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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.”

Born To Be Alive stakes Lincoln claim with Trial triumph

Born To Be Alive enhanced his claims for the Unibet Lincoln at Doncaster in two weeks by winning the rehearsal for the big one-mile handicap at Wolverhampton.

The Karl Burke-trained seven-year-old had already ensured his place on Town Moor thanks to a 5lb penalty for scoring at Kempton last month.

Burke was keen to give him one more run in the Bombardier British-Hopped Amber Beer Lincoln Trial Handicap as it fitted in perfectly as a final prep outing and he would not incur a second penalty if successful.

Born To Be Alive (11-2) duly delivered to pick up this nice prize by half a length from On A Session under Clifford Lee.

Burke said: “We are delighted with that as we fancied Born To Be Alive strongly. He is in great form and has really stepped up since he came back from injury.

“I thought Cliff gave him a cracking ride. He managed to get himself into a great position from stall 10 and I don’t think the horse overdoes himself when he gets to the front.

“He will go for the Lincoln now. That has been the plan for a good while.”

Born To Be Alive was cut to 16-1 from 33-1 for the Lincoln with Betfair and Paddy Power.

Ryan Moore not only took the feature Lady Wulfruna Stakes on Mums Tipple, but enjoyed a 129-1 four-timer with other wins on Fiordland, Streamline and Nelson Gay.

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Fiordland (6-5 favourite) confirmed the promise of his reappearance to get off the mark in the Bombardier ‘March To Your Own Drum’ Novice Stakes.

The James Ferguson-trained gelding was always prominent and hit the front a furlong out to beat Elakazaam by a length and a quarter.

A turf campaign beckons for the son of Invincible Spirit.

“He still had a lot to learn at Kempton. You could put a line through his first run last year, so we went there as first day of school,” said Ferguson.

“He seems to have come on for that run. Ryan gave him a great ride and everything went to plan.

“We’re hoping for a turf campaign with him. I think they learn a bit more on the all-weather, so I’m pleased we’ve got his maiden out of the way. He may step up a furlong if need be.”

Streamline (11-4 favourite) brought up the hat-trick when returning to form with victory in the Betway Handicap.

The Clive Cox-trained four-year-old struck the front in the final furlong and crossed the line three-quarters of a length ahead of Summerghand.

Moore said: “He was a good horse at two and has ran some promising races since returning this year. It’s nice to get his head back in front and the race went nicely for him.”

Moore always had Nelson Gay (15-8 favourite) in the right position as Richard Hughes’ three-year-old capped the jockeys’ day, winning the Ladbrokes Watch Racing Online For Free Handicap by a length and three-quarters from Bert Kibbler.

Richard Kingscote continued his fine run on the all-weather with a double on Starfighter and Kangaroo Point.

Starfighter (9-2 joint-favourite) continued his recent consistent run when getting up close home to snatch the Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap.

Kingscote produced Mark Loughnane’s five-year-old with a well-timed challenged to beat Fierospeed by a head to make it two wins and two seconds in his last four starts.

Loughnane said: “Our horses are flying. He’s been a slow burner since he came from Ed Walker’s, but I’m very pleased with him.

“Once he gets to the front he thinks he’s done enough.”

Kangaroo Point (11-8 favourite) got home by a short head from Sharp Suited in a terrific finish to the Betway Casino Handicap.

Kingscote said: “He had a quick run back after Southwell. You never know how much it takes out of them, even in a three-horse race, but he got into a nice rhythm just behind the leaders and knuckled down when the second horse came to him.”

Double Dealing (3-1 favourite) looked a three-year-old on the up when completing a hat-trick in smooth fashion in the Get Your Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boost Handicap.

The Richard Fahey-trained colt produced a nice turn of foot to score by a length from Praise Of Shadows in the hands of 3lb claimer Billy Garritty.

“He’s a nice horse and we’re really looking forward to the summer with him now,” said Garritty.

The well-supported Lorna Cole (9-4 joint favourite), trained by Mick Appleby, swept to victory in the Betway Claiming Stakes under Josephine Gordon.

