LOUGHNANE TARGETS HILARY NEEDLER GLORY AT BEVERLEY
Picture credit: Hannah Ali
Absolutelyflawless bids to live up to her name with victory in the prestigious Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley on Saturday.
David Loughnane’s young daughter of Ribchester is unbeaten in two starts and showcased her credentials for Royal Ascot with a sleek success in the Lily Agnes at Chester last time.
Absolutelyflawless, who will be ridden by champion-chasing jockey William Buick, now takes aim at a significant hat-trick in the historic £40,000 dash for juvenile fillies.
Shropshire-based Loughnane said:
“She’s been very consistent so far this year and she’s two from two.
“She was very good in the Lily Agnes. She has to handle the track. She’s been on Southwell and Chester – two very flat tracks. It requires a little bit more of them, Beverley, with the undulations.
“I’d like to hope her class will see her through and if she were to go and win she’d certainly put herself in line for something at Royal Ascot.
“I think she’ll be versatile enough in terms of ground – a good horse will go on any ground.”
Absolutelyflawless – the 9/4 favourite with sponsors bet265 – takes on eight rivals in the five-furlong Hilary Needler Trophy, which has consistently been used as a springboard towards races like the Queen Mary and Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Owners Amo Racing are double-handed with the Richard Hannon-trained Distinguished Lady and Darryll Holland’s Primrose Ridge, who won a maiden at Beverley in April by seven lengths.Fragrance won a Catterick maiden for Mark and Charlie Johnston last time out and run for Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, while two-time scorer Star Of Lady M and the unraced Your Spirit represent David O’Meara.
Parr Fire (Nigel Tinkler) made a striking winning debut earlier this month and also takes her chance, with Breath Catcher (Brian Ellison) and Miss Mai Tai (Robert Cowell) completing a strong line-up.
ON-SONG FLUTE READY FOR TROPHY TEST
Eve Johnson Houghton has challenged Whistle And Flute to “step up” with a big run in the bet365 Two-Year-OId Trophy on the same card.
The young son of Dandy Man won on debut at Bath is likely to be sent on his way a warm favourite with the sponsors after finishing second in a similar Royal trial at Ascot in April.
Blewbury-based Johnson Houghton said:
“He’s been in very good form, he’s run two very nice races so far and we’re hoping he can step up.
“He’s been in very good form. He’s run two very nice races so far and we’re hoping he can step up.”
Whistle And Flute features in a compelling field for the £40,000 Two-Year-Old Trophy, in which Rogue Spirit defends his unbeaten record for Tom Clover.
Chateau caught the eye on debut at Salisbury and flies the flag for Andrew Balding, while Jm Jungle (John Quinn) and The Ridler (Richard Fahey) both won last time out.
Chattel Village (Brian Ellison), Corporate Raider (Robert Cowell) and Honour Your Dreams (Adrian Keatley) complete the line-up.
SET FAIR FOR A VERY BRITISH RACEDAY
Following the mid-card abandonment of Wednesday’s meeting due to safety issues, no problems are anticipated ahead of the bet365 Very British Raceday.
The rail at the bottom bend has now been moved, with aeration and irrigation work carried out to ensure safe ground.
Commenting on one of Beverley’s biggest days of the season, marketing and partnerships manager Joe Pollak said
“We are very much looking forward to a great day of racing and cannot wait to see the action unfold in our two feature races, which have both been cemented as trials for Royal Ascot.
“We also look forward to welcoming racegoers back to the Westwood for our first Saturday meeting of the season.
“There will be something for everyone to enjoy during the afternoon, with selected fairground rides for the kids in the course enclosure and a good old-fashioned sing-song after racing with the AFO Choir.”