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PAM SLY TARGETS FIRST BEVERLEY WINNER SINCE SPECIOSA

Trainer Pam Sly is this Wednesday (May 30) determined to finally end a 13-year wait for a Beverley winner.

Sly has hit the target just once from 45 previous runners at the picturesque East Yorkshire venue.

But the Peterborough-based handler is quietly optimistic she can at last set the record straight with Spinart, who would be following in some significant hoofprints if he can get his head in front.

After all, Sly’s last winner at Beverley was Speciosa, who claimed victory in a seven-and-a-half-furlong maiden in August 2005.

That triumph served as a springboard towards greatness as she famously won the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket a year later.

Spinart has, obviously, been plying his trade at a lower level, but his trainer is upbeat about his chances in the seven-and-a-half-furlong Give Racing A Try Handicap at 3pm.

The five-year-old chestnut was last seen finishing second in an apprentices’ handicap at Catterick in April – his first try over seven furlongs.

Sly said: “He’s still a maiden, sadly, but he’s just been a bit naughty rather than anything else.

“He’s been a rather weak horse, but he looked quicker and a bit stronger when we dropped him back in trip at Catterick.

“Connor (Murtagh) gave him a great ride at Catterick – he wasn’t too hard on him – and it’s good that he’s riding him again at Beverley.

“A few showers wouldn’t hurt his cause as he’s a horse that likes a bit of cut in the ground, but he’s in fine form and hopefully he’ll go well.

“It’s been a long time since we had a Beverley winner, but it’s a lovely course and I also have great affection for the place after what Speciosa did there.”

Sly’s 1000 Guineas heroine was memorably labelled by her trainer as a “witch” with a “severe temperament” when she won at Beverley.

Speciosa was retired in 2007 to take up broodmare duties, but Sly said: “She still is a bit headstrong, even after all these years.

“She’s calmed down a bit, but she can still cart you around the place if she feels like it.

“She’s just had a colt by Nathaniel and all her fillies have already won, so it’s nice she’s doing well as a broodmare.

“I can’t believe it was 12 years ago since she won the Guineas – it really does feel like yesterday.”

Beverley’s eight-race card on Wednesday starts at 1.30pm, with the going reported on Tuesday morning as being good to firm, good in places.

The forecast for Half-Term Raceday with Hull FC is for cloud, a chance of showers and a high of 18C.

WHO’LL BE TOP DOG AT BEVERLEY?

Paul Mulrennan gears up for arguably his biggest challenge on a racecourse at Beverley on Tuesday.
With the eyes of the sporting world fixed upon the East Yorkshire circuit, the Group One-winning jockey is ready to unleash black Labrador Stella in the inaugural running of the Burgess Supadog Bark de Triomphe.
Stella, a chiselled veteran of the northern circuit, will be joined in the Bark de Triomphe line-up by housemate Peggy, a miniature Jack Russell who is trained by Mulrennan’s wife, Adele.
Paul Mulrennan said: “It’s obviously a high-pressure situation, but it’s a nice kind of pressure.
“I’m sure the nerves will kick in eventually, but the team are happy and relaxed and the atmosphere in the camp is very positive.
“Stella and Peggy are as well as they can be without having had a run.
“As long as we get that all important luck in running, you’d expect both of them to show their true colours.”
Adele and Paul Mulrennan are two of the 11 licensed jockeys to have made the seamless transition from riding winners to training dogs in the half-a-furlong dash to canine glory on the Westwood.
The class K9 affair for eight-month-olds and upwards will be staged in aid of Antibiotic Research UK and features two Bark Trials at 1.15pm and 1.20pm.
The first three dogs home in each heat will then contest the grand final of the Bark de Triomphe at 1.25pm.
With a total prize fund of unbelievable kudos and a bag of Burgess Supadog up for grabs, the stakes could barely be higher.
Paul Mulrennan added: “Both dogs are fit and well and champing at the bit.
“Stella is getting on a bit now, but her home-work has been good and she’s experienced enough by now to handle the demands of Beverley.
“She’s been on a diet of white fish and water to get down to her fighting weight, and I think we have her just about spot-on, in truth.
“Peggy, on the other hand, was born for a day like this.
“She’s a lean, mean fighting machine with a big engine and a touch of class. Put it this way, she knows she’s top dog.
“She might be a miniature Jack Russell, but Peggy is a Yorkshire terrier in every sense of the word in that she never knows when she’s beaten.
“It will be a big day for the Mulrennan family, but an even bigger day for Stella and Peggy.
“Here’s hoping they can put their best paw forward and lead by example.”
The Burgess Supadog Bark de Triomphe has already raised over £3,000 for Antibiotic Research UK.
Donations can be made by following this link: www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/antibiotic-researchuk/barkdetriomphe2017
Mulrennan added: “It’s a great initiative and for a really good cause.
“This is just something a little bit different that will hopefully catch the imagination of racegoers and punters.”
The first of eight (horse) races at Beverley starts at 2pm, with the official going on Monday morning reported to be heavy.