KEVIN RYAN is double-handed as he leads a strong Yorkshire challenge in the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot.
Hello Youmzain lines up on the back of a Group One success in Haydock’s Sprint Cup last month under James Doyle, and the heavy going will suit.
And stablemate Brando, the mount of Tom Eaves, remains one of the country’s most consistent performances in these races despite being seven years of age.
Yet they epitomise Hambleton-based Ryan’s success with sprinters which was illustrated with the success of Hello Slippers earlier this month in the Prix de l’Abbaye on Arc day.
We are fortunate to have two runners in a Group One like this. Ease in the ground is not a bother for either of them.Kevin Ryan
“It’s always been the plan to go there with both of them and they are in great shape. They have both got form at Ascot and hopefully they run their races and it will be a good end to the season for them,” said Ryan last month.
“We are fortunate to have two runners in a Group One like this. Ease in the ground is not a bother for either of them.
“Some horses like Golden Slippers need time to develop but Hello Youmzain stepped up straight away and has done everything we’ve asked of him.
“He’s a young horse, only three, and we’ve minded him this year. Hopefully that will pay dividends in the long run. He’s a very exciting horse and there’s no reason why he can’t improve and get stronger next year.
“Brando is a seasoned warrior who turns up for every big occasion and runs his race. He’s run well in the race in the past and is a star, a marvellous horse who holds his form.”
The last three winners of the race – Sands Of Mali, Librisa Breeze and The Tin Man – all reoppose in a fierecely-competitive contest.
And while Sands Of Mali has struggled to replicate the form that he showed 12 months ago when sluicing home under former champion jockey Paul hanagan, Malton trainer Richard Fahey is hopeful.
“He came back from Ascot [last time] a little bit sore, a few little niggly problems that we’ve sorted. He always works well, he’s an exceptionally good work horse,” said Fahey.
“I just feel that if we get our lad back then I’m not too worried about anything. It was high on the priorities for this year, but we do need to get him back bouncing.”
North Yorkshire trainer David O’Meara, meanwhile, will attempt to cap a memorable season when Lord Glitters – a past winner on Champions Day – lines up in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes over the straight mile.
O’Meara, who recently saddled his 1,000th winner, recorded the biggest win of his riding, and training, career, when Geoff and Sandra Turnbull’s horse won the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot under regular rider Danny Tudhope.
“The QEII is the big target for him,” said O’Meara. “It’s been well documented he loves Ascot, the only time he’s finished out the first two there was in the QEII last year when sixth behind Roaring Lion, and he goes on any ground.”
There’s further local interest with Safe Voyage representing Malton trainer John Quinn and jockey Jason Hart.