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Lady Ayresome scores Hilary Needler victory

Lady Ayresome found an extra gear at the finish to run out a cosy winner of the Hilary Needler Trophy Fillies’ Conditions Stakes at Beverley.

All eyes were on Kyber Crystal, who had chased home impressive National Stakes winner Ebro River on her debut, but she was never able to get in a blow in the five-furlong affair.

Lady Ayresome (11-2) was already a winner over the course and distance last time, but she was drawn highest of the 11 runners on this occasion, with Kevin Stott getting her away smartly before tacking over towards the far rail.

He settled alongside Jilly Cooper before giving the Kevin Ryan-trained Lady Ayresome the signal to go on a furlong from home, with Guilded swiftly setting out in pursuit down the middle of the track.

However, when Guilded got to Lady Ayresome’s quarters, the winner kicked again, eventually coming home three-quarters of a length clear, with Jilly Cooper sticking on for third, a further three and three-quarter lengths behind.

Betfair offer 20-1 about Lady Ayresome’s chances in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot next month.

Stott said: “She was very tough, she stole a length and I had to either get her out or take her back. Obviously with the experience of winning here, she knew the track.

“She jumped really good and we’ve come across and got a nice lead – we got to the front a bit too early if anything, as she was just pricking her ears a bit a furlong down.

“Fair play to her, she’s very tough and she’ll get a bit further.”

Ryan’s son and assistant Adam added: “She’s taken a step up when we’ve asked her, so there’s surely something round the corner for her, but let’s get today over and done with first.

“She enjoys the stiff finish there, so I’d say she’s a filly that’s going to get six furlongs. Let’s get past today, but she’s obviously a filly that’s worthy of a crack at something better.

“I think she’s a filly that probably does want a bit of ease in the ground, hopefully she’ll get get six furlongs in time but we’ll just enjoy today before we make any plans.

“I’m delighted to for the Riverside Racing Syndicate, they’re all local to our area and it’s great to have a horse win like that.

“She’s such a game filly, wherever she goes you know you will get your money’s worth.”

As her name – and the name of the 20-strong Riverside Racing ownership syndicate, together with red and white colours – suggests, Lady Ayresome belongs to a group of avid Middlesbrough football fans.

Syndicate spokesman Graham Frankland said: “We came here more in hope than expectation, but she’s a game filly and she stuck her head out for us.

“We’re very happy that she’s got to this stage and we’re hoping that it hasn’t finished yet, that she’s got more to come.

“If we went to Royal Ascot, it would be the Albany (over six furlongs). It would be a dream come true to have a runner there. We started off with nothing two and a half years ago and this filly has given us something to really look forward to.”

Beverley boost for Kyber Crystal

Kyber Crystal heads to Beverley for the Hilary Needler Trophy with a timely form boost after her Doncaster conqueror Ebro River ran away with the Listed National Stakes at Sandown.

Connections of Kyber Crystal felt a little hard done by after going down by a length two weeks ago – because the winner hung repeatedly to the right, taking her with him.

However, it was still a most encouraging run from the Adrian Keatley-trained youngster against a rival who proved when he doubled his tally on Thursday evening that he is clearly talented.

“We were very pleased with her debut,” said Niall O’Brien, a director of owners Ontoawinner.

“We did feel a bit sore afterwards, because we thought had Ebro River stayed in a straight line when the filly came to make her run she probably would have won the race at Doncaster, but she got a bit intimidated by him.

“He was hanging right. He hung again last night at Sandown, but he has obviously got a fair old engine on him.

“She ran well on her debut, and we go there with a good draw – we’ll be handy and we hope for a big run. Hopefully she can step forward.”

Hester Prynne and May Blossom give David O’Meara a decent hand too on Saturday.

Both juvenile fillies have winning form, with Hester Prynne victorious on her only start to date over the course and distance at the beginning of the month.

May Blossom got off the mark at Pontefract on her second attempt – and although she disappointed in the Listed Marygate Stakes at York, she was hampered on leaving the stalls.

O’Meara expects both fillies to handle the ground, which is likely to be testing after Wednesday’s meeting was abandoned because of waterlogging.

“May Blossom won well at Pontefract, but I don’t think she gave her running at York for whatever reason,” said the North Yorkshire handler.

“She got a bump coming out of the stalls and got behind. I’d like to think we’d see a lot better from her. The ground should be OK. She’s by Mayson.”

“Hester Prynne won nicely there over the course and distance. I think she’ll find the ground fine.”

Lady Ayresome is the other course-and-distance winner in the field, having struck five weeks ago following an encouraging debut at Redcar.

Trainer Kevin Ryan is represented in both feature two-year-old races at Beverley
Trainer Kevin Ryan is represented in both feature two-year-old races at Beverley (PA)

Her trainer Kevin Ryan is expecting a good run from the daughter of Kodi Bear in a competitive 11-runner field.

“She’s a nice filly and she did well last time. She shouldn’t mind the ground and has track form,” he said.

The Thirsk-based trainer believes Ryan’s Party will show that he has improved for his debut when he lines up for the other good two-year-old race on the card, the bet365 Continental Two Year Old Trophy.

“He ran a lovely race first time and will have come on for the run,” he said.

“It looks a strong race, but he’s in good form.”

The John Quinn-trained Tipperary Sunset, who got the better of Ryan’s Party by a length at Hamilton two weeks ago, renews rivalry.

Quinn said: “I’m very happy with him.

“He did well to win – he made all and was strong at the line at Hamilton. I’m hoping for a big run.”

Tom Dascombe is hoping Mercurial vindicates his decision to bypass the National Stakes at Sandown.

The son of Prince Of Lir, who won this race in 2016, confirmed the promise of his debut second at Bath last month when getting up close home to deny his stablemate Russellinthebushes at Chester.

“He was a winner last time out at Chester, and it was a toss-up whether to run him in the National Stakes or at Beverley,” said Dascombe.

“We decided on Beverley, and Hayley (Turner) has won on him, so she’s kept the ride. I hope he runs really well.”

The six-strong field is completed by Mark Johnston’s Musselburgh winner The Gatekeeper, Richard Hannon’s Brighton scorer Robjohn and the Richard Fahey-trained newcomer Straits Of Moyle.