Julie Camacho’s yard is aiming to win the William Hill Beverley Bullet for the second successive year on Thursday, this time with Makanah.
After success for the yard’s stalwart Judicial 12 months ago, his three years younger stable companion has the assignment this time.
Makanah has improved through the handicap ranks this season – and his connections are keen to see how he copes up in grade, having been narrowly denied at Haydock recently.
“We’re fascinated to see how he gets on in a higher grade, he’s been carrying biggish weights in handicaps all season,” said Camacho’s husband and assistant, Steve Brown.
“Rather than giving decent horses weight we’ve gone down this route, conditions will suit him and we’re looking forward to it.
“It would be lovely to win it two years running. Makanah is a horse we’ve brought along quietly, but he’s been progressive this year and has the profile where it’s certainly worth having a go – we’ll be wiser after this.
“He’s in stall four and when it rains they go up the middle. There’s pace high so hopefully Paul (Mulrennan) can get a lead, but we’ll leave all that to him – he’s very experienced so we don’t complicate it. He’s full of confidence having ridden lots of winners lately.
“The truth is Makanah beats Judicial in all his work. I think Judicial has been happier over six this year, while Makanah is more effective over five so he’s a touch quicker. The difference is Makanah likes a bit of cut, whereas Judicial doesn’t.
“It’s a nice balance between the two, one can go one way and one the other. We’re not ruling out ever running them against each other, but at this stage for a yard like us it’s nice to have two options for these races.”
John Quinn enjoyed a big-race winner on Saturday when Safe Voyage landed the City of York Stakes, and he chases another through Keep Busy.
Second to Art Power at Royal Ascot, the Night Of Thunder filly filled the same spot at York last week.
“She’s been very consistent this year,” said Quinn.
“We’re very happy with her, she’ll absolutely relish the ground so we’re hoping for a big run.
“She’s in stall two, that would normally be great but when it rains it evens itself out. I’d nearly rather be up the middle, but we can’t do anything about that – we are where we are.
“She’s in good form and she’s getting weight off them all so should go well.”
Michael Dods fields two in the filly Queen’s Gift and Dakota Gold, who was a revelation last season but has found it tougher this, although he did put up his best display so far this campaign when only beaten two lengths in the Great St Wilfrid last time out.