Alflaila on York comeback trail after lengthy absence

Alflaila will make his belated return from injury at York on Saturday week in the Group Two Sky Bet York Stakes.

The Shadwell-owned colt won four times from six starts as a three-year-old last term before sustaining an injury ahead of a run in Bahrain in November.

Trainer Owen Burrows feels he has had plenty of time to recuperate and thinks an outing on the Knavesmire, where he won the Strensall Stakes last August, will bring him on.

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Owen Burrows looking forward to a big weekend
Owen Burrows looking forward to a big weekend (John Walton/PA)

Though not having raced since defeating Ottoman Fleet in the Group Three Darley Stakes at Newmarket in October, he is entered in the Group One Juddmonte International.

Connections are keen to see if he will cope with 10 furlongs for the first time in his career, in preparation for a possible run at the top level in the August 23 contest at York.

Burrows said: “He will run in the Group Two at York on Saturday week. He was injured in Bahrain a few days before he was due to run.

“He has had his rehab back at Shadwell and touch wood it has all gone well.

“We have had plenty of time to prepare him and there was the Listed race at Newbury on Saturday or this race, and we’d have had a penalty in the Listed race, so we thought we’d have a punt and see how he fared in the Group Two.

“He won the Strensall at York, so he is a track winner and it would be nice to get him back on the track.”

Hukum, who made a winning return following a long injury lay-off in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown, heads to Ascot for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the same day.

However, Prix d’Ispahan winner Anmaat is set to take his place on the sidelines due to a foot problem that ruled him out of the Eclipse.

“Losing good horses (through injury) is what I think they call ‘character-building’,” quipped Burrows. “With Anmaat now likely sidelined for the rest of the season, I think I’ve done enough character-building for now.

“Hukum is in good form, though. It will be a big weekend for us, that’s for sure.”

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Hukum will fly the King George flag for Burrows
Hukum will fly the King George flag for Burrows (Tim Goode/PA)

Shadwell decided not to supplement Al Asifah into Saturday’s Juddmonte Irish Oaks at the Curragh, with no imminent plans.

The three-year-old daughter of Frankel, trained by John and Thady Gosden, was a runaway winner of a Goodwood Listed heat in June, before finishing a lacklustre sixth to Warm Heart in the Ribblesdale Stake at Royal Ascot 11 days later.

Angus Gold, racing manager to Shadwell, said: “We have left her alone since Ascot. We will just give her a little bit of time and will bring her back gently later in the season.”

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