Sir Michael Stoute Takes Aim at Westwood Honours

Sir Michael Stoute will attempt to maintain his blistering start to the season by sending two runners to Beverley on Thursday.

The Newmarket handler has his string in especially good form for this time of the year and launches a dual assault on the seven-race card in East Yorkshire. 

Arab Poet is one of five declared runners for the £11,500 Queen’s Own Yeomanry Handicap (2.50) over seven and a half furlongs, while stablemate Shabbah takes the plunge in the mile-and-a-quarter Tour De Yorkshire Starts Here Next Friday Handicap (3.50).The former, a son of Poet’s Voice, will be making his handicap debut after having broken his maiden at the fourth attempt with a two-and-a-quarter-length success at Lingfield in October.

Bruce Raymond, racing manager for owner Saeed Suhail, told “He’s a progressive sort of horse and we think he will run very well. He was second to Massaat at Leicester last September and that one finished second in the Dewhurst so the form is there for all to see. He’s working well and though he will get further in time, we think we can get away with running him over this trip. It also helps that Sir Michael’s horses have been running very well.”

Raymond is also racing manager for Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah, in whose silks Shabbah runs.
The three-year-old Sea The Stars colt takes a big step up in distance after having been campaigned over seven and eight furlongs during a winless juvenile campaign in 2015.

Raymond said: “He obviously didn’t show a great deal last season but he’s been working well and will look a lovely horse in the paddock. The step up in trip will help and any Sir Michael Stoute horse rated 64 has a chance.”

Ryan Moore rides the two Stoute horses and also gets the leg-up on the James Tate-trained Seafront, an encouraging sixth on her debut at Newmarket last week, in the five-furlong Beverley Minster Fillies' Novice Auction Stakes (1.50).

Raymond, who is also responsible for owner Saeed Manana’s string, said of the young daughter of Foxwedge: “She was a bit dozy in the paddock last week, but she came out of that race with plenty of credit. We think she could be all right.”

Racing at Beverley - the only domestic Flat card of the day - is due to begin at 1.50pm on an afternoon in which the popular Westwood circuit celebrates the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.
To honour the occasion, Hull Det. A (Yorkshire) Squadron of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry will be visiting the course for a reinstating of the Yeomanry race which was held many years ago.

The going at Beverley on Tuesday morning was officially described as soft, though a prolonged drying spell has been forecast in the build-up to the second meeting of the season at the award-winning course.