Racehorse trainer Karl Burke

Mason Fancied For Mill Reef Glory

1 month ago

Middleham-based trainer Karl Burke, who sent out two Group 1 winners last weekend in Ireland, will be hoping his pattern race luck holds at Newbury on Saturday where his True Mason bids for the Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes (14.55).

Burke is enjoying a superb campaign with the high-class three-year-old filly Laurens very much leading the charge, but his juveniles have also done the stable proud this term with both Comedy and Little Kim winning Group 3 races. True Mason, a son of the Group 1 winning sprinter Mayson, has signalled that he could well be up to the task of landing the Newbury prize if repeating his latest effort in France where he finished a very creditable third in the  Group 1 Darley Prix Morny behind the current Michael Bell-trained Cheveley Park Stakes favourite Pretty Pollyanna, and Signora Cabello, winner of the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes.

“He is in great form and is a high-class colt,” Burke told reporters earlier this week. “We think we haven’t seen the best of him yet as he hasn’t really had his ground on his last two or three runs. Being by Mayson, I am pretty sure he will be better with a bit of juice in the ground.

“I would say he is definitely up to the level of our two previous Mill Reef winners [Lord Shanakill and Toocoolforschool]. He was beaten by two high-class fillies at Deauville in the Morny and is a very good colt.”

On Friday there was money for the northern raider who was supported from 4/1 into 10/3 with 10bet and was vying for favouritism with Shine So Bright, Andrew Balding’s talented grey colt. Formerly trained by Burke, Shine So Bright has finished third in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York on his last two starts.

Both colts appear progressive and a big performance may put them in the Classic picture for next year’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas, for which John Gosden’s Too Darn Hot (4/1 ante-post favourite with Betfair) currently rules the roost after maintaining his unbeaten record with a tremendous win in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last weekend.

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Paul Alster Betting.net

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.