Burke stays True to belief that Mason is fit to stay course

KARL Burke will look at the options for True Mason following his fine run when a close third to Signora Cabello in the Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte on Sunday.

Trainer Karl Burke.
Trainer Karl Burke.

A return trip to France for the Prix Morny, or the Gimcrack Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival, are the first possible alternatives for the horse after his gutsy run behind Malton trainer John Quinn’s Royal Ascot victor.

“He’s a very good colt. There was a good cover of grass, but it was good, good to firm ground really,” said Leyburn-based Burke.

“Although there were only five horses, it was a strong enough renewal.

“The draw did not help us. He could not get any cover early and he was a bit gassy. He petered out a little, but the main thing was the ground. It was a bit too quick for him.

“Take nothing away from the other horses. There were some good ones there. We’ll be governed by the ground now. I don’t want to keep running him on ground that’s too fast. I think Goodwood next week will probably come too soon for him. He’ll probably have an entry in the Morny.”

Andrea Atzeni, meanwhile, spoke of his delight after being called up to ride Stradivarius and Without Parole at the Qatar Goodwood Festival next week.

The rides on the two John Gosden-trained big guns were going begging after Frankie Dettori failed in his bid to have the 10-day suspension he incurred at the July meeting at Newmarket completely overturned.

Dettori’s ban was reduced on appeal from 10 to six days, which will allow Dettori to resume riding next Thursday.

However, he will not be able to partner defending Goodwood Cup hero Stradivarius on Tuesday or Sussex Stakes favourite Without Parole on Wednesday.

Atzeni steered Stradivarius to win last year’s Goodwood Cup, with the combination having previously claimed the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot. He said: “It’s a shame for Frankie. He got the ban reduced to six days, but he’s going to miss the rides on these two horses. I won the Goodwood Cup last year on Stradivarius and also won on him at Ascot. I’m two from two on him, which isn’t a bad record.”

The Willie Mullins-trained Stratum is the 6-1 favourite for the Sky Bet Ebor with the sponsors after the weights were unveiled for Britain’s richest handicap at York on August 25.

The five-year-old, owned by Brighton & Hove Albion chairman Tony Bloom, has been allotted 9st 2lb but is not yet guaranteed a place in a maximum field of 20. Stratum, victorious at Newbury last weekend, currently sits in joint-34th place with another six horses.

Mullins, who took the Ebor with Sesenta in 2009, has 10 other entries. Jointly heading the weights on 9st 13lb are Joseph O’Brien’s Housesofparliament and Marmelo, trained by Hughie Morrison.