“She won very well. We knew there would be a strong pace on although it was a small field,” said Gordon.

“The plan was to get her settled into a rhythm and she won with quite a bit in hand.”

Racing Insights, 10th March 2021

Well, we got the first three home again, but unfortunately my 1-2-3 finished 2-3-1, as the money that came in for Dingo Dollar proved to be spot on, as he powered to a 10 length victory, as the 13/8 favourite.

Wednesday's free feature is the Trainer Statistics Report, whilst our free races will be as follows...

  • 2.20 Lingfield
  • 2.25 Wexford
  • 3.10 Catterick
  • 5.05 Wexford
  • 5.25 Catterick

And I think we'll look at the Trainer Statistics Report today, focusing in particular on the 30-day handicap form of Karl Burke, who has three runners on Wednesday...

We start with Significantly who runs in the 3.55 Lingfield, a 6f, Class 3 handicap for 3yo's. Clifford Lee takes the ride on this 3yo colt and from Karl's 5 from 15 record in handicaps over the last 30 days, there has been...

  • 1 win from 2 at Lingfield
  • no runs at Class 3
  • 3 from 12 for males
  • 4 from 8 for 3 yr olds
  • 3 from 6 for Clifford Lee
  • 1 from 6 over 6f
  • 4 from 8 in 3yo only races

Significantly has been running consistently well ever since debut last June, making the frame in seven of his eight starts and breaking his duck by winning a Class 2, 6f maiden at Newcastle last time out. he made all that day, but has been known to dwell at the start. This is a simpler task on paper, but this is his first crack at a handicap.

As you can see, not only is the yard in good form, they also have positive icons for their record here at this venue, whilst jockey Clifford Lee scores highly himself for current form and past performance here at Lingfield. The horse hasn't raced in over 20 weeks, which might be a concern, but he does drop in class. He's second in the weights on handicap debut, so the assessor must think a little bit about him and this is also a Polytrack, as his two previous A/W outings have been on the Tapeta at Newcastle.

Instant Expert doesn't tell us too much...

...but does highlight his win LTO quite nicely.

We know that he's drawn in stall 3 and that he made all last time out, however his default pace rating is somewhere between mid-division and prominent. The stats from precious similar 8-runner handicaps suggests that a high draw is beneficial, not withstanding the anomaly of stall 6...

...whilst the pace draw heat map suggests that his best chance will come if he tries to lead like he did last time out...

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...although a closer inspection of the whole field suggests there might be shoot-out early doors paving the way for a finisher and if he runs to his average running style, Significantly could still be well placed...

*

Next up is Superiority, a 4yr old filly, who goes in the 4.45 Kempton, a Class 6, 6f handicap for 4yo+ runners and this 4 yo filly will be ridden by Pierre-Louis Jamin. If we look back to Karl Burke's 5 from 15 with handicappers in the last month...

  • none have run at Kempton
  • 1 winner from 2 at Class 6
  • 2 from 3 for females
  • none of the four 4yo runners have won
  • Pierre-Louis is 2 from 4
  • 1 win from 4 over 6f
  • and just 1 from 7 in 4yo+ races

This 4 yr old filly is still a maiden after 8 starts, but has finished 22552 since going handicapping and was only beaten by three quarters of a length last time out in another Class 6, 6f handicap. That was a 14-runner affair up at Newcastle, where she just missed out after the lead changed hands several times. She's up a pound for that run, but the booking of Pierre-Louis with his 5lb claim effectively makes her 4lbs better off today, but she has been off the track for 113 days now and might well need the run, but certainly has ability at this level/weight.

Her racecard entry pretty much confirms what I've been saying and also tells us that she's drawn in stall 10 of 11, we'll see what that means shortly...

Pierre-Louis doesn't have a great record at this venue overall, but he too is in good form of late.

 

We're drawn in stall 10, of course and that, sadly hasn't been a happy hunting ground in past races here, where stalls 2 to 4 look favoured...

