BEN CURTIS AND SIR MICHAEL STOUTE UNITE IN BEVERLEY FEATUREFri 6th July 2018
Ben Curtis breaks new ground at Beverley on Saturday when he rides for Sir Michael Stoute for the first time in the inaugural running of the Pallet Racking Fillies' Handicap.
The in-form jockey will receive the leg-up on Bedwyyah in the £25,000 handicap, in which she faces four high-calibre rivals over eight and a half furlongs.
Stoute's filly looks a leading contender for top honours in the Beverley feature after she won a fillies' novice stakes at Thirsk by a short head in June.
And her new jockey is optimistic the Saeed Suhail-owned daughter of Invincible Spirit will relish the challenge on the Westwood.
Curtis, who was crowned Beverley's top rider in 2016, said: "It's great to pick up the ride for Sir Michael and I'm really looking forward to it - hopefully it could open up a few more doors if all goes well.
"Bedwyyah was very tough at Thirsk. She knuckled down really well and stuck her head out when it mattered to win like a progressive horse.
"Hopefully there's more to come from her at Beverley.
"It's a good race with great prize-money, and one thing we know is that she'll be trying her hardest.
"Things are going really well for me this season, and long may it continue."
Bedwyyah is, though, likely to face a stern challenge from Nkosikazi, who is held in high regard by trainer Brian Meehan.
So much so that she was considered good enough to run in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on her last start.
The Manton handler said in a statement published on his website: "She has run very well in her three starts this year, placing on her debut at Newbury before running third in a very competitive novice at Haydock.
"She then went to Royal Ascot where she ran a great race in a very strong Coronation Stakes.
"She has come out of this race very well and has been in great form at home. I am confident of another strong performance and she has a great chance of winning."
Fashion Theory (Tim Easterby), Kalagia (Mark Johnston) and Miss Mumtaz (Ian Williams) complete a fascinating line-up in the Beverley highlight.
Gates open at 11.30am for Beverley's 'Big Saturday Raceday', with the first of seven races due off at 2pm.
England's World Cup quarter-final against Sweden will be broadcast live on a big screen at the bottom end of the course, with dedicated viewing areas in the Grandstand & Paddock and Course enclosures.