Chatburn could confirm his place at Royal Ascot with a big run in the £25,000 Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy at Beverley on Saturday (June 10).
Prince Of Lir defeated The Last Lion by a length and a quarter in last season's Brian Yeardley and the form was brilliantly franked at the Royal meeting as the same two horses finished first and second in the Norfolk Stakes. The Last Lion even signed off from his racing career with a rating of 116 after having claimed victory in the Group One Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket last September. Impressive Redcar winner Chatburn, trained by David O'Meara, could now attempt to complete the Beverley-Ascot double.
Emma Armstrong, who owns Chatburn with her husband, David, said:
"The plan is to run in the Brian Yeardley. I've spoken to David and he is really happy with him and this looks a perfect race after doing so well at Redcar. He won well at Redcar and is a nice horse, so hopefully he can take the next step up the ladder at Beverley. We always enjoy having runners at Beverley as it's the track where we had our first major winner with Miss Meggy in the Hilary Needler (2004). We'll see how he goes at Beverley, but Royal Ascot would be an option. The Brian Yeardley is a bit closer to Ascot this year, but I've spoken to David about it and it definitely wouldn't put him off from running at both meetings. Chatburn was our first two-year-old winner this year and we like him a lot."
Chatburn is one of 15 horses in contention for the Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy. Richard Fahey has entered Areen Faisal, Bengali Boys and Peter Leonard, with Mark Johnston responsible for Cardsharp and recent Pontefract winner Rufus King. Last-time-out scorers Joe's Spirit (Michael Bell), Awsaaf (Simon Crisford) and Unfortunately (Karl Burke) also hold entries. Excellently Poised, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, won well on his debut at Musselburgh and is in contention for the Bryan Smart team.
Scunthorpe United chairman Peter Swann won the race last year with Prince Of Lir and could attempt to repeat the dose with the James Given-trained duo of Cool Spirit and Gift In Time.
Like Prince Of Lir 12 months ago, both horses are unraced and compete for Swann in the colours of the Cool Silk Partnership. Prince Of Lir was trained by Robert Cowell, who could this year saddle the unraced Sovereign State, owned by Qatar Racing. Black Orange (Gay Kelleway) and Skyva (Brian Ellison) complete the list of possible runners.
Twin feature on A Very British Raceday at Beverley on Saturday is the £25,000 Hilary Needler Trophy, won by the mighty Attraction in 2003. Fifteen horses have been engaged for the five-furlong speed test, with the hat-trick-seeking Time Trail a stand-out entry. The Swiss Spirit filly is trained by Michael Dods, who won the 2015 Hilary Needler Trophy with the high-class Easton Angel. Formidable Kitt (Tom Dascombe), Validator (William Haggas), Villa Tora (Mark Johnston) and Maggies Angel (Richard Fahey) also catch the eye in a potentially excellent renewal of the historic race at Beverley.