Conditions key to Copper Knight’s assault on ‘the Bullet’ at Beverley

Beverley hosts its biggest race day of the year on Saturday.
Beverley hosts its biggest race day of the year on Saturday.
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YORKSHIRE sprinter Copper Knight could make a swift return to action if he runs in the £65,000 William Hill Beverley Bullet on Saturday – weather and ground permitting.

The Tim Easterby-trained five-year-old sprinter, owned by Middleham Park Racing, finished an honourable fifth to the all-conquering Battaash in the Group One Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York last Friday.

Copper Knight is pictured winning at York's Dante meeting under David Allan.

Copper Knight is pictured winning at York's Dante meeting under David Allan.

But, after having taken those exertions within his stride, connections now have the gelded son of Sir Prancealot in contention for the biggest race of the season at Beverley.

“The Beverley Bullet looks a good race for him, but it will depend on how much rain falls,” said Middleham Park’s Tim Palin. “He ideally needs quick ground, so we’ll have to wait on the weather.

“It was a very promising run in the Nunthorpe at York last time and he’s come out of that race in great form. He’s always been a decent horse, but he’s also been a bit inconsistent – so we’d like him to try and string two good back-to-back runs together.”

Copper Knight, one of 18 possible runners in the five-furlong Beverley Bullet, is already a Listed winner this summer, having claimed victory in the John Smith’s City of Walls Stakes at York on July 13.

Palin added: “The Beverley Bullet looks very competitive, as you’d expect, but we’ll be back in calmer waters compared to the Nunthorpe. He’s a pretty versatile horse – very uncomplicated.

“He’s run before at Beverley, too, so you’d imagine he’d handle the track without a problem. It will be a nice prize to win, so we’ll see how much rain they get in the next few days.”

In contrast, Mick Appelby is hoping for rain to enhance the chances of Danzeno in the Bullet, a race with a burgeoning reputation. A two-time winner this season, he also finished third in both the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash at the same track on August 10. Appleby said: “He’s been in great form this season, and this looks a good race for him with great prize-money on offer. It’s all ground dependent at the minute, though.

“Hopefully they get some rain before the weekend. There are some thunderstorms forecast at the end of the week and that will help him no end.

“If they do get the rain, he’ll go to Beverley with a very good chance of winning.”