Burrows points to quick conditions after Hukum’s Arc eclipse

Owen Burrows was left to rue conditions at ParisLongchamp as Hukum was unable to build on his stellar 2023 when only ninth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The Shadwell-owned six-year-old headed to France at the peak of his powers following a thrilling Group One triumph in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in the summer, but an unfavourable draw in stall 14 combined with drying ground saw the son of Sea The Stars at a disadvantage.

Despite jockey Jim Crowley’s best efforts to get his mount in a handy position, Hukum was simply unable to pick up when asked in the unseasonable conditions as he faded through the field in the closing stages.

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Hukum (right) winning the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot earlier this season
Hukum (right) winning the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot earlier this season (Adam Davy/PA)

“Obviously the draw didn’t help but to be fair to Jim, he was able to get him in a good position and the ground was just too quick, pure and simple,” said Burrows.

“It was balmy weather and felt like we were there in July, but we had a bit of luck with the King George being run on good to soft, so we take it as it comes. We were unfortunate but that’s the way it goes.”

Having suffered an injury after his first Group One triumph in last year’s Coronation Cup, Burrows’ stable star returned from almost a year off the track better than ever this term.

He ended Derby winner Desert Crown’s unbeaten run in the Brigadier Gerard on his reappearance at Sandown and having skipped Royal Ascot on account of the ground, got his moment in the spotlight at the Berkshire track when outbattling Westover in the King George.

It was only Hukum’s third outing of the season in the Arc, but with the ground conditions oversees unlikely to be in his favour, an international campaign seems unlikely and Shadwell’s Sheikha Hissa is set to have the final call on his next move.

“It will be for Sheikha Hissa to decide, I’m sure we will catch up over the next few days and see what’s what,” added Burrows.

“All the international races will probably be run on the faster side, so we shall see, but there’s nothing jumping out at us.

“He’s only had the three runs but to come back and win the Brigadier Gerard and then to win a King George, you can’t be disappointed at all. He’s been a wonderful servant for me and he’s definitely justified being kept in training.”

Alyanaabi winning the Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket
Alyanaabi winning the Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket (Tim Goode/PA)

Meanwhile, an encouragingly dry forecast is increasing the prospect of Hukum’s stablemate Alyanaabi taking his chance in the Dewhurst Stakes later this month.

The son of Too Darn Hot claimed the Tattersalls Stakes with a stylish late rattle and with his running style meaning minimal energy was exerted during his first taste of the Rowley Mile, a return to Newmarket for Group One action later this month could be on the cards.

Burrows said: “He didn’t really have much of a race, he only really raced the last furlong and he ate up the next morning and didn’t lose a kilo in weight, so he didn’t have a hard time. The initial signs are he’s come out of it well.

“I will have a chat with Sheikha Hissa. I think he likes the ground on the faster side of good and the forecast I’ve seen looks predominantly good so we’ll see.”

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