Boater Ship-Shape for Hilary Needler Surge

Boater will attempt to give trainer Mark Johnston a first victory in the £25,000 Hilary Needler for the first time since the great Attraction obliged in 2013.

The Duke Of Roxburghe-owned Attraction landed Beverley's historic race by a carefree two and a half lengths before winning the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot a few weeks later. She ended up becoming a turf sensation, winning the English and Irish Guineas during a distinguished career which saw her claim five Group Ones. 

Now Boater bids to provide Johnston with another noteworthy triumph in the five-furlong Hilary Needler. The Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum-owned filly won really well on her debut at Kempton in March and turned in a similarly encouraging display at York's Dante meeting, when second in the Listed Marygate Fillies' Stakes on May 14.

Johnston said: "She was beaten last time, but she ran a good race. She was in front for quite a long way and got caught by a filly (Vona) on the far side of the track. She's well and hopefully we can get her back on the winning trail."

The Middleham handler also has two good chances in Beverley's dual feature, the £25,000 Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy, won last year by French Derby runner-up First Selection. Pontefract scorer Mailshot reverts to five furlongs after having finished fourth in a hot six-furlong conditions stakes at Newbury. The Hard Spun colt is owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum and will be ridden by Graham Lee.

Stablemate The Last Lion won the Brocklesby Stakes on his debut at Doncaster in March and was second across the line in a five-furlong conditions stakes at Ascot in April - only to be demoted into third place. He will be ridden by Joe Fanning in the silks of John Brown and Megan Dennis.

Johnston said: "He (The Last Lion) was defeated last time in what was probably a very hot race. Having said that, Franny (Norton, jockey) felt he wasn't quite giving the same feel as he did first time at Doncaster. Hopefully he can bounce back to winning ways. Mailshot has a bit to find."

Beverley's well-attended 'A Very British Raceday' starts at 1.50pm with the first of seven races on a superb card. The official going on Friday afternoon was described as good to firm, good in places.