Erica Bing Could Bid for Needler Glory

Trainer Jo Hughes could have Royal Ascot in mind if Erica Bing shines in the £25,000 Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley on Saturday.

The daughter of Captain Gerrard made a deep impression at Bath earlier this month, when successful in a five-and-a-half-furlong maiden, and could now step up in class for the historic conditions stakes on the Westwood.

Lambourn-based Hughes said: "She's not very big, but, boy, she is a heck of a tough little horse, as she showed on her last start. She also holds an entry at Bath on Friday, but her joint-owner, who bred her, is keen to go to Beverley. A lot will depend on the weather so we are weighing up our options at this stage. I hadn't really thought of her as a Royal Ascot horse but you just never know. She would have to improve, but if she kept progressing from her second run to her third, we'd obviously have to give Ascot some thought."

Nineteen fillies have been confirmed for the prestigious five-furlong sprint, won last year by Easton Angel, who subsequently finished second in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot. Mark Johnston saddled the most famous Hilary Needler heroine in recent history when the great Attraction claimed the race in 2003 before easily winning the Queen Mary two weeks later. The Middleham handler has this year confirmed five horses - Boater, Camargue, Chupalla, Kilmah and Sea Of Snow.

Richard Hannon could be triple-handed with Grizzel, Lexington Sky and Tiggaliscious - as might Richard Fahey, who has given a Hilary Needler entry to Kocollada, Samran Says and Spin Doctor.

Others of note include course-and-distance winner Seafront (James Tate), runaway Catterick scorer Clem Fandango (Keith Dalgleish) and the David O'Meara-trained Coolfitch, who was seventh in the Listed Marygate Fillies' Stakes at York. Windsor winner Jule In The Crown (Mick Channon), Princess Holly (Robert Cowell), Indigo Beat (Ann Duffield) and Our Greta (Mick Appleby) complete the list.

Twin feature on 'A Very British Raceday' at the attractive East Yorkshire circuit is the £25,000 Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy, won 12 months ago by French Derby runner-up First Selection. The informative five-furlong dash has attracted 17 young colts at the confirmation stage, including the Johnston-trained trio of Mailshot, Repton and The Last Lion, winner of the Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster on his debut.

Beverley's seven-race card is due to start at 1.50pm, with the ground currently good to firm.
The week-long forecast is for largely dry weather, with the turf watered accordingly to preserve conditions.