Ground will prove key to Karl Burke's Haydock plans for Quiet Reflection

KARL Burke will make 'a late call' on Quiet Reflection's participation in the Temple Stakes at Haydock today.

Quiet Reflection ridden by Dougie Costello (left) wins the 32 Red Sprint Cup Stakes at Haydock in September last year. Picture: John Giles/PA
Quiet Reflection ridden by Dougie Costello (left) wins the 32 Red Sprint Cup Stakes at Haydock in September last year. Picture: John Giles/PA

The Leyburn handler is keen to get a run into his stable star, with a crack at next month’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot firmly on the agenda.

However, given Quiet Reflection posted her two Group One wins last year when there was some ease in the ground, Burke would not want to risk the Showcasing filly on firm conditions.

He said: “Heavy showers are forecast in the area around Saturday lunchtime, so I’d say she’s 99 per cent certain to travel to the track and we’ll make a decision once we get there.

Trainer Karl Burke at Spigot Lodge stables, near Leyburn.

“If we needed to we could leave it until 15 minutes before the race, but I’d think we would have made a decision before that. It will be a late call, though.”

Burke, whose sprinting prospect Havana grey won impressively at Sandown on Thursday, had expressed some concerns about Quiet Reflection’s home efforts earlier in the season, but reports her back on form now.

He added: “She’s had a few little niggly problems, but we’ve got those ironed out now. She’s in very good form and her work over the last 10 days or so has been good.

“We really want to get a run into her before Ascot and there were only three real options for her – last week at York, when she wasn’t really ready, the Temple and then a race in France next weekend.

Trainer Karl Burke at Spigot Lodge stables, near Leyburn.

“I don’t really want to travel her three weeks before a meeting like Royal Ascot, though, so we will be keeping our fingers crossed the rain arrives at Haydock and she can run.”

Martin Harley will team up with Quiet Reflection for the first time, leaving Pat Cosgrave to take over aboard Goldream, who along with Encore D’Or is one of two runners for Robert Cowell.

Goldream thrives on fast ground and hardly had conditions to suit last season, but he finished third behind Marsha in the Palace House Stakes on his return at Newmarket when the going was good to firm.

Cowell said: “Goldream ran a brilliant race in the Palace House.

“He had a hard year when he won the King’s Stand and the Abbaye, it took a lot out of him and I did not have enough time to recharge his batteries. He was on empty when he came back from France.

“We then sent him to Dubai and he wasn’t fully recharged. We gave him the winter off and I think I’ve got him back to his best.

“He looks wonderful. He’s fresh and happy so I can see him running a big race.”

Encore D’Or is having a first try at this level after winning twice on the all-weather in the winter and finishing third on All-Weather Finals Day last month.

Cowell said: “He seems to have improved on the all-weather and it remains to be seen how good he is back on turf but he remains a horse with a lot of potential.”

Meanwhile, Malton trainer Richard Fahey hopes Brian The Snail can return to form in the supporting Sandy Lane Stakes.

Fahey is at a loss to explain the horse’s below-par effort at York last week. “He was beaten after two furlongs,” he said.

“He has cantered since then and we have been happy with him. I don’t think it had anything to do with the trip. He looks well, though.

“At the moment after his last run we are not looking at anything beyond his next run, we are just looking to get him running better again.”

Churchill is long odds-on to achieve a Classic double in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh today.

Last year’s champion juvenile lived up to his two-year-old promise as he bagged the British version of the Classic at Newmarket at the beginning of the month.

Connections briefly toyed with the idea of stepping up to 12 furlongs for the Epsom Derby, but the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt will stick to a mile where he’s set to dominate this season.

O’Brien last achieved the Guineas double with Gleneagles in 2015 and is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Desert King’s Irish Guineas victory, which was the first Classic success for the Ballydoyle maestro.

He said: “It made sense to go to the Guineas as we had seven others for the Derby.”