It could, of course, be worse, she could have been in the ninth box, but 10 is pretty dire. To win from there, the stats suggest her only real hope is to get out quickly and try to assert herself from the start and she has raced prominently/led in three of her last four runs, including leading for much of her last outing. There doesn't seem to be a natural leader in this pack...

...so Superiority might well be able to grab the bull by the horns and go for it.

*

Our final runner to consider is the delightfully-named 3 yr old filly, Omany Amber, who runs in the 6.15 Kempton, another Class 6 handicap, but this one os for 3 yr olds over a mile. Pierre-Louis is in the saddle again and the relevant stats here from the yard's recent 5 from 15 return are...

  • no runs here at Kempton
  • 1 from 2 at Class 6
  • 2/3 for females
  • 4 from 8 for 3 yr olds
  • 2 from 4 for Pierre-Louis
  • 2 from 3 over a mile
  • and 4 from 8 in 3yo races

Omany Amber comes here in cracking form, having won a Class 6 seller over 1m0.5f at Wolverhampton 25 days ago and then a Class 6 handicap at this class/trip at Southwell last Thursday with Pierre-Louis in the saddle. She won by a length off a mark of 54 that day and with no punishment for winning an Apprentice handicap, she goes off the same mark, but the jockey can actually use his 5lbs claim today, which could be very useful! The only thing here is that this is the filly's Polytrack debut, but after back to back wins on Tapeta and Fibresand, there's every hope she takes to the surface here too.

Her position on the racecard is as follows...

... telling us she's carrying very little weight here and is bottom of the weights both pre- and post-jockey claims. She's drawn way out in stall 12 of 13, which may be an issue, but we can check those stats later. Her two recent Class 6 wins are shown below as well as her distance win...

and also the indication that there's no rise in weight here. As for that stall 12 of 13 draw, I won't lie and say it's great, but it could have been far worse...

...as the high-centre (7 to 10) is the pace to avoid, as shown beautifully here...

...but there's no disputing that she could have been better drawn. The inference from the pace/draw heat map is that she'd be better off trying to seize the initiative by grabbing an early lead...

However, based on this field's last four runs, there's no obvious pace angle at play, leading to a Geegeez suggestion of a falsely run race, because of this...

...but Omany's best two runs have been her last two and they've both been pretty recent under two different jockeys at two slightly different trips at two different tracks. Karl Burke's shrewd enough to know all of this and it's my feeling that the team will approach this the way they have tackled the last two and over two races, our pace/draw heatmap looks very different indeed...

...making her a real player here.

Summary

Three Karl Burke runners, two at Kempton, one at Lingfield. Two at Class 6, one at Class 3. Two race over 6f, one over a mile. Two three year olds and a four year old. Two fillies and a colt. Two rides for Pierre-Louis Jamin, one for Clifford Lee. Lots of shared similarities here, but what of their individual chances?

In the 3.55 Lingfield, I've got Significantly as fourth best in my assessment of the race. I think he's going to need the run, but at 10/1, I'd not dissuade you from having an E/W punt on him going well fresh. I like the 4/1 Secret Handsheikh here in this one, but Bedford Flyer was another 10/1 shot that caught my eye.

Over at Kempton, the 4.15 sees Superiority not living up to the name in my eyes. She's probably about fifth of sixth best for me and although 10/1 is a nice price about her, I fear she'll just fall short of the places here, but worth looking at next time out, as of course will Significantly be if not placing at Lingfield.

Karl's best chance for me comes with the final runner, Omany Amber, who I do like at 6/1. It's a pretty open race and I'd expect the likes of Woodview (10/3), Doctor Churchill (7/1) and Tick Toch (8/1) to all be on the premises, but Omany Amber is the one to beat for me.

Significantly sets marker for all-weather season

Significantly got off the mark at the eighth attempt with a game all-the-way display in the first all-weather championships fast-track qualifier of the winter season at Newcastle.

The son of Garswood has been out of the first three only once – when he was fifth in the Group Three Molecomb Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

He was placed at Listed level – showing he had a decent level of ability – and finally got his reward in the Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football Conditions Stakes.

