Aim To Please makes debut for Burke in York Listed race

Trainer Karl Burke

Karl Burke is looking to his new recruit Aim To Please to continue a profitable few days in the British Stallion Studs EBF Lyric Fillies' Stakes at York.

The Leyburn handler won the Prix Robert Papin with Unfortunately last Sunday and also had another winner in France on Tuesday.

Aim To Please was bought by John Dance at the Royal Ascot sale for £340,000 and represented former trainer Francois Doumen in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes when finishing a fine fifth.

Down in class and up in trip on her first run for Burke on Friday evening, she is expected to go well.

"I've been very happy with her but obviously this is her first run for us and it's a learning curve," said Burke.

"She came out of Royal Ascot well and she ran a good race there. I think this trip should suit her better, too.

"The ground will be fine, it was a bit quick for her at Ascot, she's fine at the trip so she should run well. I'm looking forward to it."

Roger Varian's Ajman Princess is giving upwards of 3lb away after her Listed win at Goodwood in May. She is back down in grade having finished third in Group races the last twice.

Varian said: "Ajman Princess was placed in the Ribblesdale Stakes last season, but she started this year as a maiden and I am pleased she has vindicated Sheikh Mohammed Obaid's decision to keep her in training as a four-year-old by becoming a Listed winner, while she has also been placed twice at Group level again.

"We are bringing her back in trip as her main asset is her high-cruising speed – she has travelled strongly in all of her races, but the steady early tempo went against her in the Lancashire Oaks and she shapes like she could be an even better filly over 10 furlongs.

"She has a penalty to shoulder here, but she still comes out second best on the weight-adjusted figures, and this is a nice option as the galloping track will play to her strengths, as will the prospect of decent ground.

"This run ought to give us a good indication of how we campaign her for the rest of the season and I am hopeful of a bold showing under these different conditions."

Dragon Fei has been declared by Irish trainer Dermot McLouglin but her participation is in some doubt.

"I don't think she's going to run as they didn't get as much rain as was forecast," he said.

"It's a shame as she's in foal to Dandy Man and hasn't got long left before she has to stop running.

"She's got an entry at Cork next week in a Group Three (Give Thanks Stakes) and if the ground is right she could go there."

Meanwhile, down at Ascot Nathra makes her belated reappearance in the Carraig Insurance British EBF Valiant Stakes.

The four-year-old filly will try to give trainer John Gosden a timely boost on the eve of Enable's crack at the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday.

While Nathra may not be quite of the calibre of her dual Classic-winning stablemate, she is pretty smart, but has been absent since finishing third to Cougar Mountain when she took on older horses in the Group Two Joel Stakes at Newmarket in September.

Though she won the Nell Gwyn Stakes last year and was fifth in the 1000 Guineas, her best performance came in the French 1000 Guineas at Deauville, where she was second to La Cressonniere.

"John is very pleased with her. She's taken some time to come to herself this year," said Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Abdullah Saeed Al Nahoodah.

"She loves soft ground and it's a good race to start her back in."

Gosden has a second string to his bow in Whispering Bell, who easily opened her account in a Windsor maiden at the start of the month,.

Raymond is also racing manager to Saeed Manana, whose colours are carried by Urban Fox.

James Tate's filly has regularly taken on the best of her generation and ran in this year's 1000 Guineas won by Winter.

"She's got a chance but I'm not sure about whether the ground will suit her," Raymond added.

The 10-strong field for this Listed contest is split evenly between five three-year-olds and five four-year-olds.

Of the younger generation, the progressive Mittens, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, is an interesting contender after two wins this month at Newmarket and over the straight mile on this course.

Among the older brigade is Ralph Beckett's Golden Stunner, who bids to get back on the winning trail after chasing home Realtra in the Group Three Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse three weeks ago.

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