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Burke sets sights on Newbury with Dandalla

Dandalla is all set to reappear in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Newbury on April 17.

Karl Burke’s filly was a Royal Ascot winner last season, in the Albany Stakes, and followed up in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket.

While she disappointed when only fifth in the Cheveley Park Stakes on her final outing, Burke has high hopes she will resume winning ways on her reappearance.

“She heads for the Fred Darling at Newbury, or what was,” said the Leyburn handler.

Dandalla demolished her rivals at Royal Ascot
Dandalla demolished her rivals at Royal Ascot (Edward Whitaker/PA)

“That has been the plan for a long time and at the moment she’s bang on course for that.

“She’s wintered really well, done everything we’ve asked and I’m very happy with her.”

Another top-class filly in the yard is sprinter Lady In France, who was last seen finishing a close fourth in the Prix de l’Abbaye behind Wooded.

“Lady In France, we felt, was a bit unlucky to miss out in the Abbaye really,” said

“If you run that race 10 times she would probably win it six or seven times, it was just a bit of bad luck.

“She likes a bit of soft ground, but we are hopefully taking her to Bath for a Listed race (Whitsbury Manor Stud/British EBF Lansdown Stakes) as a prep run for a race in France, there are a couple of Group Threes we can choose from.

“We’ll go to France with her, but she’s very much ground dependant. While she has won on good ground she’s better with a bit of cut. She doesn’t need it heavy, though.”

Fev Rover team in no rush to decide on possible seasonal finale

Connections of Fev Rover will wait until next week before deciding whether the Group Two-winning filly will run again this season.

Trainer Richard Fahey and owners Nick Bradley Racing 43 and Partner will give the Prix du Calvados winner time to recover after finishing fourth in a rough race for the Prix Marcel Boussac at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

Should the daughter of Gutaifan be given the go-ahead to run again this year, then her target will either be a Group One over a mile at Saint-Cloud later in the month or the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland.

“There are only two possible races for her – there’s a Group One in France in about two and a half weeks at Saint-Cloud, a mile race. There’s that or the Breeders’ Cup,” said Bradley.

“I said to Richard (Fahey), let’s have a chat in a week’s time when he’s got her home and seen how she is.”

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Bradley reflected on her bad luck in the Marcel Boussac won by Tiger Tanaka.

“I thought she was very unlucky, but that happens in horse racing,” he said.

“She ran great, she got interfered with twice, the jockey got banned but that doesn’t really help us – that’s racing.

“After the race she was fine, there wasn’t a cut on her.”

Dandalla may have lost her 100 per cent when only fifth in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket, but Bradley has not lost faith in her and is hoping she will develop into a Classic contender in the spring.

The daughter of Dandy Man had won her three previous races, including the Group Three Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Group Two Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket.

Dandalla winning the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket
Dandalla winning the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket (Hugh Routledge/PA)

“She won’t run again this year. She’ll be prepped for a run, potentially, in a Guineas and run in a trial – probably at Newbury for the old Fred Darling,” he said.

On her run in the Cheveley Park, Bradley felt the Karl Burke-trained filly did not handle the track.

“She was fine. She was sound afterwards and I just think she hated the dip,” he said.

“There was a strong tailwind that day and they can only run so fast when you’ve got a wind like that and then to run into a dip.

“That made it even harder and she changed her legs three times in the space of about 50 yards. I think that was the issue there.”

Burke points to track as factor in Dandalla’s Newmarket defeat

Karl Burke believes the undulations of Newmarket contributed to Dandalla’s disappointing effort in the Cheveley Park Stakes.

The daughter of Dandy Man was a brilliant winner of the Albany Stakes in June – and while she followed up with a gritty display in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes on the July Course, she was not nearly as impressive as at Royal Ascot.

Dandalla was nonetheless well fancied to extend her unbeaten record to four on her return to Headquarters on Saturday – but after travelling strongly for much of the race, she was ultimately well beaten in fifth place.

Burke said: “She’s fine. She trotted up sound and ate up, and there’s nothing untoward.

“We think she ran a very similar race to what she did at the July meeting. She changed her legs three times as soon as she started running downhill from the bushes, and just didn’t really lengthen.

“I’m not saying for one minute we would have got near the leaders, but it’s probably not her track.”

The Spigot Lodge handler plans to give his filly a break before bringing her back next spring – and remains confident there is plenty to look forward to.

He added: “We won’t run her again this year. We’ll prepare her for a spring campaign and probably have a go at one of the seven-furlong Guineas trials and take the season from there.

“We’ll probably aim for the race at Newbury (Fred Darling Stakes) if we were going to go down that route, but her homework will tell us where we are.

“We think we’ve still got a very good filly for next year.”

Dandalla camp confident in Cheveley Park

Trainer Karl Burke is full of confidence as Dandalla returns to Newmarket for the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes.

A winner on her racecourse debut at Newcastle, the daughter of Dandy Man turned in one of the most impressive performances of this year’s Royal Ascot meeting with a six-length demolition job in the Albany Stakes.

She was given a fright by fellow Nick Bradley Racing-owned juvenile Fev Rover in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes on the July Course the following month, but clung on grimly by a head – and the runner-up has since won in Listed and Group Two company.

Burke remains adamant his filly was not at her best on that occasion, having spiked a temperature during preparation – but having since sidestepped a possible tilt at the Prix Morny, the Spigot Lodge handler believes she is back at the top of her game.

