PAUL Midgley is optimistic Line Of Reason can go two places better than last year when his star sprinter runs in the £50,000 totescoop6 Beverley Bullet today.
Despite having been hampered inside the final furlong of the 2014 renewal, the five-year-old gelding still flashed home for third place behind Pearl Secret.
The son of Kheleyf has again had a fine campaign this season, with a runaway Listed victory at Cork in June the highlight.
And though he was never a factor in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York last Friday won by Mecca’s Angel and Paul Mulrennan, Midgley is convinced the real Line Of Reason will show up on the Westwood.
“He’s in great form and if the forecast is right, and it continues to dry up, I think he’ll take the beating,” said the North Yorkshire handler.
“We don’t quite know what happened at York, so I think that run is best forgotten. He ran a smashing race last year at Beverley – Jamie Spencer was brilliant on the winner – but we were held up a little bit and that didn’t help. On the form figures, he’d have every chance.”
The five-furlong Bullet is the feature on Beverley’s richest-ever raceday – a card that has attracted £136,000 of prize money and the Channel Four racing cameras.
There is also £60,000 in prize-money at Beverley tomorrow, when the gates open for an eight-race fixture that starts at 1.50pm.
Chief executive Sally Iggulden said: “We are really happy with the quality of the races on Saturday and Sunday – especially in the totescoop6 Beverley Bullet as we continue to push towards making the prestigious sprint into a Group race.”
n Fast ground specialist Buratino will be prepared for a crack at the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes after being forced to side-step the Gimcrack Stakes due to the easy ground at York.
The six-furlong Group One event at Newmarket on September 26 is likely to be the next target for the Mark Johnston-trained two-year old provided conditions are in his favour.
Should the ground go against this year’s impressive Royal Ascot winner, a trip to Keeneland, Kentucky, to contest the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf could then enter the equation for jockey William Buick’s mount.
The Middleham trainer’s son Charlie said: “Ideally we would go for the Middle Park next, but you are in the lap of the gods as regards to the weather.
“If there weren’t any suitable opportunities at home at the end of the season and the weather transpires against us, then the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf would come under consideration. It is a race Europeans do well in and the step up in trip to a mile shouldn’t be a problem as the long-term aim is the Guineas next year and we expect him to stay a mile.
“Our horses thrive on racing and we would love to give him another go at a Group One at the back end of the year, but it would not be the end of the world if that didn’t happen.”