Formidable Kitt in Needler frame

Tom Dascombe will attempt to win the Hilary Needler Trophy for a second time if Formidable Kitt lines up at Beverley on Saturday (June 10).

The Cheshire handler savoured a red-letter day at the popular East Yorkshire circuit when Don’t Tell Mary claimed the historic sprint by four lengths in 2009. Formidable Kitt won nicely on her debut at Newmarket in April and is one of 15 fillies entered for the £25,000 Hilary Needler Trophy.

Dascombe is, however, keeping a watchful eye on the weather for the daughter of Ceiling Kitty, who won the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2012. Should all go to plan, Formidable Kitt will try to follow in her mother’s hoofprints at the Royal meeting later in the month.

Dascombe said: “She’s in great form and she’s in the Hilary Needler, but it’s absolutely all about the ground. She showed a nice bit of speed at Newmarket and is a lovely filly – any of our horses that win first time out are usually pretty good. She will not run at Beverley if the ground is anywhere near soft so we’ll have to see what the weather does throughout the week. Everything is aimed at the Queen Mary, which was the race her mother won.”

Beverley sustained nine millimetres of rainfall on Monday, but the weather forecast promises dryer conditions as the week progresses. The Hilary Needler Trophy is a renowned staging post for young fillies with Royal Ascot pretensions, and was famously won in 2003 by the brilliant Attraction. Six of the last seven winners of the Hilary Needler have ended up at Royal Ascot, with 2015 scorer Easton Angel finishing second behind Acapulco in the Queen Mary Stakes.

Dual feature on A Very British Raceday at Beverley 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.