Bickerstaffe bids for Rosebery honours at Ayr

Karl Burke’s Bickerstaffe tests the water at Listed level in the Shadwell Stud/EBF Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes at Ayr on Friday.

The Mayson colt made a thoroughly impressive start to his career over five furlongs at Hamilton at the start of the month and returns to Scotland for a race his trainer won with subsequent Royal Ascot heroine and dual Group One winner Quiet Reflection five years ago.

Burke said: “I wouldn’t say I was surprised he won at Hamilton, but I was a bit surprised by the manner of his performance as he’s bred to stay further than five furlongs.

“He showed a very good turn of foot, the speed figures were very good and the second horse (Cottam Lane) gave the form a bit of a boost by winning at Beverley on Wednesday.

“I’ve no doubt he’ll improve when he steps up to six furlongs as there’s plenty of stamina on the dam’s side of his pedigree, but he showed so much speed first time out we thought we’d stick at five for now and see how we go.

“Hopefully he’ll run a big race.”

The Spigot Lodge handler has a second string to his bow in the form of Rebel At Dawn. The son of Dandy Man has won just one of his seven starts to date, but has been keeping good company.

“He’s a solid horse who has shown a good level of ability,” Burke added.

“He’s probably just short of Listed class over six furlongs, but coming back to five, he deserves to take his chance.”

Richard Fahey and Kevin Ryan are represented by once-raced winners in Regional and Roman Encounter respectively.

David O’Meara’s Nomadic Empire, fourth in the Group Three Sirenia Stakes a fortnight ago, also features in a 12-strong field.

The Arran Scottish Sprint EBF Fillies’ Stakes also carries Listed status and has attracted 17 hopefuls.

Irish trainer Fozzy Stack saddles American Lady, while the home team includes Fahey’s Exceptional and the James Tate-trained Magical Journey.

The latter has already been placed twice in Listed company, most recently on her latest outing at Pontefract last month.

Tate said: “She’s been knocking on the door in Listed company, so hopefully we’ll get there in the end.

“She’s in very good form and I’m hoping for another good run.”

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