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Alflaila unlikely for Eclipse after encouraging Royal Ascot run

Alflaila unlikely for Eclipse after encouraging Royal Ascot run
Alflaila unlikely for Eclipse after encouraging Royal Ascot run

Alflaila is likely to skip the Coral-Eclipse with connections of the belief it comes too soon after his fine comeback at Royal Ascot.

Trained by Owen Burrows, the five-year-old was having his first run of the season in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and lost little in defeat, beaten less than four lengths in fourth behind Auguste Rodin.

“He ran really well, but he’s had a long time off and cleverer people than me will say that sometimes they run a really good race first time and if you run them back quick they bounce, to use the expression,” said Angus Gold, racing manager for the Shadwell operation.

“There are lots of races to be won with this horse, he’s very much on our side in terms of his attitude and determination which is a huge bonus as a five-year-old, so I think it will be more fun for Sheikha Hissa and her family for us to find races we think he could win rather than knock your head against the very best.

“We’ll probably have a scout through the book and see what we can come up with, the York race (Sky Bet York Stakes) he won last year will be in the mix. It was a really good run and it was nice to se him show his old enthusiasm and that he is still competitive at that level.”

The Shadwell colours were carried to success at the big meeting by John and Thady Gosden’s Israr in the Wolferton Stakes, and he will now step back up in class.

Israr fairly bolted up in the Wolferton
Israr fairly bolted up in the Wolferton (John Walton/PA)

“When everything goes his way, like it did at Ascot, he’s a pretty smart horse. With a fast pace and a mile and a quarter he looks good, but I think we’ve been guilty of stretching him out in trip,” said Gold.

“I know he won over a mile and a half last year, but things fell in his lap.

“Although he’s a scratchy mover he seems to love top of the ground so with a fast pace over 10 furlongs – they went like scalded cats – the only possible danger was getting to the front too soon, which if anything he did.

“Jim (Crowley) had no option when the gap opened, but to be fair to the horse he kept going. I know everyone defends their own horses, but I don’t think for one minute he is ungenuine and think he just does what he has to do so it was nice to see him run all the way to the line.

“He’s in the Juddmonte International with Alflaila, he’s a high-class horse on his day so well try to find a race for them both.”

Anmaat progressed from winning the John Smith's Cup to a Group One in France
Anmaat progressed from winning the John Smith’s Cup to a Group One in France (Nigel French/PA)

Another top-class performer for the team is Anmaat, but he has not been seen since he won the Prix d’Ispahan in May last year.

“We’re trying to get Anmaat back. He had a nasty injury afterwards and it’s taken an awful long time to get him back,” said Gold.

“He’s in half-speed work at the moment, so we’ll see where we are with him, but he’s a Group One winner so we mustn’t forget him.”

Alyanaabi once again ran respectably at Ascot when fifth in the St James’s Palace Stakes, having filled the same spot in the Guineas, and he will now move up in trip.

Gold said: “Alyanaabi ran very well at Ascot and proved to us that if he’s going to be competitive at that level he needs to go up to a mile and a quarter, he just doesn’t have the speed of those top milers.

“His pedigree would suggest he has every chance of staying 10 furlongs and we’ll see if we are right in due course.”

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