Poptronic and Novakai to spearhead Burke’s York squad

Yorkshire Oaks-bound stablemates Novakai and Poptronic are set to be part of a strong Karl Burke squad for the upcoming Ebor Festival.

The Spigot Lodge handler will be well represented across the top-class four-day fixture on the Knavesmire and is planning a twin assault at one of the week’s Group One features.

Novakai is set for a return to the highest level, having put a disappointing run in the French Oaks behind her with a dominant success in the Listed Aphrodite Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket last month.

Poptronic, meanwhile, booked her ticket with a Group Two triumph in the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock.

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“The plan is for both of them to go to the Yorkshire Oaks, all being well,” said Burke.

“I spoke to Sheikh Obaid (owner of Novakai) on Monday morning and he’s very keen for her to run there, as am I, and Poptronic definitely goes there as well.

“It’ll be a tough race but I think they both deserve their place in the line-up.”

Another Burke inmate poised to bid for a tilt at top-level honours is Dramatised, who is firmly on course for the Coolmore Nunthorpe.

Victory in the Temple Stakes at Haydock meant the three-year-old lined up at Royal Ascot as a leading contender for the King’s Stand and while she ran below expectations in Berkshire, her trainer is expecting better at York.

“We were going to go for the King George at Goodwood last week, but she’s a fast ground filly so fingers crossed she gets at least good ground at York,” he said.

“She’s in the Flying Five in Ireland next month, whether she’ll take that in after the Nunthorpe I’m not sure, but the Breeders’ Cup is the main target for her.

“She’s been fine since Ascot, no issues at all and has been working really well.”

Burke has two entries for the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes in Elite Status and Kylian, but is set to rely upon the latter.

Kylian was doing his best work at the finish when third in last week’s Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood and Burke feels on another day he may have passed the post in front.

He said: “I think a combination of the draw and the ground snookered us, to be honest. If we’d got in the slipstream where the second horse was, I think we beat the winner in spite of the ground.

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“He’s a very good horse and he’ll go for the Gimcrack. The level, flat track and stepping up to six furlongs will be perfect for him.”

Having put a short-priced defeat in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot behind him with a Group Three win in France last month, Elite Status is being prepared for another cross-Channel raid.

Burke said: “He’ll go back to Deauville for the Prix Morny.

“I felt he definitely didn’t show his true self at Ascot. He was beaten fair and square on the day, but he definitely didn’t show his true form.

“The other day a step up in trip suited him really well and he probably won a shade cosy.”

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