Dinkum can prove Diamond in Bullet
DINKUM Diamond can gain sweet redemption for defeat in last season's Beverley Bullet by winning the showpiece race of the season.
Although the Hilary Needler Trophy is the most esteemed contest in the Beverley calendar, tomorrow's Listed five-furlong encounter can lay claim to attracting the far better horses.
This was illustrated 12 months ago when Tangerine Trees, owned and bred by Beverley resident Marie Matthews and Pat Barrell, claimed one of the most compelling local wins in the history of the course.
Better was to come in France two months later as the Bryan Smart-trained sprinter franked the form by lifting Europe's most esteemed Group One sprint – the Prix de l'Abbaye.
As if connections did not need reminding, winning the Bullet is big business.
A 16-strong ensemble has this year been lured to the table, with the likes of Borderlescott, Great St Wilfrid scorer Pepper Lane and Elusivity worthy allies.
Preference is, however, for Dinkum Diamond, who went down by just half a length to Tangerine Trees 12 months ago, having shown bags of pace from an awful draw.
Henry Candy's speed merchant is not particularly well berthed this time around, either, but stall nine is not the end of the world for such a gifted thoroughbred.
The four-year-old colt had been a bit hit and miss this term, until he defeated Masamah, who renews rivalry on the Westwood, by half a length at Nottingham a fortnight ago.
Confidence is often a big issue with sprinters, so that success will have done him a power of good, while the reappointment of Cathy Gannon is a fine piece of business.
The only concern, perhaps, is the ground.
Heavy rain on Wednesday and yesterday made Candy think twice about declaring Dinkum Diamond as he needs fast ground to be fully effective.
But if the drying forecast is correct, the prospect of genuinely good ground should at least guarantee a brisk enough surface for this talented individual to seize the initiative.
The best card of the season begins with a high-class seven-and-a-half fillies' maiden at 2.05pm, which could be at the mercy of Zero Game.
Michael Bell's youngster made a deeply encouraging debut at Newmarket earlier this month and, intriguingly, still holds big entries this autumn.
Beverley specialist Shotley Mac has the plum draw for the following seven-and-a-half furlong handicap 35 minutes later and could be a good each-way selection.
Big yards are then represented in the mile-and-a-quarter handicap (3.15), for which all eight runners cannot be ruled out with any confidence.
It may pay, however, to pledge one's allegiances to the unexposed Sheikhzayedroad, who has already posted some good efforts in hot enough company.
Liberty Island has a bad draw in the five-furlong handicap preceding the Bullet, but might be in good enough form to offset that handicap.
Uncle Brit has been in even better nick this summer and should bring home the hat-trick in the concluding apprentice handicap at 5.25pm.
BEVERLEY SELECTIONS: 2.05 Zero Game, 2.40 Shotley Mac, 3.15 Sheikhzayedroad, 3.45 Liberty Island, 4.15 DINKUM DIAMOND (NAP), 4.50 Avon Breeze, 5.25 Uncle Brit.