Significantly (5-1) had been ridden with more restraint in the past but enjoyed being allowed to bowl along in front by Clifford Lee after being smartly out of the stalls.

He had Yazaman for company until quickening away from the evens favourite and building up a healthy advantage.

Victory Heights tried to mount a challenge but he was passed by a rallying Yazaman, who claimed the runner-up spot, three-quarters of a length behind the winner.

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Burke said: “He’s a horse with a big engine. We’ve always thought a lot of him.

“I should have run him at Royal Ascot in the Norfolk but got talked out of it by his part-owner Jeff Laughton. I’m not saying he’d have won, but he’d have been right up there with the likes of The Lir Jet.”

It was Laughton too, though, whose latest advice paid off with a breakthrough victory.

“Things just haven’t happened (till now),” added Burke.

“This horse hasn’t helped himself, but the last two runs Jeff has begged me to let him bowl along.

“I resisted it, because at home he’s very spooky. We’ve been trying to settle him – but today it worked lovely.

“Clifford gave him a great ride and got him into a lovely rhythm.

“They left us alone in front, and it worked really well, so fair play to Jeff on that one.

“He’s a fair horse and has beaten a proven Group performer, who like him is probably a little bit tricky as well.”

Significantly will have a holiday now, with connections excited about next year.

Burke said: “That’s his eighth run since June 2. He’s been on the go all lockdown, so he deserves a break.

“He’s obviously qualified for (all-weather finals on) Good Friday, so that will come into the equation – with probably a run or two leading into that.

“We’ve got the choice of that or going straight back on the turf. I think he’s a horse with a big future.”

Callum Hutchinson had earlier enjoyed his first success in the saddle when guiding Calvinist to a narrow verdict in the Betway Apprentice Handicap.

The 7lb claimer, son of former jump jockey Wayne Hutchinson, struck with his 19th career ride.

In a tight finish, Calvinist (8-1), trained by Kevin Frost, prevailed by a nose from Peerless Percy.

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.”

Bickerstaffe bids for Rosebery honours at Ayr

Karl Burke’s Bickerstaffe tests the water at Listed level in the Shadwell Stud/EBF Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes at Ayr on Friday.

The Mayson colt made a thoroughly impressive start to his career over five furlongs at Hamilton at the start of the month and returns to Scotland for a race his trainer won with subsequent Royal Ascot heroine and dual Group One winner Quiet Reflection five years ago.

Burke said: “I wouldn’t say I was surprised he won at Hamilton, but I was a bit surprised by the manner of his performance as he’s bred to stay further than five furlongs.

“He showed a very good turn of foot, the speed figures were very good and the second horse (Cottam Lane) gave the form a bit of a boost by winning at Beverley on Wednesday.

“I’ve no doubt he’ll improve when he steps up to six furlongs as there’s plenty of stamina on the dam’s side of his pedigree, but he showed so much speed first time out we thought we’d stick at five for now and see how we go.

“Hopefully he’ll run a big race.”

The Spigot Lodge handler has a second string to his bow in the form of Rebel At Dawn. The son of Dandy Man has won just one of his seven starts to date, but has been keeping good company.

“He’s a solid horse who has shown a good level of ability,” Burke added.

“He’s probably just short of Listed class over six furlongs, but coming back to five, he deserves to take his chance.”

Richard Fahey and Kevin Ryan are represented by once-raced winners in Regional and Roman Encounter respectively.

David O’Meara’s Nomadic Empire, fourth in the Group Three Sirenia Stakes a fortnight ago, also features in a 12-strong field.

The Arran Scottish Sprint EBF Fillies’ Stakes also carries Listed status and has attracted 17 hopefuls.

Irish trainer Fozzy Stack saddles American Lady, while the home team includes Fahey’s Exceptional and the James Tate-trained Magical Journey.

The latter has already been placed twice in Listed company, most recently on her latest outing at Pontefract last month.

Tate said: “She’s been knocking on the door in Listed company, so hopefully we’ll get there in the end.

“She’s in very good form and I’m hoping for another good run.”