Ascot hope Great Page gets chance to shine at Beverley

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CHAMPION trainer Richard Hannon is set to test the Royal Ascot credentials of Great Page in the historic Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley on Saturday.

The filly was nominated for the Albany Stakes at the Royal fixture after a winning debut at Windsor, but things did not go so smoothly next time as she was beaten by stablemate Illuminate at Salisbury.

Great Page could get the chance to set the record straight at Beverley in the coveted £25,000 fillies’ conditions stakes – a race her owners, Middleham Park Racing, won with Tim Easterby’s Ventura Mist in 2013.

Middleham Park racing manager Tim Palin said: “We are keen to run at Beverley as it’s a race that should suit her well. There is more rain forecast, so if the ground turns on the easy side it is distinctly possible she will turn up.

“The alternative is a Listed race at Naas in a fortnight’s time that one of our horses, Sandiva, won a few years ago. She didn’t quite run her race at Salisbury. Take nothing away from the winner, but Great Page didn’t quite do what she did on day one that she did on day two. It wouldn’t surprise me if we saw a better performance from her, even for the fact she’s having a third run. If it did turn into a war of attrition at Beverley it would play into our filly’s hands.”

Middleham Park and Hannon could also be represented by Spongy in the Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy on the same card.

Yorkshire horse of the year The Grey Gatsby heads the 10-strong field for Sunday’s Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh.

Kevin Ryan’s stable star was beaten into second on his return to action in the Dubai Turf at Meydan in March and steps back up to a mile and a quarter for this Group One.