Areen flying high at Beverley

Areen Faisal could emerge as a credible contender at Royal Ascot if he successfully takes the next step along the ladder in the Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy (2.40) at Beverley on Saturday.

The Bahamian Bounty colt, trained by Richard Fahey, is one of seven declarations for the £25,000 conditions stakes, won last season by subsequent Norfolk Stakes hero Prince Of Lir. Areen Faisal caught the eye on his debut at Newmarket in April when he looked green yet still flashed home for third place behind the well-regarded Sound And Silence.

Richard Knight, racing manager and bloodstock adviser for owner Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah, said: "He ran a nice race at Newmarket and has been given a little bit of time to recover. Richard has been pleased with his work since then. It's pitching him slightly in at the deep end at Beverley but he's a nice prospect. We quickly earmarked this race after his debut and hopefully this is a stepping-stone towards Royal Ascot."

Mark Johnston saddled last season's Brian Yeardley runner-up The Last Lion, who again finished second to Prince Of Lir at Royal Ascot but went on to claim victory in the Group One Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket. The Middleham handler is this year responsible for Pontefract winner Rufus King and Cardsharp, who was runner-up to leading Coventry Stakes fancy De Bruyne Horse in the Woodcote at Epsom last Friday.

Excellently Poised, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, won well on his debut at Musselburgh and is still in contention for the Bryan Smart team. Scunthorpe United chairman Peter Swann won the Brian Yeardley as an owner with Prince Of Lir and could attempt a big Beverley double with the James Given-trained Cool Spirit. Last-time-out scorers Joe's Spirit (Michael Bell) and Chatburn (David O'Meara) complete the line-up.

Swann, who runs his horses under the Cool Silk Partnership banner, can also look forward to watching the unraced Chica La Habana compete in the historic Hilary Needler Trophy (3.15).
Trainer Robert Cowell said: "She's a nicely-bred filly and I'd say she will have no problems handling a bit of cut in the ground. She's got a good pedigree and the Hilary Needler will tell us whether or not we should be aiming even higher with her."

The Fahey-trained Maggies Angel was fourth in the Marygate Fillies' Stakes at York last month and will renew rivalry with Mount Victoria, who finished eighth for Lincolnshire trainer Given.
Moonlit Sands (Brian Ellison), Ce De Nullis (Paul Midgley), Popsi (Marjorie Fife) and the Johnston-trained Rebel Assault have also been declared for the £25,000 conditions stakes over five furlongs.

The going on A Very British Raceday at Beverley on Saturday remains soft following 1.5 millimetres of overnight rainfall. Saturday's forecast is for cloud and showers, with temperatures of 16C.