Owen Burrows eager for Ribchester rematch with Massaat at Ascot

Mon 11 Sep 2017

Connections of Massaat are keen to have another crack at Ribchester in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Qipco Champions Day at Ascot next month.

The Teofilo colt burst back into the limelight when claiming last month's Hungerford Stakes at Newbury on his first start for over a year, and backed that up with a creditable effort when third, beaten about four lengths, behind Ribchester in the Prix du Moulin on Sunday.

His trainer Owen Burrows feels a rematch at the Berkshire track may see his stable star in a better light.

He said: "He ran a solid enough race against the best older miler around. Jim (Crowley, jockey) said Ascot would suit him better and both Angus (Gold, racing manager) and Sheikh Hamdan (owner) are keen to go for the QEII on Champions Day.

"He's also in the Prix de la Foret but judging by what I saw on Sunday, that won't suit him."

The four-year-old has endured wretched luck with injuries since his second to Galileo Gold in last year's 2000 Guineas, making just four starts subsequently, and Burrows is hopeful he can make up for lost time next season.

He said: "I hope he stays in training next year, he's lightly raced and has been placed in two Group Ones. I'd love to win one with him."

Talaayeb appears unlikely to run in Friday's Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster on account of the ground.

The daughter of Dansili made a cracking start to her three-year-old career when finishing a fine fourth to Winter in the 1000 Guineas, but disappointed upped in trip on her next start in a Listed race at Newbury.

Talaayeb was back to form last time out when claiming the Group Three City Of York Stakes at the Ebor meeting and Burrows will wait for quicker ground before making a decision on her next target.

He said: "There's no point risking her on soft in a Group Three, I think the ground is pretty key to her.

"We've been umming and ahhing about what to do with her. She's in the Sun Chariot and we may look at the Challenge Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket in October, but we're in the lap of the gods as to whether she gets her conditions.

"She clearly didn't stay 10 furlongs at Newbury and with the speed she showed last time at York, we'd be keen to stick around seven (furlongs)."

Burrows also delivered an update on Enjazaat, who looks set for a tilt at the Group Two Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury later this month, a race won last year by subsequent July Cup and Sprint Cup hero Harry Angel.

The son of Acclamation disappointed when only sixth in the July Stakes at Newmarket but bounced back to form to take the Champion Two Year Old Trophy at Ripon in good style.

Burrows said: "Jim (Crowley) said it rode like a nice piece of work for him and it was good to see him back at the level we thought he might be.

"He disappointed at Newmarket, for whatever reason he just didn't quicken and we thought that wasn't his true running. I'm keen to go for the Mill Reef but he's another who likes nice, good ground, so we'll have to play it by ear.

"There's a bit of rain around for the next few days but it's forecast to be dry into the weekend, so depending on what happens next week, we might have half a chance of running. He's got plenty of speed and I'd be surprised if he stayed the Guineas trip."

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