Victory Command has 'very good chance' of giving Johnston repeat victory
Beverley's big two-year-old card often throws up smart juveniles to follow in the coming months, including at Royal Ascot, which takes place just over a week after Saturday's meeting.
Mark Johnston won the colts' race, the Brian Yeardley Two Year Old Trophy (2.40), with Cardsharp last year. The Lonhro colt went on to land the July Stakes and finish third in the Middle Park.
Johnston bids to follow up with Victory Command, who has progressed on each of his three starts, getting off the mark at Doncaster last month before finishing second to a smart prospect in a conditions race at Pontefract last time out.
Dual winner Its The Only Way looks a major threat for Richard Hannon. He came up short over six furlongs in the Woodcote last weekend but was likely unsuited by soft ground, and better is expected back on a sounder surface and back in trip.
Robert Cowell fields Adam Tiler in a bid to repeat his 2016 victory in the race with Prince Of Lir, who went on to enjoy Norfolk glory at Royal Ascot.
Hannon also has obvious claims in the fillies' Hilary Needler Trophy (3.15) with Wedding Date, last seen finishing fifth when running in mixed-sex company in Sandown's National Stakes.
Johnston's three-time winner No Lippy brings leading form to the table too, having won a conditions race at Musselburgh last weekend, but faces a challenging draw in stall 12.
What they say
Brian Yeardley Two Year Old Trophy
Richard Hannon, trainer of Its The Only Way
He was impressive in his first two starts over five furlongs before stepping up in trip. Last time I felt the soft ground didn’t suit and I expect to see better from him on top of the ground and back down in trip. He has a good draw and I think he should go very close.
Tim Easterby, trainer of Big Ace
It’s a shame about the draw. If he wins from there we should be running at Royal Ascot.
Charlie Johnston, assistant to Mark Johnston, trainer of Victory Command
He's got a way to go to reach the levels Cardsharp did as a two-year-old but he ran a very good race in defeat at Pontefract last time; the winner is probably quite a good horse. He's coming back to five, which is maybe not ideal – I think he stayed the six well at Pontefract – but it's obviously a very stiff five at Beverley and he's the highest-rated horse in the race so he must have a very good chance.
Richard Fahey, trainer of Wasntexpectingthat
He won over course and distance on his last start, beating Big Ace, and this race looks ideal for him at the moment.
Hilary Needler Trophy
Adam Ryan, assistant to Kevin Ryan, trainer of Dame Gladys
She won quite nicely at Nottingham last time and is improving with each run. Andrew Mullen felt she was still inexperienced during her last run, so she should come on again. She’s well drawn and in good order.
Richard Fahey, trainer of Good Tyne Girl and Kodyanna
Good Tyne Girl won well at Leicester and the ninth-placed Cococabala has won since. I was pleased with Kodyanna's debut at Nottingham and she should improve for racing.
Charlie Johnston, assistant to Mark Johnston, trainer of No Lippy
Musselburgh is a very sharp five furlongs and for a filly who had shown a lot of speed in her earlier starts she was just struggling at halfway before coming good in the second half of the race, so we were half thinking off the back of that she might want six in the near future. But it's a stiff five at Beverley. The biggest downside is the draw in 12; that's going to make life difficult, but she must have a good chance.
Richard Hannon, trainer of Wedding Date
She's been working well at home. She ran respectably on her last start in the National Stakes at Sandown considering she was drawn badly. Prior to that she was very impressive in a maiden at Chester, where she showed a great turn of foot. She's there to run a big race back against fillies.
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