Karl Burke (right) with Dandalla following her latest victory at Newmarket
Karl Burke (right) with Dandalla following her latest victory at Newmarket (Edward Whitaker/PA)

“We couldn’t be happier with her. She’s ready to run and hopefully she’ll do herself justice,” said Burke.

“It took her a little while to come to herself (after the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes), but the last month has been very good.

“I think the bit of rain they’ve had will help, although she is a good-actioned filly and we were surprised how well she handled the ground at Ascot. I don’t think she’s ground dependent.

“It’s going to be an exciting race, with some nice Irish fillies coming over, but you want to be taking on the best in these races.

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“We’re looking forward to running our filly – hopefully she can prove us right.”

Nick Bradley is similarly optimistic about Dandalla’s chances, saying: “I think she’ll be four from four by Saturday evening.

“There’s nothing better in my eyes – we go there full of confidence in her.”

The highest-rated filly in the field is Ken Condon’s Lowther Stakes winner Miss Amulet, who will carry the colours of Coolmore powerhouse Michael Tabor’s wife Doreen for the first time.

“She’s a very progressive filly. I thought it was a good performance at York, and she’s done very well since,” said Condon.

“She needs to step up again, but all the signs are good.

“She deserves to take her chance in a Group One now, and we’re looking forward to it.”

The Richard Hannon-trained Happy Romance has produced one of the feel-good stories of the season.

Bought for just £25,000 for first-time owners the McMurray Family, she has won four of her six starts to date – including the Super Sprint at Newbury, another valuable sales race at York and, most recently, the Group Three Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury.

Happy Romance has been a real money spinner for connections
Happy Romance has been a real money spinner for connections (David Davies/PA)

Happy Romance had the option of running in the Group Two Rockfel Stakes on Friday, but Hannon decided to bid for top-level honours.

He said: “Happy Romance is in great form. She has run well and improved all year. She has not run a bad race yet, and this is the logical next step up.

“What she has done has not surprised us, because she has always shown us a lot. She did well at Salisbury as she did travel wider, but she picked up well.

“This is a much harder race than the Rockfel, but you would rather be winning a Cheveley Park. There are only certain opportunities to win a Group One, and this is one of them, so we have to try to take it.

“It would be lovely to see her win a big one, with the season she has had – she deserves it.”

James Ferguson hopes Zoetic can make her presence felt
James Ferguson hopes Zoetic can make her presence felt (Steven Cargill/PA)

The William Haggas-trained Sacred would not be winning out of turn, having finished second in the Queen Mary Stakes, the Lowther and the Flying Childers this season.

Richard Fahey’s Umm Kulthum turns out seven days after winning the Firth of Clyde at Ayr, while Andrew Balding’s Alcohol Free was less than a length behind Happy Romance at Salisbury a few weeks ago and re-opposes.

The Mick Channon-trained Illykato and Zoetic from James Ferguon’s yard complete the field, with the latter bidding for a third straight win for her fledgling trainer.

“She’s been progressing with every single run of her life – she’s grown up and developed mentally and physically,” said Ferguson.

“She might not be one of the favourites, but I think she’s done enough to earn her chance at this level.”

Dandalla tops 12 in the hunt for Cheveley Park glory

Dandalla and Miss Amulet are two of 12 fillies in contention for the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

Karl Burke’s Dandalla is set to step up to Group One company following back-to-back Group Two wins in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Duchess of Cambridge at Newmarket.

The Ken Condon-trained Miss Amulet earned her tilt at the the top level by winning the Group Two Lowther Stakes at York last month.

Condon said: “All going well this week, she’ll be heading to Newmarket – she’s in good form and everything has gone well since the Lowther.

“We’ve all the usual checks and balances to do during the week, but providing she comes through those all OK, we’ll be looking forward to Saturday.”

Condon confirmed Ryan Moore is set to partner Miss Amulet for the first time, with the filly now running in the colours of Doreen Tabor.

She could be joined on the trip from Ireland by Fozzy Stack’s Aloha Star, Jessica Harrington’s Dickiedooda and Aidan O’Brien’s pair of More Beautiful and Mother Earth.

The home team includes Richard Hannon’s prolific filly Happy Romance, the William Haggas-trained Queen Mary, Lowther and Flying Childers runner-up Sacred and Richard Fahey’s Firth of Clyde Stakes winner Umm Kulthum.

Aidan O’Brien is responsible for six of the 11 remaining entries for the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes.

The Ballydoyle handler has confirmed Brazil, Cleveland, High Definition, Kyprios, Ontario and Van Gogh for the one-mile Group Two.

Clive Cox’s dual winner Cobh and Mark Johnston’s Acomb Stakes scorer Gear Up are two of the chief hopes from Britain.

Forty horses have stood their ground for the bet365 Cambridgeshire, with Mick Channon’s Certain Lad heading the weights ahead of William Knight’s Sir Busker and Montatham from William Haggas’ yard.

Haggas also has leading ante-post fancy Sinjaari still engaged, with Roger Charlton’s Tempus and James Tate’s Top Rank others of note.

However, Charlton has warned Tempus is not a certain runner.

He said: “I think his participation in the Cambridgeshire depends on the going.

“The ground was very quick at Newmarket at the weekend. There is rain forecast, but he won’t be running on fast ground.”