Burke basking in maiden century of winners for the year

Karl Burke is popping the champagne corks to after reaching a landmark in his training career following Astro Jakk’s success at Wolverhampton on Thursday.

For the Middleham handler ends 2021 having saddled 100 winners for the first time following a flurry of victories over the past few days.

Though the success of Astro Jakk in the six-furlong Betway Handicap was his 99th domestic triumph – and a sixth winner in the last nine days – one additional overseas winner pushed the yard into three figures for the first time.

Burke said: “We had winner in France, so we are counting it as 100 for the season, anyway.

“We are pleased to get there – I didn’t think we would get there, but the last week has been very good.”

Burke, whose previous best was 84 winners, added: “We don’t really make targets for ourselves.

“There have been a couple of occasions in the past where we thought we might get to 100 and it has petered out, but this year everything has been very consistent and all credit to the team. Everybody has worked hard and it has paid off.”

There have been plenty of highlights for the yard, too, including Significantly notching back-to-back handicap victories at Ascot and Dandalla taking a valuable Listed prize at Ayr.

“Having another Royal Ascot winner with Significantly (Palace Of Holyroodhouse Stakes) was a big plus. Obviously getting Dandalla to win a Listed race and then fetching a good price at the mares’ sale helps – it oils all the wheels and keeps the whole show on the road.”

And there appears to be plenty to look forward to for the team at Spigot Lodge.

“This year’s two-year-olds are a good bunch,” said Burke.

“There are some nice horses who will progress to make very nice three-year-olds and the batch of yearlings that have come in so far look pretty good, so I’m very happy.”

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