Asfoora starts build up for next UK run

Royal Ascot winning Australian sprinter Asfoora has returned to work in preparation for her next start in the UK. 

Asfoora spent time in the paddock since winning the Group 1 King Charles III Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and was due to have her first gallop since on Tuesday morning (UK time). The Henry Dwyer-trained mare is down to run in the Group 2 King George Stakes at Goodwood on August 2 and then progress to the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York on August 24. 

Asfoora posts her celebrated Royal Ascot success; picture Leisel King

Dwyer will return to the UK on the weekend prior to the Goodwood start to put the finishing touches on the mare. 

"She's been in the paddock since her last run and she got picked-up yesterday," Dwyer said. 

"She'll be back in work as of this morning [UK time] and have her first bit of work in a couple of hours. We're then three weeks through to Goodwood which will be fine." 

Dwyer said with six weeks between the Royal Ascot victory and the race at Goodwood, it afforded him time to give Asfoora a freshen up. 

"She was spot on when she won, so we had the luxury of being able to back off her and it was another chance to get a bit of sun on her back, and acclimatise a bit more," Dwyer said. 

"We've still got plenty of time through until Goodwood to work her up and have that as a lead-up run to York three weeks after that." 

While Dwyer is looking forward to seeing Asfoora again, the trainer is looking to Irish Butterfly (NZ) giving the stable another victory when he runs in the Sportsbet Set A Deposit Limit Handicap (2400m) at Sandown on Wednesday. 

Since Asfoora's Royal Ascot success on June 18, Irish Butterfly (NZ) has been the sole winner from Dwyer's stable, taking out a maiden hurdle at Warrnambool on June 23. The 8-year-old returns to the flat on Wednesday and Dwyer is not discounting the stayer's hopes. 

"A race like that on a Wednesday at Sandown should suit him," Dwyer said. "He's won 2400-metre races at Sandown on a Saturday, and I don't think he's going any differently now than what he was going then. 

"He's in good order and he's fit. The biggest issue for him had been not getting any sting out of the track in his flat runs of late, but now that we've found one, he can run well." 

Dwyer intends to return Irish Butterfly (NZ) to the jumps in a benchmark hurdle on Grand National Hurdle Day at Sandown on August 4 after Wednesday's outing. 

"He's not a horse that can't be raced too often," Dwyer said. "He's had a nice three-week break between his maiden hurdle win and this race and then he'll have a nice three-and-a-half weeks through to a benchmark hurdle at Sandown which may be a nice lead-up to a race for the final jumps' day at Ballarat next month."