Liber row of different kind on the Westwood
BEVERLEY move back through the gears tomorrow evening for the first instalment of an excellent double-header on the Westwood.
The last two meetings at the track have admittedly been rather humdrum, but there is nothing undistinguished about Friday's six-race card.
Each race looks deeply competitive from a punting perspective, while a guaranteed big crowd will get to see some very good horses in action.
None more so than the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Liber, who competes in the EBF Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire Pudding Novice Stakes at 7pm.
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The Ishiguru colt had already been placed in Listed company at Epsom before turning in a fine display at Royal Ascot, where he finished seventh in the Windsor Castle Stakes.
Liber has a number of big engagements later in the term, so it would be disappointing if he did not have the customary dash to convincingly take this five-furlong affair.
Although Prescott's inmate holds obvious claims, tomorrow evening's nap vote belongs to Master Chipper, who has been given a huge helping hand by the assessor in the Beverley Minster Handicap (8.00).
Michael Dods' representative has been decidedly hit and miss this season, but showed genuine talent on fast ground at Ripon in May when a clear second behind Qaadira.
He then floundered on his handicap debut at Haydock, where he was competing off a stiff-looking mark of 67, before partially redressing the balance at Redcar two weeks ago.
The son of Medicean showed an affinity for soft ground to finish an admittedly well-beaten fifth in a 10-furlong maiden.
What was most evident that day, though, was the manner in which he threw in the towel inside the final two furlongs.
To that end, this return to an extended mile looks a shrewd piece of business from Dods, whose horses are in flying form.
Violent Velocity, meanwhile, looks the stand-out performer in the opening race of the night at 6.30pm.
Plenty of old favourites line up for the Swan Industrial Drives Selling Stakes over seven and a half furlongs, but John Quinn's veteran gets the nod here.
The nine-year-old gelding was an accomplished scorer over a furlong further at Beverley in April, but should have no problem with the dip in trip if the rain continues to fall.
The Ferguson Fawsitt Arms Handicap half an hour later represents a sound winning opportunity for the unexposed Majestic Manannan, who did well on his comeback at Ripon a few weeks ago.
Beverley maestro Dean Iarracht can then swoop to conquer for a fourth time on the Westwood in the finale at 9.30pm.
Tracy Waggott's six-year-old looks tailor-made for this stage of the Beverley Middle Distance Series Handicap, having shaped with a modicum of promise at Newcastle at the start of last month.
Although he has done most of his winning over 10 furlongs, he seems to be developing greater qualities of stamina as he gets older.
Just as important, of course, is the fact Dean Iarracht is now just 1lb higher than when he was successful at Beverley last September.
BEVERLEY SELECTIONS: 6.30 Violent Velocity, 7.00 Liber, 7.30 Pursue, 8.00 MASTER CHIPPER (NAP), 8.30 Majestic Manannan, 9.00 Dean Iarracht