IMPROVING BEDFORD FLYER TO TAKE ON BIG GUNS AT YORK
BEDFORD FLYER is set to fulfil his owner’s dream by contesting the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes at York on Friday, 20 August.
The three-year-old colt runs in the colours of RP Racing for Rachael and Paul Teasdale, who have long wanted a speedster to contest the £400,000 Group 1.
Yorkshire trainer Les Eyre’s charge has also ready shown his liking for the Knavesmire’s fast five furlongs when running out a convincing winner of the Yorkshire Equine Practice Handicap at the Dante Festival in May.
The improving sprinter has other very smart form to his name, including when he was beaten by just a head last time out in a Class 2 handicap at Ascot on 23 July.
But now Bedford Flyer is being prepared to face Group-class stars for the first time – and his long odds of 66/1 with Festival partners, Sky Bet, reflect that significant step up in grade.
Eyre, who sprang a 33/1 surprise when Far Ahead took the now Sky Bet Ebor in 1997, said: “The Nunthorpe is on the agenda. It might be being a bit ambitious – but he has never let us down yet.
“The Nunthorpe has been the owner’s dream for many years. It was the owner’s idea and we’ve looked at it and tried to work towards it.”
There is no doubt that 20 August will be a special day for connections. “You bet your life,” confirmed the handler from Ivy House Stables in Catwick, East Riding.
Eyre has trained a few fast ones over the years, so Bedford Flyer is in sure hands.
He said: “I’ve had one or two in the past – I have been at it 35 years. But having said all that, we wouldn’t have had any quicker, put it that way.
“We’ve won the Ebor in the past. So it would be nice if we could do it with the sprinters.”
While Bedford Flyer will be among the outsiders for the high-summer sprint showpiece, his trainer is convinced the son of Clodovil is on course to progress into a Group-class performer.
Eyre said: “There’s no doubt in my mind. But he is a little bit ground dependent. He would not want it soft– he doesn’t handle it.”
As for the horse’s overall condition with just over a fortnight to go until the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes, Eyre added: “We’re absolutely delighted with him. We can’t get him a lot fitter.”
The stable is also hoping to be represented at the Festival by Fame And Acclaim, who has an entry in the Clipper Logistics Heritage Handicap on Thursday 19 August.
The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival runs from Wednesday, August 18 until Saturday 21 August inclusively.
For tickets, please call 01904 620911 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk