Dumfries trainer Iain Jardine challenged Five Helmets to claim a third victory at Beverley in the feature race of the penultimate fixture of the season on Wednesday.
The three-year-old gelding clearly enjoys competing in the East Yorkshire air. He won at Beverley last August, when in the care of Tom Dascombe, before repeating the dose on the Westwood late last month, and is one of five declared runners for the Chris & Sarah Burrows Handicap over a mile and a half (3.35), when he will once again be ridden by regular ally Jamie Gormley.
And his trainer is once again expecting a bold bid from the Brendan Keogh-owned son of Helmet. “He seems to like running at Beverley, for one reason or another,” said Jardine. “I think he’s still a progressive horse – and might even come into his own next year. Hopefully he’s a better horse than his mark of 77 might suggest.”
Five Helmets has already had a fine campaign, having won at Ayr and Hamilton in midsummer, but is on a minor retrieval mission following a disappointing effort in a strong, 15-runner handicap at York 10 days ago.
Jardine said: “Things didn’t pan out for him at York. They went fairly steady and he needs a decent gallop to show his best. He finished his race off really well, albeit going past tired horses, but he’s taken that well and is in great form. This Beverley race was always going to be an option for him. He’s stepping up to a mile and a half, but I’m not too concerned about that as I’m pretty sure he’ll stay. He’s a nice horse with a staying pedigree. We’ve always liked him and we think he’s definitely above average.”
Five Helmets will face stiff competition from the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Arctic Ocean, who won so well at Beverley in June. Two-time Beverley scorer Zihaam also runs and renews rivalry with Regal Mirage, with the latter winning the argument by a neck when the pair met last month. Top-weight Cape Islay completes the line-up for the Mark Johnston powerhouse.
The going at Beverley is good to firm, with sunny spells and a high of 15C forecast for raceday.
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