Beverley braced for Sands storm

Local owner Keith Brown is optimistic Moonlit Sands can realise her true potential in the prestigious Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley on Saturday (June 10).

Brown's silks have in recent years become a standing dish at the well-attended East Yorkshire circuit, with the likes of Top Notch Tonto and Orewa having got off the mark at Beverley before going on to achieve great things.

Moonlit Sands will be the latest young horse in Brown's care to test her mettle on the Westwood when she lines up in the historic Hilary Needler Trophy over five furlongs. The daughter of Footstepsinthesand is trained in Malton by Brian Ellison and made an eyecatcher debut at Redcar last month, when she stayed on for fifth place behind Time Trail, who could renew rivalry in the £25,000 Hilary Needler.

Brown said: "She's the real deal. She's had that one race, up at Redcar, but didn't know what the heck was going on. She was very green, but she picked up really well at the finish and will have come on loads for that. I'm not sure whether she'll win the Hilary Needler or not, but she's in great form and everyone at Brian's yard loves her. Brian seems to think she wants a bit of cut in the ground, too, so we've got great hopes for her. She's a class act and it would be lovely to think about Royal Ascot if she ends up going well at the weekend. This is a big race to go for in its own right, though. The Hilary Needler has got great history and tradition and it's always been a race I'd love to win, especially as Beverley is my favourite track."

The going at Beverley is soft following 24 millimetres of rain within the last 24 hours. Dual feature on A Very British Raceday is the £25,000 Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy. The respective first two horses home in last season's renewal, Prince Of Lir and The Last Lion, finished in that order in the Group Two Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot