Karl Burke eyes Dante crack with Caviar Heights

Karl Burke has reported Caviar Heights to be in good form before Thursday’s Group 2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes (3.45) at York, but the possibility of drying ground on the Knavesmire could be an issue.

The son of Sea The Stars is one of seven declared for the feature on day two of the Dante meeting and arrives in winning form having produced a career-best effort in the Listed Newmarket Stakes this month.

"I'm very excited about him," said Burke. "He's come out of his Newmarket win very well. He's a good, progressive horse and the track will suit him."

Caviar Heights has raced on good ground in two starts for Burke since joining from Andrew Balding and the Middleham-based trainer will be on weather watch in the lead-up to the 1m2½f contest.

The going is good to firm, good in places at York and the three-year-old's only outing on that description came when he finished last of nine in the Group 2 Royal Lodge at Newmarket in September.

Burke added: "I wouldn't want to run him with any firm in the going description, but we'll see how it is."

The Charlie Appleby-trained Ancient Wisdom heads the betting and is set for his first start of the campaign after winning four of his five races as a juvenile.

Owned by Godolphin, the son of Dubawi ended his first season with success in the Group 1 Futurity Trophy at Doncaster in October. He also won twice at Newmarket, including in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes, and on his debut at Haydock.

Roger Varian has enjoyed a strong start to the year and will be represented by Listed Haydock winner Al Musmak. The Night Of Thunder colt won two of his four starts as a two-year-old and was last seen finishing second behind Ghostwriter in the Royal Lodge.

Aidan O’Brien will attempt to win the race for the first time since 2010 when he saddles Cambridge, who was last seen finishing fourth in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket last month.

Meanwhile, God’s Window will make a quick return for John and Thady Gosden following a below-par performance in the Listed Dee Stakes at Chester last week. 

Economics made an eyecatching reappearance when landing a Newbury maiden last time out and will step up in trip for William Haggas, while the Owen Burrows-trained War Rooms completes the line-up.

Dante Stakes runners and riders
Al Musmak James Doyle
Ancient Wisdom William Buick
Cambridge Ryan Moore
Caviar Heights Clifford Lee
Economics Tom Marquand
God’s Window Kieran Shoemark
War Rooms Jim Crowley

Bluestocking and Free Wind meet again

Last year’s winner Free Wind and Bluestocking will renew rivalry in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies' Stakes (3.15) on Thursday after a field of six were declared for the Group 2 over 1m2½f.

It will be the third time the pair have met, with both having beaten the other on one occasion. Their last clash came in the Group 1 British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, where the Ralph Beckett-trained Bluestocking finished second to Poptronic with Free Wind back in fifth for John and Thady Gosden.

Sapphire Seas will make her first start in Britain since September after being declared by Charlie Appleby. The four-year-old already has a run under her belt this term after finishing second to stablemate English Rose at Meydan in February.

Sir Michael Stoute, who won this in 2021 with Queen Power, will saddle last year’s Musidora Stakes third Infinite Cosmos, while Caernarfon and the Gary and Josh Moore-trained Novus complete the field.

Middleton Fillies' Stakes runners and riders
Bluestocking Rossa Ryan
Caernarfon James Doyle
Free Wind Kieran Shoemark
Infinite Cosmos Ryan Moore
Novus Tom Queally
Sapphire Seas William Buick

Big Evs back in action

Breeders’ Cup winner Big Evs makes his reappearance in the British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes (4.15), where he will face six rivals.

Mick Appleby’s colt won four of his six starts as a juvenile, including the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster and the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Santa Anita. He is the general 5-1 favourite for next month’s King Charles III Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Big Evs is dropped to Listed level for his return, where his opposition includes Kylian, who won twice as a juvenile for Karl Burke and now makes his debut for Archie Watson.

Westow Stakes runners and riders
Big Evs Tom Marquand
Dark Vintage Oisin Orr
Kylian Hollie Doyle
Mon Na Slieve Tom Eaves
Sommelier Oisin Murphy
Sports Coach Danny Tudhope
Unbreak My Heart John Fahy