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Article 3rd May 2024 Newmarket

By Ben Cox

Trainer Karl Burke said a tilt at the Betfred Derby next month for Caviar Heights will be a decision for the colt’s owner after watching him secure a comfortable victory in the Listed William Hill Newmarket Stakes on day one of the three-day QIPCO Guineas Festival on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket today.    

Bookmakers William Hill halved the Sea The Stars colt’s price for the Epsom Downs Classic on June 1st from 100-1 to 50-1 after running out a decisive four-length winner.   

Partnered by jockey Clifford Lee, the 7-1 chance left Andrew Balding’s Sayedaty Sadaty (9-2) four lengths behind in second, while the Richard Hughes-trained Whip Cracker (3-1) was a further 11 lengths back in third.

Caviar Heights had finished third in the bet365 Feilden Stakes at Newmarket last month, his first outing for trainer Burke after switching from Andrew Balding’s yard following a two-year-old campaign which produced one victory from four starts.

Burke said: “He definitely came on for his run in the Feilden, when we were delighted with the run. He was relishing a step up in trip and the extra furlong has helped today. Cliff (jockey) says he will stay further.

“I am not sure where we’ll go with him next. I’ll speak to Sheikh Obaid. He is in the Dante but I’m not sure Sheikh Obaid will want to go there as it comes pretty quick and he doesn’t like to run his horses close together. He has a good constitution – all he does is eat and sleep.

“There are no big thoughts about the Derby yet – I’ll have to speak to Sheikh Obaid and see.”

On going into QIPCO Guineas weekend, when he saddles market leader Fallen Angel in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, in such good form Burke added: “We haven’t actually had a great week and had two seconds yesterday, so maybe the wheels are coming off a bit! Hopefully we have saved some luck for the weekend.”

Meanwhile another three-year-old by Sea The Stars was just as impressive as Sea Just In Time took the Class 2 Darley Maiden Fillies’ Stakes, the opening race of the day, on debut.

The William Haggas-trained 11-2 chance and jockey Tom Marquand swept past their rivals two furlongs from home to score by four and three quarter lengths, with the Charlie Appleby-trained Precious Jewel in second and Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Mallavelly three lengths further back in third.

The filly has high profile entries in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot in June and the Juddmonte Irish Oaks at the Curragh in July.

Maureen Haggas, wife of trainer William who was also celebrating her 63rd birthday today, was impressed with what she saw on the three-year-old’s first racecourse outing.

She said: “That was nice – I thought she did that well. We always thought she was nice and is well-rated, being a sister to Truthful and we had the older sister as well (Sea On Time) who sadly injured a tendon after winning a maiden when she looked nice.

“There is no rush to decide where she goes next, I’ll leave that to William. I think she probably needs three weeks before she runs again and we could look for a Listed contest for her.

“There are lots of things later in the year like the Irish Oaks. Sea Of Class was second here before going on to win a Listed race and then on to win the Irish Oaks.

“If you look at her – she still needs some time and some sunshine – like we all do!”


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