The North Yorkshire trainer has one win from as many starts on the Westwood in 2018 after subsequent Royal Ascot runner Shakour claimed an eight-and-a-half-furlong novice auction stakes in April.
Now Maifalki gets the chance to shine in the mile-and-a-quarter Alec Scotter's 70th Birthday Handicap at 3.30pm. The five-year-old gelding was a fine winner of an eight-and-a-half-furlong handicap at Hamilton on May 6, and most recently finished third at Huntingdon on what was his hurdling debut.
Ward said: “I’d hope he’d have a good chance. He’s a lovely, big horse that we inherited from Mark Walford’s yard. It’s probably lucky we got him so late in life as he’s a real late-developing sort. He’s filled out and looks like a racehorse now, instead of two planks stuck together. He’s always had ability and it didn’t surprise us that he won so well at Hamilton, where he beat a very well-handicapped horse (Jacob Black). We’ll be patient with him at Beverley as it (the trip) might be the end of his limits. Either way, I’m not too worried about it as I think he’ll end up being a proper mile-and-a-quarter horse. He’s in great form and we’re hoping for a big run.”
Maifalki takes on recent Wetherby scorer Music Seeker and Auxiliary, who made a victorious debut for Lawrence Mullaney at Hamilton in June. Mullaney said: “He won quite nicely last time, but I’m hoping he can come on for the run as that was his first start for a long time.
“He’s only gone up 1lb for Hamilton and Paula Muir, who has ridden four winners from eight rides for us this year, takes off 7lb. I was really cautious about whether or not we went for this race - he did have other options - but the prize-money is good and it looks a nice race for him. He came out of Hamilton in great order and hopefully he’ll have a grand chance as our horses have been running really well of late.”
Two-time Beverley winner Pioneering rattled off a hat-trick towards the back end of last season and carries top weight for David O'Meara, who also saddles Westwood regular Jacbequick. Detachment, Zlatan, Bollin Ted and Ascot Week complete a really interesting line-up.
Beverley’s fixture begins at 2pm, with the going described as good to firm. Sunny intervals and a high of 21C have been forecast ahead of the seven-race card.