Beverley racecourse in the East Riding of Yorkshire is in the spotlight on Saturday when the Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes is live on ITV. It’s the richest race at the track and Yorkshire trainer Richard Fahey could provide the winner with Kimberella. It must be said the racing is ordinary this week and there is a lull in the Flat season before the St Leger, Arc and Champions Day over the next seven weeks.
The Beverley Bullet is a listed race but the open nature of the contest makes it akin to a handicap. There are six runners with Racing Post Ratings from 124 to 126 which suggests there is no outstanding contender in a tight race. It’s a five furlong sprint won by Alpha Delphini last year so the horse is trying to become the first multiple winner since Chookie Heiton won the first two runnings in 2004 and 2005.
The race is open to horses aged three and older. In its 14 year history there have been winners ranging from aged three to ten. There are allowances for three-year-olds and fillies and mares and penalties for Listed and Group race winners. The weight’s range is nine pounds which is the same as the Ebor at York last Saturday, which is a handicap. Kimberella is a male horse aged seven so carries the maximum weight.
The Wagon Wheel is a great name for a horse and is Fahey’s second string in the Beverley feature. His back-up runner is a three-year-old filly so carries the lowest weight in the race. However, even carrying nine pounds less than Kimberella the horse does not have the ability and form to beat her stable mate.
Fahey trains at Malton in North Yorkshire which is 30 miles from Beverley which makes it a local track. He is an Irish trainer who has made Yorkshire his home so it will mean a great deal to win one of the biggest races in the county. Fahey trains the Group 1 winner Ribchester for Godolphin but still appreciates the smaller pickings at a track that is near to his Yorkshire base.
Ribchester is a mile specialist and one of the highest rated horses in the world over tat distance. The horse does not have an entry for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, run at Chantilly again this year because there is building work taking place at Longchamp. Fillies have won four of the last five Arcs and Enable is the odds-on favourite to make it five from six. The horse gets all the allowances and looks nailed on to win one of the biggest Flat races in Europe.
According to the trainer, John Gosden, Enable came out of the Yorkshire Oaks well and goes straight to France. Enable is the best three-year-old filly in training and one of the best ever. As a three-year-old she also gets weight from the older horses. Her form could not be stronger and at her best Enable will be just about impossible to beat. Any horse that beats Enable giving weight will have to be a world-beater.
You would never use those words to describe Kimberella but the horse is solid and consistent and usually runs to the true mark. Paul Hanagan takes the ride as part of his role back in the north after finishing his retainer with wealthy owners with horse mainly based in the south. A Yorkshire based Irish trainer and a jockey from Warrington could combine at Beverley with Kimberella to win the track’s big race.