KARL Burke is celebrating one of the highlights of his training career after Unfortunately led home stablemate Havana Grey in the Prix Morny at Deauville.
The outcome more than vindicated the Leyburn handler’s decision to race the pair of exciting two-year-olds in this prestigious Group One race over six furlongs.
Wearing blinkers for the first time, Unfortunately bounded into the lead in the closing stages after settling well towards the rear of the field for Tony Piccone.
As for Havana Grey, who made the running under PJ McDonald, the colt stuck to his task admirably to hang on for second place, just ahead of Royal Ascot winner Different League.
Burke, who enjoyed two Group One successes with Quiet Reflection last year, said: “I couldn’t believe the three colts in the race were last in the UK betting (yesterday morning). I thought about doing the forecast, but I didn’t want to tempt fate.
“In the early part of year the pair worked together and Havana Grey was always quicker, but you could see Unfortunately was catching up all the time and he got in front this time.
“We said to PJ (McDonald, Havana Grey’s jockey) to ‘try to ride your race and not to mind the others’.
“PJ said if he could ride the race again he’d kick earlier but, look, they’re very good colts.
“I’ve been very lucky to have some nice horses, particularly in France, but to have a one-two in the Morny is fantastic.
“The Middle Park at Newmarket is probably the race for Unfortunately next.
“The other fellow did stay, but he’s got a lot of natural speed. They both have futures beyond being two-year-olds. I’m delighted.”
Sir Michael Stoute’s stable star Ulysses is on track for Wednesday’s £1m Juddmonte International at York.
Winner of Sandown’s Coral-Eclipse, the colt was runner-up to superstar filly Enable in Ascot’s King George.
“We are planning to go,” said Stoute. “He is taking his racing very well and we’re pleased with what we see.”