No Laurens but Burke sitting on lots of ammo for the new season

Laurens wins the May Hill Stakes at the Doncaster St Leger Festival 2017

Laurens may have gone but that’s not to say that Karl Burke is a man to take lightly in the big races this season. Far from it.

Losing a standard bearer who scored six Group 1 wins over the last three seasons would leave a huge hole in any stable and Spigot Lodge is no different – though the trainer can at least look forward to getting his hands on the wonder mare’s offspring when the time comes.

But this corner of Middleham knew top-level success before Laurens came along, thanks to the likes of Lord Shanakill, Odeliz and that fine sprint filly Quiet Reflection.

And he has Group 1 aspirations for several of this season’s classic crop, who will be pitching for high honours almost as soon as the action finally gets under way.

The Gimcrack Stakes second Lord Of The Lodge has already got on the board for 2020, striking at Newcastle in February, and is one of two colts who could force themselves into the classic picture.

“Lord Of The Lodge would be a candidate for the 2,000 Guineas,” Burke said. “He’s in great form. He’s a Dandy Man and he’s not slow but there’s a lot of stamina on his dam’s side.

“We’re also thinking of the Guineas for Dubai Station but he looks very quick and could be one for the Commonwealth Cup.”

1,000 Guineas on the radar

Lowther Stakes winner Living In the Past and impressive Newcastle debut scorer Yes Always are fillies who could pay their way at the highest level.

“Yes Always is very smart and a Group filly in the making,” Burke said. “She won very well first time out and she’s working well at the moment. She had an entry in the 1,000 Guineas and that would still be a possibility, depending on how her prep run goes.

“Living In The Past is doing well. We’ve more or less decided she’ll probably not be going for the Guineas and she’s more likely to go for the Commonwealth Cup, with a prep run before if we can.”

The €3.2million yearling Do You Love Me has yet to make her debut but could also prove a name to remember.

“She is starting to come to hand and please us,” Burke said. “The delay in the Oaks gives us a chance.

“She probably wouldn’t be ready until the end of May and we’ll be looking for a maiden and taking it from there but she remains a very promising filly.”

Let's talk about Safer Gambling
1st - 7th November 2021
National Gambling HelpLine: Call FREE 0800 020 1009