Beverley strives for Bullet upgrade

Chief executive Sally Iggulden is keen to see the totescoop6 Beverley Bullet upgraded to a Group Three race.

The renowned five-furlong dash has been won by some exceptional sprinters in recent years, with the £50,000 Listed heat brilliantly claimed by Take Cover this season.

David Griffiths' 113-rated 10-year-old subsequently advertised the Bullet form by a winning a Group Three race at Newbury on September 23. Officials at Beverley are now hoping to convince the British Horseracing Authority that the Beverley Bullet is worthy of an even higher status.

Iggulden said: "We strive to update and to keep our races on a good level, and next year we are going to put a lot more funds into prize-money throughout the 2018 campaign. It's always been my ambition to get the Beverley Bullet upgraded to a Group Three race and let's hope Take Cover can take us there.

"It's a long process as it does depend upon the winners you have had each season, but year on year we really have had some truly cracking winners of the Bullet. I do not think the Beverley Bullet would look out of place as a Group Three so hopefully we can make the dream a reality."

Beverley chairman Charles Maxsted was able to reflect upon another fantastic year after the season came to an end on Tuesday. In a report published last month, attendances at Beverley were found to have been six per cent higher than in 2016 – bucking the trend for racecourses across the country which are showing a six per cent decline on last year.

The 2017 campaign has also seen a series of new partnerships, a successful new format and partner for the season's best-attended meeting, Flemingate Ladies' Day, and Beverley being named as the north's best value racecourse.

Maxsted said: "We've had a very fine season. We've had some very good innovations this year and Ladies' Day with Flemingate was a great success. We've also had some very good racing and some very good winners, with Take Cover the star of the show. Attendances are up this year, which was very much against the nationwide trend, so that was ever so pleasing. I give credit to all the staff who have made this a season to remember and hopefully we can match, or even improve upon, the considerable gains made when we do it all again in 2018."

Paul Hanagan was on Tuesday crowned leading Beverley jockey for the season with 10 winners, while Malton trainer Richard Fahey was the runaway top trainer on the Westwood with 16 victories to his name.

FIVE STARS OF THE BEVERLEY SEASON

STRADIVARIUS (John Gosden)

A carefree six-length winner of a mile-and-a-quarter handicap at Beverley's first fixture of the season on April 19. The rest is history as he went on to claim top honours in the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot and the Goodwood Cup. Last seen finishing a close third behind Capri in the St Leger at Doncaster.

CARDSHARP (Mark Johnston)
Brilliant winner of the Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy in June, after which he finished third in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot. A subsequent Group Two scorer at Newmarket and also placed in the Gimcrack at York and the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood.

JUDICIAL (Julie Camacho)
Became the first horse to navigate the Beverley circuit in under a minute when he scorched to glory in the valuable British Stallion Studs Weatherbys Hamilton EBF Conditions Stakes in June – his third triumph on the bounce. Since placed in Listed races at York and at Chester and now rated 105.

TAKE COVER (David Griffiths)
Stunning all-the-way winner of the totescoop6 Beverley Bullet on September 2. The classy 10-year-old has looked as quick as ever this season and beautifully franked the Bullet form by securing Group Three glory in the Dubai International World Trophy at Newbury.

ALPHA DELPHINI (Bryan Smart)
Last season's Beverley Bullet hero made a heartening return to winning ways in the Eddie And Violet Smith Conditions Stakes at the final meeting of the season on September 26. Poised to step back up class for a Listed race at Ascot next month and likely to be campaigned in top six-furlong races in 2018.