Karl Burke is building up a strong squad for York’s Sky Bet Ebor meeting, with stable star Laurens all set and Kelly’s Dino primed for a crack at the feature race.
Leyburn-based Burke endured a slow start to the season but is ticking along well of late, and the yard received a big boost when Laurens won her sixth Group One in France recently.
With his star filly set to revert to seven furlongs in preparation for a possible crack at the Prix de la Foret, she will be entered in the Sky Bet City of York Stakes – and there is plenty of strength in depth to his team elsewhere, with Kelly’s Dino and also a handful of smart juveniles heading to the Knavesmire.
“Laurens will have an entry on Monday morning, all being well, and she’s in good form,” said Burke.
Kelly’s Dino booked his spot with a win at Newmarket on Friday night, the 4lb penalty taking him up to number 20 on the list – with a maximum field of 22 guaranteed thanks to the £1 million up for grabs.
Burke added: “I was very happy with him – he’s only done a couple of canters since but he’ll work at the end of the week, and I couldn’t have been happier.
“The timing of that race was almost perfect. We thought we’d done enough when he finished fifth in the Group race, going up to 105, but we’d have been distraught if we’d missed out by one.
“It might turn out we didn’t need the extra 4lb, but it would have been tight without it. I can only think of three or four who might not run – so to get six or seven we’d have been lucky.
“He had a wind op at the end of last year, and it’s really helped him – he looks in great condition and is moving brilliantly. Obviously it will be a tough race, but if he gets in the first four we’ll be over the moon.”
Burke has three entered up in the Group Two Sky Bet Lowther. But Never In Paris and Seize The Time seem set to leave the coast clear for Living In The Past, a close third in the Princess Margaret Stakes last time out.
He said: “Living In The Past will run in the Lowther.
“Seize The Time will go to Newbury on Friday, because she’s very fast and I’ll just keep her to five furlongs for now – athough she’ll probably be left in, just in case.
“Lord Of The Lodge won really well at Haydock last week, and he’s in the Gimcrack. Unfortunately he doesn’t qualify for the Acomb – because I think he’d appreciate another furlong.
“He will have an entry in the nursery as well, because he’s in that of 95. He’s a nice horse.
“Dubai Station will go for the Gimcrack as well. I was a bit disappointed with him last time in France – but the handicapper actually put him up 2lb.
“He came back with a little niggle but he’s over that now. I know they think a lot of the winner, but I thought we’d chase down the second. I think he’s better than that. He’s in great form now, though.”
Wonderwork, a debut winner at Thirsk this month, is also set to be in action again – up to Listed level.
Burke said: “Wonderwork looks very smart and he’ll go for the Roses (Stakes) next week – he’ll love a bit of juice in the ground. He looks a smart prospect.
“The horses are definitely running well now.
“They look well – but they’ve looked well all year, to be fair. We’re a long way off where we should be on winners, but I hope we can have a good autumn.”