Karl Burke believes Dandalla is the one to beat in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.
An impressive winner of the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, she is aiming to complete a double last achieved by Richard Hannon’s Illuminate in 2015.
The Dandy Man filly was a two-length winner at Newcastle on the second day of racing’s resumption and then bolted up by six lengths at Ascot.
Burke was able to breath a sigh of relief at being back among the winners this week after a frustrating run of placed horses.
“We’d had a run of seconds in the last two weeks, then we got a winner on Tuesday and another on Wednesday and that gives us a bit of confidence,” said Burke.
“Dandalla is in great form, I’m very happy with her. It’s an interesting race, there are two or three nice fillies in there, but if she runs like she did at Ascot, she’s the one to beat.
“She’s drawn one, but she was 14 of 14 in the Albany. It will be a good horse race and we go there with a great chance.”
Her main market rival is Ralph Beckett’s Time Scale, who did not run at Ascot.
Fancied for her debut at Newmarket, she was slowly away and never recovered, but then won easily at Chepstow and landed a Listed race in fine style last time out.
Beckett said: “Time Scale bounced out of the Empress in good shape. She’s in good form at home and we’re very happy with her.
“She won at Chepstow on good to soft, and the ground was quick at Newmarket, so she is versatile.”
Kevin Ryan’s Hala Hala Hala was an impressive winner on her debut at Thirsk and while she steps up markedly in class, Ryan likes what he sees at home.
“She’s a lovely filly, she’s always shown a high level of ability. She won nicely first time out,” he said.
“Obviously Karl Burke’s filly is the bench mark, but you can’t run away from one horse.
“We think quite a lot of our filly and we’re looking forward to seeing her run.”
Brian Meehan’s Ghaaliya and David Loughnane’s Santosha are defending unbeaten records.