Alflaila makes further progression in Pontefract feature

Owen Burrows’ hot streak continued on Sunday when Alflaila lit up a gloomy afternoon at Pontefract to land the Listed Sky Bet Go-Racing-In-Yorkshire Summer Festival Pomfret Stakes.

Second to Mighty Ulysses in the Sir Henry Cecil Stakes at Newmarket when last sighted, the son of Dark Angel was sent off the 7-2 second-favourite for this one-mile event in West Yorkshire and was held up in last place by jockey Jim Crowley in the early stages.

It was the tough course-and-distance winner Marie’s Diamond who set the early pace and put the pedal down on the turn for home. And although Roger Fell’s six-year-old was able to beat off the Godolphin pair of Modern News and Dubai Icon, she had no answer to Alflaila, who pounced once shown daylight by Crowley in the closing stages to record a taking victory.

Burrows was saddling his third big winner of July following the victories of Anmaat in the John Smith’s Cup and Minzaal in the Hackwood Stakes, and the Farncombe Down Stables handler thinks there could be plenty more to come from the winner moving forward.

“It was a really pleasing performance,” said the winning trainer.

“For whatever reason he has this little bit of a habit of jumping a bit slow and we thought Pontefract might just suit him over a stiff mile. Dane (O’Neill) said at Newmarket he was doing his best work at the end and we think we were beaten by a very nice horse (Mighty Ulysses) on that occasion.

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“It’s all worked out lovely today, we were a little concerned there might not be much of a gallop, but the second horse has gone a nice pace without going mad. My travelling head lad rang me to say the ground had turned to good and it was still emptying down, but he’s pretty versatile, he goes on quick ground and he handles a bit of cut, so it was a pleasing performance.

“He’s getting his act together now and before this we were were sort of contemplating the Strensall Stakes at York, which is nearly a mile and one and might just suit him. We’ll see how he is, but he is definitely a horse going the right way and doing well.”

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