Archie Watson has Execlusive knowledge of Beverley challenge in Hilary Needler Trophy

ARCHIE Watson strives to enhance an already superb course record when he saddles Execlusive in the historic Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley on Saturday.

Trainer Archie Watson.
Trainer Archie Watson.

The rising star of the training ranks has claimed four winners from just 13 runners at the popular East Yorkshire circuit and now takes aim at one of the biggest prizes of the season.

Execlusive, a young daughter of Kodiac, won at Beverley on May 14 when she made most of the running to take a strong five-furlong novice stakes in decisive fashion.

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And Watson, whose juveniles have enjoyed a rich run of form this year, expects that course nous to stand her in good stead in the Hilary Needler Trophy, which is now worth £40,000 in prize-money.

Beverley hosts the Hilary Needler Trophy this Saturday.

Watson, who saddled Soldier’s Call to win at Royal Ascot last year for Yorkshire owner Steve Parkin, said: “She came out of her debut very well and this looks an obvious next step for her. It’s a nice race with a good pot and she’s obviously got that course form, which is important. We like her. The plan is to run in the Hilary Needler and hopefully she will go well.”

Execlusive is one of 14 possible runners in this year’s renewal of the Hilary Needler Trophy, a significant trial for the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Lambourn-based Watson added: “She’d probably have to win well to be going to Royal Ascot, but you never know. She’s a solid, professional filly and her midsummer aim will probably be the Super Sprint at Newbury.”

Ascot clues will also be plentiful in Beverley’s dual feature, the £40,000 Truckingby Brian Yeardley Two-Year-Old Trophy.

The last four winners of the Brian Yeardley, including 2016 Norfolk Stakes hero Prince Of Lir, ended up competing at the big meeting in Berkshire.

This five-furlong conditions stakes has attracted 11 contenders, three of whom – Iffraaz (Mark Johnston), Majestic Sands (Richard Fahey) and Dream Shot (James Tate) – would bring unbeaten records to Beverley.

Meanwhile, in-form Charlie Hills is counting down the days until Royal Ascot with his Irish 2,000 Guineas hero Phoenix Of Spain who is set to renew rivalry with Too Darn Hot who was runner-up in the Classic. A rematch is on the cards in the St James’s Palace Stakes, and Hills said: “He seems to have come out of the race really well.”