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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.”