Burrows eyes Hardwicke for Hukum after Brigadier Gerard glory

Tue 30 May 2023

Royal Ascot’s Hardwicke Stakes is still the principal aim for Brigadier Gerard Stakes winner Hukum, who handed Derby winner Desert Crown his first defeat at Sandown earlier this month, however plans could yet change if the weather has its say.

Owen Burrows was happy to report the Shadwell-owned six-year-old returned to his Lambourn yard in fine fettle after his first run for 11 months.

Hukum had three screws inserted in a hind leg after suffering an injury when winning last year’s Coronation Cup at Epsom.

Having made a remarkable recovery, under a fine ride from Jim Crowley, he produced a telling burst to collar Desert Crown and take the Group Three 10-furlong prize by half a length.

Hukum proves too strong for Desert Crown at Sandown

“Hukum thankfully trotted up sound the next morning all good and had a little canter on Saturday. That was the most important bit,” said Burrows.

Victory over the trip opens a few more doors for the year-older brother to the brilliant Baaeed. Hukum had won over a mile and three-quarters in the past, although he has predominately raced over a mile and a half.

Burrows added: “He is trip versatile. We are just going to be in the lap of the gods to see what sort of summer we have this year.

“He doesn’t need it soft, but he does need it safe, good ground.

“Jim has always made that point and I’m in agreement. Talking to (Shadwell owner) Sheikha Hissa the following day, she was in agreement as well.

“I’ve not got him in the Prince of Wales’s or an Eclipse, but as you know well with the British summertime, if the forecast is a bit wet, we might just have to have a conversation.”

Should ground conditions come up on the softer side, there would then be the fascinating prospect of a clash with stablemate Anmaat, who won Monday’s Prix d’Ispahan at ParisLongchamp.

“We have Anmaat in both the Prince Of Wales’s and the Eclipse, so it would be a nice problem to have,” he added.

“We will be watching the weather with Hukum and I always said the Brigadier Gerard would be a prep for the Hardwicke, but if the Hardwicke turned up good to firm, we might have to wait.

“There is the Eclipse at the beginning of July and a race in France in early July over a mile and a half. There is the King George at the end of July, but we will be on a constant weather watch.”

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