YORKSHIRE trainer Les Eyre will be aiming to upset the odds in the Group 3 William Hill Summer Stakes at York on Friday – just like he did 21 years ago in the Sky Bet Ebor Handicap.
East Riding-based Eyre will be on the Knavesmire to saddle his stable star, Sandra’s Secret, who runs in exactly the same colours as that 1997 Ebor winner, Far Ahead.
Sunpak Racing’s mare has been an absolute revelation so far this season.
The fast ground-loving five-year-old rattled off a three-timer between May 20 and June 15, rising from 80 to 97 in the official handicap in the process.
Her last win came at York in the EBF Breeders’ Series Fillies’ Handicap.
Eyre, who trains 22 thoroughbreds at Ivy House Stables in Catwick, said: “She has been a credit to the yard. She has improved out of all recognition.”
Asked to put the finger on her marked progression, Eyre laughed and said: “If I only knew I’d be visiting York more often!
“She is a happy little horse and she’s done it all herself, to be truthful.”
Since her hat-trick, Sandra’s Secret has finished second in a five-furlong Listed race at Ayr.
Now she is set to return to her favoured six-furlong trip and a shot at Group-race glory, albeit taking on Could It Be Love from Aidan O’Brien’s powerful Ballydoyle stable as well as fillies from the top yards of Richard Hannon and William Haggas, among others.
But Eyre added: “She doesn’t know about them; she runs her own race.
“She deserves to take her chance, she really does.
“She is in great form. She thrives on her work.
“She takes a fair while to get fit – she can be quite stuffy – but once she’s there, she’s there. I don’t do a hell of a lot with her in between racing.”
Eyre’s small string has done him proud so far this term. The winners have been flowing, including a treble in May – the first of his near 30-year career.
He said: “We’ve had a cracking year. I think we’re on 13 or 14 winners.”
The £65,000 William Hill Summer Stakes is the feature of Friday’s seven-race card at York, which gets underway at 2.05pm. Saturday is John Smith’s Cup today in which the £200,000 heritage handicap is preceded by a newly upgraded Group 3 and a Listed race.
For tickets please call 01904 620911 x 225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk