Lambourn trainer William Muir attempts to win the totescoop6 Beverley Bullet for a second time when Willytheconqueror strives for Listed gold on Saturday (August 27).
Muir tasted victory on the Westwood three years ago after Stepper Point blazed a trail under Martin Dwyer to deny York Glory by a neck in a thrilling finish. Stepper Point has since proven to be a top operator in the sprinting ranks, having claimed Group Two honours at the Curragh last June.
Muir now has another likely sort for the £50,000 dash in the three-year-old Willytheconqueror, who finished second to Easton Angel in the Listed Scurry Stakes at Sandown in June. The gelded son of Kodiac warmed up for his big day when a close fourth behind In Salutem in a five-furlong handicap on Shergar Cup day at Ascot on August 6.
Muir said: "He's in good form and we're hoping he'll go really well. We had a choice between the Bullet and Tipperary (on Thursday), but it's a long way to Tipperary and the prize-money at Beverley is really good. He's ran well every time this season, but it was tough for him at Ascot against those older horses. It's never easy as a three-year-old, but he gets a bit of weight off some of them at Beverley, and that will be a bit of a help. The track will also suit him, I think, which is a big plus. We had a great day when Stepper Point won the Bullet a few years ago and hopefully we can enjoy a bit more luck in a very good race."
Ten horses have been declared for what is shaping up to be a superb renewal of the Bullet, the feature race on Beverley's richest raceday of the season.
Irish challenger Maarek (Evanna McCutcheon) and Paul Midgley's Line Of Reason, the respective first and second home last season, will renew rivalry on the Westwood. Likely favourite Muthmir, trained in Newmarket by William Haggas, has also been declared, while Robert Cowell’s popular veteran Kingsgate Native returned to winning ways at Nottingham and adds extra lustre to the race.
The locally-owned Alpha Delphini is a half-brother to 2011 Bullet hero Tangerine Trees and goes to post for the Bryan Smart operation. Final Venture, who was second to Alpha Delphini at Ascot last time, will represent North Yorkshire handler Alan Swinbank, while Richard Fahey seeks a first Bullet victory with Mr Lupton. Caspian Prince (David Loughnane) and Son Of Africa (Henry Candy) complete the line-up.