Well Poised for Smart display
Bryan Smart is hoping to put a stressful couple of weeks behind him with Excellently Poised in the Brian Yeardley Continental Two Year Old Trophy Conditions Stakes at Beverley.
Smart has been caught up in the case of Equine Herpes Virus-1 which is currently preventing Kevin Ryan from sending out runners, as one of Smart's horses shared a horsebox with a Ryan runner when his had broken down.
Having been under quarantine for two weeks, Smart was left frustrated at not being able to run the Sepoy colt at Musselburgh last week on quicker ground.
The British Horseracing Authority confirmed late on Friday afternoon Smart was free to resume having runners, although restrictions remain on the Ryan yard.
"We need to know if he's an Ascot horse which is why I was desperate to get a run into him," said Smart of the colt part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson.
"It would have been better ground last week so this whole virus thing has been a pain in more ways than one, I'd have loved to have just had to concentrate on getting him ready, never mind anything else.
"Beverley can get very wet but his dam Excelette, who I also trained, didn't mind cut. Mind, she'd have run on a road or through a river, she was teak-tough.
"He's a very similar type in truth, not very big but he just wants to please you and I've been very pleased with him at home."
Mark Johnston runs two, Cardsharp, second in the Woodcote Stakes last week, and Rufus King, an easy winner at Pontefract.
"Cardsharp probably achieved enough at Epsom to go straight to Ascot but he's clear top-rated and looking at the race it might not be the strongest renewal of it," said Johnston's son and assistant, Charlie.
"In saying that you might have thought the same last year and the first two (Prince Of Lir and The Last Lion) ended up being the first two in the Norfolk so you just never know.
"We've decided to go again with him and along with Rufus King they are probably more Coventry horses than Norfolk as already they really need six furlongs.
"Rufus King had obviously come on an awful lot from his debut when he ran at Pontefract but what he actually achieved there we're not sure.
"Two of them refused to go in the stalls while one hung right and carried another with him so it's up in the air with him.
"That's why we are running him, to see if he's worth taking to Ascot or not because after Pontefract we're not sure, we need to find out.
"I think if either of them are to go to Ascot they'll need to be winning."
Chatburn got off the mark at the third time of asking for David O'Meara, and owner Emma Armstrong said:
"I've spoken to David and he is really happy with him and this looks a perfect race after doing so well at Redcar.
"He won well at Redcar and is a nice horse, so hopefully he can take the next step up the ladder at Beverley.
"We'll see how he goes at Beverley, but Royal Ascot would be an option.
"The Brian Yeardley is a bit closer to Ascot this year, but I've spoken to David about it and it definitely wouldn't put him off from running at both meetings."
Richard Fahey runs Areen Faisal, a fine third on debut at Newmarket's Craven meeting.
Richard Knight, racing and bloodstock adviser for owner Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah, said: "He ran a nice race at Newmarket and has been give a little bit of time to recover.
"Richard has been pleased with his work since then. It's pitching him slightly in at the deep end but he's a nice prospect.
"It's early days, and you can never say for sure until they run, but we think he'll handle cut in the ground.
"We quickly earmarked this race after his debut and hopefully this is a stepping-stone towards Royal Ascot."
James Given's Cool Spirit makes his debut in the race.
"It looks a tricky race on paper, but he's a nice colt and should be OK on the ground," said Given.
"He had a racecourse gallop before we got him, and then he's had another racecourse gallop so he's as fit as he can be without having had a run.
"He will probably have to be a seriously good machine like Prince Of Lir to win a race like this first time, but he has shown us plenty at home.
"We're taking a bit of a punt, but he's a bonny, strong horse and as he's never run before he gets an allowance."
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