Minzaal hoping to repeat Gimcrack win in 1895 Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes at York

OWEN BURROWS is hoping that Minzaal can serve as one of his stable flag-bearers in 2022, starting with a bold showing in the Group 2 1895 Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes on Wednesday – the opening day of the Dante Festival at York .

Course winner: Jim Crowley riding Minzaal wins The Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes at York in August 2020. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Course winner: Jim Crowley riding Minzaal wins The Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes at York in August 2020. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Minzaal enjoyed the finest hour of his career to date when landing the 2020 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes on the Knavesmire.

Unfortunately for connections the Mehmas colt was side-lined with an injury for much of last year. But he showed his talents were very much intact when finishing third in the Group 1 QIPCO British Champions Stakes at Ascot.

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Now Burrows has Minzaal primed for his seasonal bow back at the scene of his Gimcrack triumph.

The handler views the £140,000 contest as a good starting point to a four-year-old campaign with the Platinum Jubilee Stakes and Darley July Cup as potential summer targets.

Burrows said: “I don’t want to get too excited but I think he could be a real flag-bearer for us this year.

“We felt it would be good to get back to York and it sets us up nicely then for Ascot, which then hopefully sets you up nicely for the July Cup.”

The other Group race on the opening day of York’s season is the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes, a key trial for the Oaks at Epsom.

Now worth a record £125,000, the Group 3 has attracted eight entries, including the unbeaten Emily Upjohn trained by John and Thady Gosden.