Burrows pencils in early summer return for Alflaila

Owen Burrows’ Alflaila is pencilled in for a summer comeback after a setback cut short his brief campaign last season.

The entire son of Dark Angel has done plenty to prove his ability in the past, enjoying a successful three-year-old season which yielded four victories.

Amongst them was the Strensall Stakes at York, an eight-furlong Group Three, and the Masar Darley Stakes at the same level at Newmarket.

Those runs were due to lead into a bid for the Bahrain International Trophy, but the bay met with a setback and could not take his chance in the Middle East.

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Alflaila at York in 2022
Alflaila at York in 2022 (Mike Egerton/PA)

He made a late return to action in June last year to take the York Stakes on the Knavesmire by half a length, and although luck did not favour him in his subsequent start in the Irish Champion Stakes he was not disgraced when coming home fifth.

Alflaila has not been seen since after meeting with another issue, but he has now returned to work and Burrows is hopeful he will make an early summer comeback.

“He’s back with me, he probably won’t be out for another month’s time,” said Burrows.

“In the last couple of weeks he’s started fast work and it’ll be good to get him back.

“He obviously didn’t have the longest of seasons last year, but he won well at York on King George day and then it’d didn’t go to plan in the Irish Champion Stakes.

Alflaila taking the Strensall Stakes
Alflaila taking the Strensall Stakes (Mike Egerton/PA)

“That was the case for a lot of the English horses, and then unfortunately he had a little setback and that finished him for the season.

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“Touch wood we can get him back soon, I was hoping to start him in the Brigadier Gerard, but that may just come a fraction too soon.

“It all depends how the next few weeks go, but he looks as well as ever, he’s filled out and strengthened up again.

“I’m not going to rush him to try and get to Sandown, if it comes around then it comes around but if not we’ll look to June time, there’s plenty of races for a nice horse like him.

“He was only just over three lengths behind Auguste Rodin (in the Irish Champion Stakes) and so he doesn’t have a huge amount to find to step up into these Group One races.”

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