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Burke backing Fallen Angel to claim Guineas glory

Burke backing Fallen Angel to claim Guineas glory
Burke backing Fallen Angel to claim Guineas glory

Karl Burke is in bullish mood ahead of Fallen Angel’s bid for Classic glory in the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday.

Owned and bred by Steve Parkin, the daughter of Too Darn Hot won three of her four starts as a juvenile last season, rounding off her campaign with a dominant display on Irish soil in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in September.

Connections opted for a racecourse gallop at Newmarket’s Craven meeting rather than running in a Guineas trial this spring and Burke believes his star filly is cherry-ripe ahead of her return to the Rowley Mile this weekend.

Fallen Angel returns after her gallop
Fallen Angel returns after her gallop (Adam Morgan/PA)

“Fallen Angel looks in great shape. She needed that gallop at the Craven meeting and came out of that really well and took a big step forward,” said the Spigot Lodge hander.

“Fitness-wise she needed to have a good racecourse gallop and that will have brought her on and it will just sharpen her mind a little bit as well. They go up and down the same gallops here in Middleham all winter and it’s good to get them away and concentrate their minds, I suppose.

“She had four runs last year and travelled to Ireland and she travels well, but a racecourse gallop just puts their game day head on I suppose and definitely brings them forward.

“She did a good piece of work on Friday, she’ll have a little blowout tomorrow (Tuesday) and that’ll just about be her really, we’re very happy with her.”

Fallen Angel is the 3-1 favourite with Coral, with Aidan O’Brien’s Ylang Ylang and the Charlie Appleby-trained Dance Sequence also prominent in the market at 4-1 and 5-1 respectively.

Ylang Ylang finished last of nine as a hot favourite for the Moyglare before bouncing back to land the Fillies’ Mile, while Dance Sequence was narrowly denied by Richard Fahey’s Pretty Crystal – who was on Monday supplemented for the Guineas at a cost of £30,000 – in the Nell Gwyn less than three weeks ago.

Burke added: “I think they’ve got us to beat, I really do. The formbook says they have, I know Ballydoyle will give you plenty of excuses for Ylang Ylang’s defeat in the Moyglare, but she’s got nine or 10 lengths to make up on us.

“Obviously Charlie’s filly got beat the other day and that form doesn’t look strong enough to win a Guineas. I’m sure Charlie’s horse will improve, but on all known form I think we deserve to be favourite.

“Fallen Angel is very versatile ground-wise, anything from soft to good to firm would suit – I think the ground will be perfect whatever it is.”

Darnation in action at Doncaster
Darnation in action at Doncaster (Tim Goode/PA)

Burke also left in Darnation, winner of the Group Two May Hill Stakes at Doncaster in September before finishing fifth in the Prix Marcel Boussac on Arc weekend at ParisLongchamp.

However, she appears far from certain to line up on Sunday, with Burke leaning towards a tilt at the French Guineas the following week.

“She’s a very good filly on soft and heavy ground, there’s no doubt about that, she proved that last season,” he said.

“It was very much up in the air whether we’d leave her in this morning. I spoke to connections and they were keen to leave her in and see what the weather does.

“She had a racecourse gallop after racing at Wetherby on Sunday on heavy ground and galloped very well. She’s fit and ready to go, the favourite would be to wait until the French Guineas but we’ll just play it by ear and see what happens Thursday morning with the ground.

“As we know, Newmarket can dry up very quickly and I don’t want to waste a run with her.”

Ryan Moore and Ylang Ylang after winning the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket
Ryan Moore and Ylang Ylang after winning the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket (Nigel French/PA)

The addition of Pretty Crystal leaves a total of 20 still in contention for the first fillies’ Classic of the year.

Ylang Ylang is one of three possible runners for O’Brien along with Content and Brilliant, while Dance Sequence looks set to be joined by unbeaten stablemate Cinderella’s Dream.

Donnacha O’Brien’s Porta Fortuna, Christopher Head’s potential French raider Ramatuelle and See The Fire from Andrew Balding’s yard also feature.

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