Last Updated: 08/06/18 11:44am
No Lippy bids to clinch her fourth win in the space of six weeks in the Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley on Saturday.
Trainer Mark Johnston is never afraid to run his horses frequently and this daughter of Oasis Dream appears to be thriving on her racing.
A successful racecourse debut at Doncaster in late April was followed by victory in the Lily Agnes at Chester’s May meeting and although she failed to fire in a Listed contest at York just nine days later, she bounced back to strike at Musselburgh a week ago.
Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father, said: “She makes us very proud. She’s a fantastic advertisement for getting a horse out and running.
“She takes her races very well and when the entries came out for the Hilary Needler, it was always the idea to go to Beverley.
“She’s a bit inconvenienced by her draw (stall 12), but it looks the right race for her.
“Royal Ascot is certainly on the agenda.”
The Brian Ellison-trained Pearl Of Qatar was a surprise 25-1 winner on her introduction over this course and distance and returns to the Westwood to put her unbeaten record on the line.
“She was a big price on her debut, but it didn’t surprise me that she won like that as she’d been going nicely at home,” said Ellison.
“We also took her for a gallop at Pontefract, and that did her a lot of good.
“She’s very laid-back at home, but she’s got a lot of pace and is a horse we like a lot.”
The Norton-based trainer has a second string to his bow in Antico Lady, but she appears to have her work cut out after finishing only seventh on her first start at Thirsk.
Ellison added: “She ran a lot better than her finishing position might suggest at Thirsk.
“She’s a filly we think a lot of and hopefully she’ll get to show that at Beverley.”
Gypsy Spirit made a winning start at Windsor before finishing third at Lingfield and trainer Tom Clover is hoping she can earn herself an appearance at Royal Ascot with a bold showing this weekend.
He said: “We think she’ll enjoy running over five furlongs up the hill at Beverley and if she ran very well, you’d have to look at Royal Ascot – especially if there is some cut in the ground.”
Kevin Ryan’s Nottingham victor Dame Gladys and Richard Fahey’s Leicester scorer Good Tyne Girl also feature in a 13-strong field.
The other #35,000 contest on one of the big days of the year at Beverley is the Trucking By Brian Yeardley Two Year Old Trophy.
Johnston claimed last year’s renewal with subsequent July Stakes hero Cardsharp and this season relies on Doncaster winner Victory Command, who filled the runner-up spot on his latest appearance at Pontefract.
“He’s got a long way to go reach the heights of Cardsharp, but he hasn’t done much wrong,” said Charlie Johnston.
“He won very comfortably at Doncaster and then probably bumped into quite a nice horse at Pontefract.
“I think the horse is probably better over six (furlongs) now, but if you’re going to get away with it (going back over five furlongs) anywhere, it’s at Beverley.
“He’s the highest-rated horse on Timeform figures and he’s got a leading chance.”
Ellison saddles King Billy, who was fifth on his racecourse debut at Catterick last week.
He said: “He might need a longer trip in time, but he’s been working well at home and came out of Catterick grand.”
Recent Ripon scorer Life Of Riley is sent into battle by trainer Karl Burke and the successful Ontoawinner syndicate.
Niall O’Brien, racing director for the part-owners, said: “We don’t know quite how good he is yet, but we think he’s very smart and he’s been working very well at home.
“He’s not got the best of draws (stall nine), but we’d be hopeful he has a good chance.”
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