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Hukum in good shape after Sheema Classic effort

Owen Burrows felt Hukum ran a personal best in the Dubai Sheema Classic and is giving the five-year-old an easy week before firming up any plans.

The Yorkshire Cup on May 13 is a possible target for the Sea The Stars entire, who was only beaten a length and three-quarters when seventh to Shahryar at Meydan on Saturday but had won the Group Two Dubai City Of Gold three weeks earlier.

“He travelled back on Monday and he hasn’t done a lot since then but he seems OK. It’s a bit early to say just yet, but the initial signs are he looks all right,” said Burrows.

“Timing wise the Yorkshire Cup is quite nice, the middle of May, but there will be nothing concrete just yet. We’ll give him a quiet week and creep back with him next week and see where we are.

“He won the John Smith’s Silver Cup over that trip last year. I don’t really see him as a Cup horse – a two-miler – but he’s proven in the Geoffrey Freer twice that he’s effective over nearly two furlongs further than a mile and a half so it gives us a few more options.

Reflecting on Hukum’s performance in Dubai, the Lambourn trainer said: “If you’d have said to me we were going to get beat a length and three-quarters I’d have thought we’d have finished third or fourth at worst. To finish seventh is still probably a lifetime best. It was a strong Group One.

“A slightly better draw and a faster pace would have suited us a lot better, but would have suited other horses as well. I was very pleased with his run. He acquitted himself very well.”

Burrows has already pencilled Minzaal in for the 1895 Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes on the Knavesmire.

Winner of the Gimcrack Stakes over the same six furlongs in 2020, Minzaal missed most of his three-year-old campaign through injury. However, he came back in the autumn with two excellent efforts – finishing third in the British Champions Sprint at Ascot.

“I’m been very pleased with him through the winter. He was injured for the last out of season and we didn’t get him back last year until right at the end. He still ran a cracking race in the Champions Sprint. Hopefully, now we can have a good clear run with him,” he said.

“I’ve planned to start him at York, all being well, then Royal Ascot, the July Cup and all those top sprints. He proved last year he’s bang up there. I’m looking forward to him.”

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