Great Expectations

Great Page may have her Royal Ascot credentials tested in the historic Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley on Saturday.

Richard Hannon's filly was nominated for the Albany Stakes at the Royal fixture in June after winning on debut at Windsor, but things did not go so smoothly next time as she was beaten by stablemate Illuminate as the 1-3 favourite for a Salisbury maiden.

Great Page could get the chance to set the record straight at Beverley in the coveted £25,000 fillies' conditions stakes - a race her owners, Middleham Park Racing, won with Tim Easterby's Ventura Mist in 2013.

Middleham Park racing manager Tim Palin said: "We are keen to run at Beverley as it's a race that should suit her well.

"There is more rain forecast, so if the ground turns on the easy side it is distinctly possible she will turn up.

"The alternative is a Listed race at Naas in a fortnight's time that one of our horses, Sandiva, won a few years ago.

"She didn't quite run her race at Salisbury, and that's borne out by the ratings.

"Take nothing away from the winner, but Great Page didn't quite do what she did on day one that she did on day two.

"It wouldn't surprise me if we saw a better performance from her, even for the fact she's having a third run.

"If it did turn into a war of attrition at Beverley it would play into our filly's hands."

Middleham Park and Hannon could also be represented by Spongy in Beverley's joint weekend feature, the Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy.

The two-year-old son of freshman sire Zoffany failed to recover from a slow start on his debut at Chelmsford on May 12, eventually finishing fourth behind Carrington in a strong five-furlong maiden.

Spongy could renew rivalry with Godolphin's colt on the Westwood, with Palin banking on further progress if he does take his chance in the £25,000 conditions stakes for colts and geldings.

He said: "I'm not saying Spongy is an Ascot horse, but everything went wrong for him on his debut.

"He has it all on to turn around the form with Carrington, but he escapes a penalty for not winning a race and he's a typical Hannon horse - big, strong and improving.

"He probably wants six furlongs already, but it's a similar story as with Great Page - if the ground came up easy, I'd be tempted to bring him north."