Owen Burrows appears to have a smart bunch of juveniles on his hands this season and Minzaal could turn out to be the best of them, judging by his impressive victory at Salisbury.
Having finished an eyecatching fourth at Ascot on his debut, the Mehmas colt set up a shot at Group-race assignments after barely coming out of second gear to land the AJN Bloodstock Kentford British EBF Novice Stakes.
Moving effortless around the outside of his rivals under Jim Crowley, the 1-2 favourite never came off the bridle to cruise home an emphatic three-and-three-quarter-length winner.
Burrows’ assistant, Rob McDowall, said: “Jim just said he would blow harder doing a bit of work back home. It was very impressive and thankfully he made up for his unlucky run at Ascot, but it might not have been the worst thing as he got that racecourse experience last time.
“Now he has two runs before hopefully going forward and running in something like the Mill Reef at Newbury, then fingers crossed all being well the Middle Park. There is still a lot to happen before then, but we can dream.
“This horse shows a lot of speed and for now we will keep him at six and see what happens. All being well, if things go well this year we could think about the Commonwealth Cup next year.”
Michael Attwater celebrated his third winner of the week after Juanito Chico was promoted to first following a stewards’ inquiry in the AJN Steelstock Henstridge Apprentice Handicap.
The six-year-old gelding was awarded the seven-furlong prize after initial first past the post Kodiac Pride was disqualified due to rider Kaia Ingolfsland weighing in light, having lost her saddle cloth during the closing stages of the race.
Attwater said of the 22-1 winner: “That is our third winner of the week, which is fantastic, but that is not the way you want to win it.
“It is a shame for the young girl as it is not her fault, but we will take what comes as it might be us it happens to next week. The horse has been running back into form and Rhys (Clutterbuck) gave him a fantastic ride.”
Happy Power (4-5) made the most of a significant drop in grade to set up a return to Pattern-race company with a clear-cut success in the Milden Construction Wateraid Conditions Stakes.
Trainer Andrew Balding said: “He is a very handy horse at his best. He has run in some pretty tough races this year and it was nice to find something like this to get his head back in front and get his confidence back.
“It didn’t pan out for him for some reason last time, but that makes up for it.
“He will go to the Group Three Supreme Stakes at Goodwood at the end of the month.”
Konchek (4-1) gained his first victory since making a winning debut at Newmarket more than two years ago when showing a commendable attitude to claim the AJN Steelstock/Pam Bruford Memorial Handicap by half a length.
Winning trainer Clive Cox said: “He was a very good two-year-old that won first time up. He has got some very good form and that will have done his confidence the world of good. He is very able.
“I like to think the Portland at Doncaster could be the target if all is well in the meantime, and there is no better confidence building step to take towards it than that.”
Itkaann (5-1) completed a double for Lambourn handler Burrows by taking the AJN Steelstock Cecilia Hall Handicap by a length and a half to make a winning return to action.
McDowall said: “He would have been running earlier on as he was ready to go, but then the Covid outbreak came so it has been a bit of a stop-start year.
“We will see what the handicapper does with him now, but it looks like he got tired towards the end today.”