Karl Burke hands Havana Grey Flying Five target following York run

Curragh return on the cards for Sapphire Stakes winner

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Havana Grey will be prepared for a return to the Curragh next month following his fine effort in the Coolmore Nunthorpe at York on Friday.

Karl Burke’s three-year-old was beaten three lengths into fifth place on the Knavesmire, despite racing on his own on the far side of the track at the business end of the race.

Burke was pleased to see his charge bounce back from what he felt was a below-par performance when sixth in the King George Stakes at Goodwood, and his likely next port of call is the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on September 16.

Havana Grey won the Sapphire Stakes over the same course and distance in July.

Burke said: “He ran a great race (at York). We felt the Goodwood race wasn’t his true running – we felt he ran two or three lengths below his best that day – and I think he proved that at York.

“Whether we were disadvantaged by the draw or not, I’m not sure. He is a horse who can run on his own, but then again when there’s one chasing him down, he does go again. We’ll never know.

“He still hasn’t been beaten by another three-year-old this season, so there’s a lot to look forward to.

“We’ll probably take him to the Flying Five, where he’ll meet the same horses.”

Havana Grey could be joined on the trip across the Irish Sea by esteemed stablemate Laurens.

Following successive Group One triumphs in France, the daughter of Siyouni was a little disappointing in Thursday’s Yorkshire Oaks, with Burke of the opinion that her stamina limitations were exposed on what was her first start over a mile and a half.

She is set to come back in distance on her next start and Burke is not ruling out dropping to a mile for the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on September 15.

“She came out of the race 100 per cent. She just didn’t stay – it’s as simple as that,” said the Spigot Lodge-based trainer.

“We’ll come back in trip and she is in the Matron, so that is a possibility.”

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