Owen Burrows seeks timely boost with Minzaal in the Haydock Sprint Cup

Owen Burrows seeks timely boost with stable star Minzaal in the Haydock Sprint Cup… as the former assistant to 10-time champion Sir Michael Stoute prepares to become a public trainer

  • Stable star Minzaal will seek to land the Betfair Haydock Sprint Cup on Saturday
  • Burrows claimed his first Group One win in the Coronation Cup at Epsom
  • The trainer has also enjoyed significant wins at Haydock and York 

Winning a Group One race is always special but for trainer Owen Burrows it will be even more significant if Minzaal can land the Betfair Haydock Sprint Cup.

The former assistant to 10-time champion Sir Michael Stoute branched out on his own in 2016, moving to Lambourn to become private salaried trainer to Sheik Hamdan Al Maktoum.

But the death of his patron last year forced a change, with Burrows’s career in an important phase. The number of horses Burrows trains has almost halved during this transitional season and, while he retains the backing of the late Sheik Hamdan’s Shadwell Stud operation, from 2023 Burrows will become a public trainer.

Stable star Minzaal (third left) will seek to land the Betfair Haydock Sprint Cup on Saturday

That means being responsible for his stable’s overheads, including the soaring energy bills, and recruitment of fresh owners and equine talent to start the rebuild.

Evidence of why new patrons should put their trust in Operation Burrows has been supplied by Hukum, who followed a big win in Dubai in March with his trainer’s first Group One win in the Coronation Cup at Epsom’s Derby meeting.

It was a bitter-sweet moment for Burrows because Hukum sustained a fetlock fracture which has sidelined him ever since, and could end his racing career should Shadwell decide it is time to retire the brother to unbeaten Baaeed to stud.

There have also been significant wins for Anmaat (John Smith’s Cup and Rose of Lancaster Stakes) and Alflaila (Strensall Stakes) but a top-level success for Minzaal, who was second to in-form Highfield Princess in the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville last time out, would be exquisite timing for his trainer.

Burrows said: ‘It is obviously pretty daunting — it’s not exactly the time to be branching out as (fellow Lambourn trainers) Joe Tuite and Harry Dunlop have shown by their recent decisions to call it quits.

‘It is hard getting owners and if we had been quiet this year it would have been even harder.

Trainer Owen Burrows (right) has enjoyed significant wins at Epsom, Haydock and York

‘My name is not John Gosden, William Haggas or Sir Michael — it is not easy and really competitive out there. But we won’t fail for the want of trying.

‘There was a bit of pressure going into this season but it is great we have had a good year and it is not over yet.

‘I don’t have enough runners to be having winners every other day, so when we do turn up in these races on a Saturday, it is credit to my team that they have been getting the job done.

‘We have plenty of momentum now, so I want to give it 110 per cent, get out there and get some owners and horses. I think my team and I have proved we can get the job done.’

Opposition to Minzaal, who won the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury in July, is headed by last year’s Haydock Sprint Cup winner Emaraaty Ana and Frankie Dettori-ridden Kinross, a cosy winner of the Group Two City Of York Stakes. But Burrows is encouraged by the fact that 2020 Gimcrack Stakes winner Minzaal, whose three-year-old career was disrupted by a hock injury, got much closer to Highfield Princess in France than her rivals when she subsequently won the Nunthorpe Stakes at York ridden by Jason Hart.

The former assistant to 10-time champion Sir Michael Stoute branched out on his own in 2016

Burrows added: ‘We were beaten three-quarters-of-a-length and she won the Nunthorpe by two-and-a-half lengths. I watched that with interest and she never looked in danger.

‘Jason pinched a couple of lengths on us in France and we couldn’t peg it back. Minzaal has been placed in Group Ones at two, three and four and it would be massive to get his head in front.’

ADAYAR, the 2021 Derby winner, could finally return this season after featuring among the entries at Doncaster on Thursday.

FRANKIE DETTORI will partner last year’s German-trained Arc winner Torquator Tasso in the Grosser Preis von Baden, with regular rider Rene Piechulek unavailable.

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