Minzaal given Maurice de Gheest target following Newbury win

Owen Burrows has highlighted the Prix Maurice de Gheest as a possible stopping point on the way to Haydock’s Betfair Sprint Cup for Minzaal.

A winner of the Gimcrack Stakes at York as a two-year-old, the Mehmas colt missed most of his three-year-old season before providing a reminder of his talent with a pair of placed efforts at both Listed and Group One level in the autumn.

He then recorded another podium finish on his seasonal return in the 1895 Duke Of York Stakes, before struggling in a red-hot running of the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

However, with sights slightly lowered at Newbury for his most recent outing, Minzaal returned to his very best to account for a useful cast in the Group Three Hackwood Stakes.

Now Burrows is preparing to return the four-year-old to the top-table for his next two starts, with a trip to Deauville on the cards before running on Merseyside in the next sprinting Group One in the UK.

“Touch wood he has come out of Newbury fine,” said Burrows.

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“The Haydock Sprint Cup is still on the cards, but he’s also in the Prix Maurice de Gheest in a fortnight. We’ll definitely have a look as that is near enough a month or three weeks at least before Haydock and the timing is nice.

“From the July Cup to the Haydock race, you’re talking nearly two months, so it sits quite nicely. I’ve seen the entries and it is a good field and it looks like everyone is thinking the same.

“But we’ve always thought this horse was up at the top level and yes, we had a bit of a blip in the Platinum Jubilee, but I was pleased he was able to get his head back in front at Newbury and it’s onwards and upwards.”

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