Karl Burke enters Laurens and Ellthea in 1000 Guineas

Wed 7 Mar 2018

Karl Burke is excited at the prospect of having at least one runner from his double entry of Laurens and Ellthea in the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 6.

Laurens, who had her stablemate back in fifth when winning the bet365 Fillies' Mile in October, has particularly pleased the Middleham trainer so far.

"Laurens has wintered really well and couldn't look any better, I am very happy with her," he said.

"She has filled her frame and is still a beautiful-looking filly who is very light on her feet.

"We have had no hold-ups or setbacks with her and we are just starting to step up her work - she lengthened nicely on Tuesday morning, which would be as much as she has done thus far.

"We are not committed to running her in the 1000 Guineas but it is the favoured option for both John (Dance, owner) and myself.

"It would only be if she began to train more like a mile-and-a-quarter or a mile-and-a-half horse that we might possibly wait and run her in the Musidora Stakes (York) instead. She will tell us more about that over the next month or six weeks.

"I am reluctant to turn the screw too tight with her at this stage of the season but, at the same time, if she does go for the Guineas I want her to be ready for it, so it is quite possible that we might take her down to Newmarket for the Craven Meeting (April 17-19) and give her a racecourse gallop.

"Ellthea is a different type of horse - more compact - who has already proved herself very effective on slow ground.

"She will probably go no further than a mile and she could start back in Ireland for one of the seven-furlong trial races as she should definitely get her ground there."

While Burke holds a strong hand, it is nothing compared to the strength of Aidan O'Brien. His 16 representatives amount to exactly one quarter of the 64-strong entry.

Top of O'Brien's list are the Cheveley Park Stakes winner Clemmie, dual Group One scorer Happily and Fillies' Mile runner-up September.

Mark Johnston has entered Threading and Nyaleti.

He said: "Nothing came to light after Threading finished seventh in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes but it was a bad enough run that it was clearly not her true form so we will just pretend it never happened.

"She has not done any fast work yet but she could well run in one of the trial races."

"Similarly with Nyaleti, I am a great believer that you should judge horses on their best form, not their worst, so we will ignore her bet365 Fillies' Mile run.

"On her best form she is certainly a Guineas candidate and we will look to run her in a trial, too. She will probably go to Newcastle for the Burradon Stakes."

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