Alpha bites the Bullet

Alpha Delphini will attempt to follow in the esteemed hoofprints of half-brother Tangerine Trees by winning the totescoop6 Beverley Bullet on Saturday.

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The locally-owned Tangerine Trees landed the big Listed dash in 2011 before going on to secure Group One glory in the Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp for the Bryan Smart team.

Like his former stablemate, Alpha Delphini was bred, and is partly-owned, by Beverley resident Marie Matthews.

The five-year-old gelding arrives at Beverley for the £50,000 Bullet on top of his game, having won valuable sprint handicaps at York and Ascot in July.

North Yorkshire-based Smart said: "Because of his half-brother and Marie's connection, it will be some story if he wins.

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"He's in great order and he deserves to have a crack at a race like this.

"He won his maiden at Beverley and stays five furlongs very well, so we know he likes it at the track.

"We're hoping he'll run very, very well."

Smart sees a lot of similar qualities between Alpha Delphini and Tangerine Trees, not least the manner in which they have both achieved victory in their careers.

The Hambleton House trainer, who also won the Bullet with Hellvelyn in 2007, added: "A bit like his half-brother, Alpha Delphini is from a late-developing family so we had to take our time with him.

"Tangerine Trees didn't really come into his own until he was older, so you'd like to think there's a bit more to come from Alpha.

"There's also a big similarity with Tangerine Trees in that they both don't win by very far – but the fact they are winning at all will do for me!"

The going at Beverley is currently good to firm ahead of the Beverley Bullet, in which last season's respective first and second, Maarek and Line Of Reason, are poised to renew rivalry.

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