Honey Sweet took the first steps to justifying Karl Burke’s high opinion of her when making a winning debut at Nottingham on Sunday.
Burke has always held her in high regard and was delighted to see the daughter of Adaay get off the mark in ready fashion.
The Middleham trainer believes she is a potential black-type filly, but is no hurry to firm-up plans as he sees her more as a long-term prospect, having gone to 50,000 guineas to secure her at Tattersalls Sales in October.
“She’s a nice filly. I’ve always thought a lot of her,” he said.
“I loved her as a yearling at the sales. We went a lot more than myself and Nick (Bradley, owner) had planned. I just couldn’t leave her behind and thankfully she’s proved us right so far.
“I think there’s loads of improvement there. All of mine improve for a run.
“She was stuck on the outside and overcame that. I don’t know what she beat, but it was a nice performance.
“She’ll improve for stepping up a furlong.”
Burke admits he has to give thought to a Royal Ascot run, but feels it might come too soon.
“Where we go from here, I’m not 100 per cent sure. Ascot is obviously on everyone’s mind at this time of year,” he said.
“It would be a big step up after just one run and we wouldn’t have enough time with a filly like her to have another run.
“We’ll see how she trains when we get her going again. I think she’s a nice filly and I hope we can turn her into a black-type filly somewhere along the line.
“She’s got plenty of filling out to do in her frame. She’s not just an early two-year-old.”
One of Burke’s juvenile stars from last year, Dandalla, is to have a thorough check-up after finishing last in the Cecil Frail Stakes at Haydock on Friday.
“She’s fine. We’re just going to run a few tests on her over the next couple of days,” he revealed.
“It was a bit of a head-scratcher. Whether it was the ground or not – he time men tell me they went too quick and stopped. That would bear out the way the race ran, but even allowing for going too quick, she was beaten a fair way out.
“Ben (Curtis) reported with two furlongs to go he thought he was going to bolt up, and then 100 yards later she’s flat. We’re not sure, but she seems fine and she looks great. She had been working well up to going into the race, so maybe it was a combination of ground, a physical niggle and then the way the race was run as well.
“We’ll do a few tests, see what they throw up and take it from there.”