GBI RACING

Karl Burke looking to True Mason to continue big-race run at Newbury

Karl Burke, who won two Group Ones on Irish Champions Weekend

True Mason will bid to provide Karl Burke with further big-race success in the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

The North Yorkshire-based trainer reflected on the highlight of his training career when Laurens won the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday and he completed an Irish Champions Weekend Group One double with Havana Grey in Sunday’s Flying Five at the Curragh.

True Mason was last seen finishing third behind Michael Bell’s Pretty Pollyanna and the John Quinn-trained Signora Cabello in the Prix Morny at Deauville and Burke is confident about his chances in this weekend’s Group Two contest.

Burke has won the Mill Reef twice before with Lord Shanakill (2008) and Toocoolforschool (2014).

He said: “The plan is to run True Mason in the Mill Reef as long as we get a little drop of rain before Saturday. Firm ground would stop him going, but hopefully it will be at least good ground.

“He is in great form and is a high-class colt. We think we haven’t seen the best of him yet as he hasn’t really had his ground on his last two or three runs. Being by Mayson, I am pretty sure he will be better with a bit of juice in the ground.

“I would say he is definitely up to the level of our two previous Mill Reef winners. He was beaten by two high-class fillies at Deauville in the Morny and is a very good colt.”

Land Force is one of three possible runners for Aidan O’Brien.

The No Nay Never colt won the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood last month, but has since struggled to land a telling blow in either the Prix Morny or Sunday’s National Stakes at the Curragh.

He could turn out just six days later for a race O’Brien has never previously won.

The Ballydoyle handler also left in Sergei Prokofiev and The Irish Rover at Monday’s confirmation stage.

Mick Channon’s Barbill, who won a valuable sales race at the Curragh on Sunday, is also among the 16 remaining entries.

Other contenders include Jeremy Noseda’s dual winner Garrus, John Gosden’s pair of Kessaar and Marhaba Milliar and Mark Johnston’s duo Marie’s Diamond and Main Edition.

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