Havana Grey makes all in the Molecomb

Filed on 2 Aug 2017 @ 16:11

The G3 Bombay Sapphire Molecomb Stakes saw Havana Grey (Havana Gold) make all under the stands' rail to triumph by a length and three-quarter for trainer Karl Burke, who, ahead of racing, had cast worries about the state of the soft ground aside.

"It was a concern, rather than a big worry," he said. "I walked the track at 8am this morning, and couldn't believe how quick it was. I was surprised, it was beautiful ground.

"There is a lovely strip up on the inside on the rail on fresh ground. I said to PJ do your best to get on that, get him in a rhythm, and be a bit more conservative than at Sandown, kick 100yds later than at were kicking at Sandown.

"I was a bit worried at the start with he was caught out for 50 yards, which is unusual for him, but then he got rolling. As you can see the horse has got loads of speed, and he's got a great turn of foot which he showed again in the last furlong to draw away.

"Probably as a team this is my best bunch of two-year-olds," said Burke, who is enjoying a great year with his juvenile team. "We've only ran half of them, we've a lovely group of staying types to come, so fingers crossed they stay healthy.

"But it doesn't matter how good a trainer you are, if you haven't got the material, if you haven't got the horses who run fast, you aren't going to be training winners. If I've got a strength at all, it's being able to source reasonably priced yearlings."

The ongoing plans for today's winner, a son of leading first-season sire Havana Gold, include a trip overseas to France.

Burke said: "We'll go now for the Morny, we entered this morning, the race closed today. The owners are very keen to go for it, at least today has told us we don't need to worry about the ground! It'll be interesting to see if he gets the six and he deserves a crack at a Group One now.

"Unfortunately, we also have Unfortunately in the same race, so we will have two runners. It's not ideal for me but they both deserve to take their chance."

Havana Grey, one of the juvenile finds of the season, won his fourth race and in decisive style when making most of the running.

Jockey P J McDonald eulogised about the colt following the race, and little wonder. Smartly away and soon in position on the stands' rail, Havana Grey (7/2) led the field and became a target for his nine rivals, but kept shrugging off challenges - and heavy rain - eventually pulling away to win by one and three-quarter lengths and a nose from Invincible Army (5/2 favourite) and To Wafij (8/1). Strong fancy Happy Like A Fool, who was set to be a first Goodwood runner for American trainer Wesley Ward, was a non-runner on account of the rain-soaked ground.

Havana Grey is trained by Karl Burke in North Yorkshire and cost 70,000 euros as a yearling, but he has won that back and more following today's victory, which was worth £42,532 to the winner - he is a son of first-season sire Havana Gold.

Filed on 2 Aug 2017 @ 16:11