Absolutelyflawless firmly in trophy hunt at Beverley

Absolutelyflawless will bid to maintain her undefeated record when she lines up for the Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley on Saturday.

The David Loughnane-trained Ribchester filly won on racecourse debut over five furlongs at Southwell in April and then took a significant step forward to land the Lily Agnes Stakes over the same trip at Chester last month.

Laura Pearson was in the saddle on both of those occasions but misses out this time due to suspension, with William Buick deputising in a race connections hope could act as a stepping stone to the Royal meeting.

“She’s been very consistent so far this year and she’s two from two,” Loughnane said.

“She was very good in the Lily Agnes. It probably isn’t the most competitive renewal of the race, but there are still some nice fillies in there.

“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.

Absolutelyflawless on her way to success in the Lily Agnes Stakes
Absolutelyflawless on her way to success in the Lily Agnes Stakes (Tim Goode/PA)

“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.”

Robert Cowell’s Miss Mai Tai has been sixth in both of her two runs to date and was last seen finishing behind Ramazan in a novice at Beverley in May.

“It’s quite a tough race, but we’ve won it a couple of times in the past and I think getting a good break is important,” the Newmarket trainer said.

“This filly has a couple of races under her belt and didn’t get beat far last time with probably not the smoothest of runs.

“We’re hoping she’ll be there with a furlong to go, whether she’s good enough we’ll see.”

Nigel Tinkler’s Parr Fire took a Doncaster novice at 20-1 in May and is likely to head to post on the Westwood at a significantly smaller price as a result.

Charlie and Mark Johnston’s Fragrance was also a winner last time out when successful at Catterick, prior to which she was placed in two competitive juvenile races.

Darryll Holland and Amo Racing’s Primrose Ridge was a mightily impressive winner when taking a Beverley novice by seven lengths in April and returns to the same track after finishing sixth in the Listed Marygate Fillies’ Stakes at York.

Richard Hannon’s Distinguished Lady is a second runner for the Amo Racing team, Brian Ellison’s Breath Catcher will make her third Beverley appearance while David O’Meara has both Star of Lady M and debutant Your Spirit.

On the same card is another five-furlong contest open only to juveniles, the bet365 Two Year Old Trophy Conditions Stakes for colts and geldings.

Eve Johnson Houghton’s Whistle And Flute heads the market, a Dandy Man colt run in the same silks as the trainer’s Windsor Castle hero Chipotle.

The bay was a winner on his first racecourse outing when prevailing in a Bath novice and then went on to finish second to Andrew Balding’s Balkeel in the Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial Conditions Stakes.

“He’s been in very good form, he’s run two very nice races so far and we’re hoping he can step up,” Johnson Houghton said.

Whistle and Flute (right) in the Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial Conditions Stakes
Whistle and Flute (right) in the Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial Conditions Stakes (John Walton/PA)

Tom Clover’s Rogue Spirit was victorious by three-quarters of a length when beginning his career in a Beverley novice in early May, but the Dark Angel youngster was so unruly prior to the race that he has since been gelded.

“He behaved appallingly when he won there, he was so coltish and a real handful,” said the trainer.

“He was very free to post, very hot, I think he’s a natural free sweater anyway, but we had to cut him.

“He’s gelded now and he’s still a bit of a free sweater but he looks to have settled down plenty.

“He breezed so nicely on Wednesday morning and did a very nice bit of work on Saturday. I think he deserves to take his chance.

“He’s by a great sire and he’s a strong two-year-old, if we could pick up a conditions race along our way it would be fantastic.”

Cowell is also represented in the race and will saddle Corporate Raider, fourth in a Catterick maiden on May 20 when beaten four and a quarter lengths.

“He ran a really promising race the other day at Catterick. He was all at sea and then the penny dropped in the last half a furlong and he made up probably five or six places,” the trainer said.

“Beverley will suit him and if that race has blown away the cobwebs and he’s learnt a bit, he should run quite a nice race.”

Balding has entered Havana Gold colt Chateau, John Quinn’s Jm Jungle looks to back up a win at Hamilton and Richard Fahey’s The Ridler also comes into the race in winning form after taking a Ripon novice when last seen.

Adrian Keatley’s Honour Your Dreams runs for the first time since being gelded and Ellison’s Chattel Village completes the field of eight.

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