stronger memories for victorious owners.




Archie Watson has made a terrific start to 2018 and his multiple winner Brandon Castle is one of 27 entries for the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup, which will take place at York on Friday 18 May.
The son of Dylan Thomas, who carries the colours of owner Chris Hirst, has enjoyed a meteoric rise since joining Lambourn-based Watson last summer.
The six-year-old has triumphed six times for Watson, most recently when taking the £100,000 Queen’s Cup at Musselburgh last Saturday.
The upwardly mobile stayer mastered his rivals from the front that day and Watson is optimistic that he can make his mark in Pattern race company this season.
Watson, who has already trained 25 winners this year, said: “I think he has improved 37lb since we got him and he continues to progress.
“It helps that he absolutely loves deep ground and when he gets these conditions it makes it hard for the others to peg him back.
“Because of his running style, I think the smaller fields of these races will suit him more than big-field handicaps where there is always something to take him on.
“The plan is to go to the Further Flight at Nottingham and if that goes well then the race (Yorkshire Cup) would definitely be on the radar.”
Stradivarius could be one of the top staying prospects for the 2018 campaign and he is one of three entries in the mile-and-six-furlong Yorkshire Cup made by trainer John Gosden.
The Group 1 Goodwood Cup hero is joined by Clarehaven stable-mates Muntahaa and Weekender in the £165,000 race.
Godolphin are also well represented in the entry through Frontiersman, Rare Rhythm, Red Galileo and Twilight Payment.
Three of that quartet ran last Saturday at Meydan in the Dubai Gold Cup in which Rare Rhythm was third, Frontiersman fourth and Red Galileo sixth behind three-time winner of that race, Vazirabad.
Wicklow Brave, now nine, could make his third visit to York for trainer Willie Mullins. He finished second in the 2015 Ebor and third in the following season’s Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup.
New this season, the Yorkshire Cup forms part of the Weatherbys Hamilton £1 million bonus, a series of races that seek to promote and reward the stayers division.

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 16 May 16 to Friday 18 May inclusive.

For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit


Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes entry up by 12

BRILLIANT filly Enable is the stand-out entry among sixteen nominated for the Betfred Middleton Stakes, which will be run at York on Thursday, May 17.

Prince Khalid Abdullah’s four-year-old swept all before her last season, winning five successive Group 1s that included the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on the Knavesmire.

Enable’s trainer, John Gosden, has also entered Coronet, who finished second in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks. Two other trainers are also doubly represented at the initial stage with Sir Michael Stoute having nominated another in the Juddmonte colours in Mori alongside Smart Call. Henry Candy has entered Chain Of Daisies and Uele River in the £125,000 Group 2 contest.

Chain Of Daisies has seven wins from seventeen starts, including a 2016 Group 3 success in at Windsor where she headed Ulysses, the Juddmonte International victor. Now six, she has been a consistent and classy mare who perhaps slips under the radar.

Candy said: “Nobody takes much notice of her, luckily!”

All being well either Chain Of Daisies or Listed winner, Uele River, will run in the extended mile and a quarter race at York. Both are well suited by the trip, while favouring different types of ground.

Candy added: “Chain Of Daisies is entirely ground dependent. If the ground isn’t fast she definitely wouldn’t run. Uele River is quite happy with a bit of cut in the ground.

“Chain Of Daisies is just starting to think about it but I haven’t done very much with her because she hates this cold and wet weather.”

Candy also provided an update on stable star, Limato, who has been given an entry in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes. The six-furlong Group 2, scheduled for Wednesday 16 May has attracted forty-eight entries – a dozen more than last year.

Two-time Group 1 winner Limato has been included in the race by connections but the versatile six-year-old gelding may well contest the one-mile Lockinge Stakes at Newbury the following Saturday (May 19).

Candy said: “He seems to be in great form, so we are very much looking forward to the year.

“He has grown again and would weigh a lot more – he has enjoyed his winter off this year. Last year he was on his travels and it took him a while to get over it.

“The plan would be, ideally, to go over a mile this year. So the entry at York is in case ground at Newbury was soft and York’s ground was good.”

Other interesting entries in the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes include two-time Group 1 hero Harry Angel and the last two winners of the race – Tasleet (2017) and Magical Memory (2016). Last season’s Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes scorer, Sands of Mali, is one of twelve three-year-olds that have been entered.

The Dante Festival runs from Wednesday 16 May to Friday 18 May inclusive.