FOLLOWING Hampshire trainer Ralph Beckett has been a profitable experience this embryonic season, despite his inability to use his grass gallops because of the mini drought.

Beckett has already saddled ten winners this term, though he has been confined to working his string on his all weather facilities.

"Normally you would come to Salisbury at the end of April having done a couple bits of work on grass but so far we have not been able to get on it as the ground has been quick."

Beckett, who completed a treble at Salisbury's opening meeting of the season, was however highly complementary of the conditions at the track. "Really lovely ground."

Angel Bleu, desperately unlucky when badly hampered at a crucial moment on his debut at Leicester 16 days ago, was again heavily supported in the market, being backed down from 4/1 into 2/1 favouritism. Though he broke well from the stalls, he had to be pushed along halfway in the five furlong test, but the further he went, the better he went and will relish a step up in trip.

"It was a bit of a rush early on but once we got organised, he powered clear from the furlong pole and did it easily," said Crouch who has now won on four of his last seven rides for the yard. "It was important to make use of that experience and I was able to do that."

Provided he can get him qualified, with a six furlong race at York's Dante meeting next month being envisaged, Beckett has Royal Ascot very much on the agenda.

Serena's Queen, who took the first division of the novice stakes, will also step up in trip.

"She's a lovely filly who's not fully developed yet," Beckett revealed. "I will see what the handicapper does but she will probably go for a one mile fillies handicap and try to climb the ladder."

Brasa had been off the track for the best part of two years before running a decent comeback race last month, and connections were more than hopeful of taking the 12 furlong handicap, the five-year-old gallantly holding off the sustained challenge of Dreamweaver.

"They were confident after that run at Wolverhampton," said Crouch. "They wanted him to have a nice gallop and got it. He stays all day and I needed to press on a fairly well out."

Beckett could not disguise his delight in not being drawn in the first division of the novice stakes after the Saeed Bin Suroor trained Great News certainly lived to his name - and pedigree.

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy was anxious to give the imposing individual a nice introduction and was mindful of being drawn to the outside of the field. The Shamardal colt certainly reflected his naivety by diving to his left after leaving the stalls, but once he got him buried in the field, Great News settled nicely and with market rival George Morland, they dominated the business end of the race.

"Saeed said he was straight forward and had been working well at home. He said he would take some beating and I liked his attitude. He will come on a lot."