7:30 Beverley (25th May) - Result

The Hilary Needler Trophy Conditions Stakes over 5f.


Disappointing to note this race has been down graded from listed status although win prize money of  £13,397 signifies the merit of these talented fillies.


With the exception of Vocational finishing second on her last start, Lilly's Angel, Queen's Revenge, Chevanah, Dozy & Majestic Rose remain unbeaten. It is important to note that although on paper some of these debut wins may have limitation, it can be difficult to assess the potential of a winners and why stakes races are not always as straight forward as they seem.


However, Lily's Angel & Vocational have the most proven form.


The former trained by Richard Fahey is a talented juvenile. She has progressed with each race and beaten some fair opponents in her time. Winning the Lily Agnes was a feather in her cap. She has made a habit of beating useful colts and back against the girls doesn't look the type to give up without a battle. What serves so well is a characteristics strong finish and this will be key at Beverley and pressing forward at the incline. Many sprinters run fast for four furlongs but the mark of a talented juvenile is one which runs to the line. Lily's Angel will make her customary late charge and a tough nut to crack.


In many ways Vocational - trained by Mark Johnston - sets the standard. Finishing second at listed level to Richard Fahey's Miss Work Of Art was a great performance. An attractive bay filly by Exceed And Excel, her dam - Carry On Katie a winner of the Lowther & Cheveley Park (Group 1) - indicate why this youngster has already achieved black type. A speedy sort, it would be no surprise to see Dettori take charge and try to make the running. A major chance who, if stealing a lead, could be difficult to peg back.


Queen's Revenge caught my eye on debut. To fall out of the stalls, many lengths adrift, then run on with unbridled enthusiasm to win a shade cosily made me smile. In truth it was a very good performance. That was a fair challenge to beat Alejandro at Ripon, especially when Hanagan was trying for all his worth to win and Allen - on Henry Ponsonby's filly - didn't even need to resort to the whip. Fahey's second that day has since run creditably at York, in a competitive stakes race with good prize money. Queen's Revenge is an attractive daughter of Multiplex and half-sister to King's Bayonet, who won at two but doesn't look in the same league as this youngster. There is something about this bay filly that catches my imagination. She most certainly needs to improve from that debut effort but that is a given. How far could she have won with a level start? I have a soft spot for this horse - which is a rarity for me - and will be cheering her home. A tough race but it would be no surprise to hear this is an exciting prospect with strong claims for Royal Ascot.


Of the others, each deserves respect. A winning debutante always has the hope of progressing and achieving the highest goals.


Majestic Rose showed a willing attitude on debut by beating Van Go Go with ease. Channon thinks quite a lot of this filly, owned by Jaber Adbullah, and it is surprising to see her at speculative odds on the exchanges (18/1). Of all the trainers Channon's juveniles should be respected on their second start. They often improve significantly. It is additionally impressive when they win on their racecourse bow because it is a mark of a good horse. At speculative odds she could well have place claims and it would be unwise to write off her chances simply because she is weak in the betting.


Dozy is representing Kevin Ryan who has a nice colt in Hamza. This filly won a pretty poor race at Nottingham when outpointing Night Angel, who was livened up with the application of blinkers for the first time. She won that auction race in fine style but needs to improve significantly to win at this grade. A filly with potential but more to prove than most.


Chevanah battled well to win on debut at Ripon. Again, this is a major test and will be hard work unless ample improvement is found.




Van Go Go is a durable daughter of by Dutch Art and winning three from five races is no slouch. Previously trained by Tom Dascombe but now with Dandy Nicholls finishing 6th in the Lily Agnes sets a limitation and another who will struggle at this grade.


The debutantes Rano Pano & Tip Top Gorgeous are likley to win in their two-year-old careers but this would take a supreme effort and consequently unlikely.




Conclusion: An exciting race to consider - a contest that is listed class in all but name. Lily's Angel will not give up her unbeaten record without a fight and her trademark finish will see her well in a race where many will be foundering in the final furlong. Vocational has good pace and it may be a winning move if she can steal an easy lead. These two fillies set the standard for the others to achieve. Queen's Revenge is an exciting prospect. This is a tough test but I can see her showing her class and expect a solid performance. Majestic Rose could be the dark horse of the race and at speculative odds may be worth a few quid each way. At price to chance I would rather watch than bet because stakes races can often prove difficult to assess. This could be a vintage Hilary Needler and Lily's Angel, Vocational & Queen's Revenge may prove this race is something savour.



HCE: ''A superb renewal of the Hilary Needler and Kevin Ryan's Dozy showed class to win after travelling well throughout. Vocational went markedly to her left on leaving the stalls doing her chance no good but showing tremendous speed to take the lead only to be chased down in the final furlong. Lily's Angel was found wanting in the early stages and outpace. She ran on well at the finish and needs 6f. Queen's Revenge didn't have much luck being drawn in stall nine and Vocational hampered her chances to the extreme, losing many lengths. Easterby will be disappointed at such misfortune because she ran a sterling race and will prove her class at Royal Ascot.''

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