Ha­vana set for re­turn to Cur­ragh af­ter brave York ef­fort

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - SPORT - TOM RICH­MOND

SPRINTER Ha­vana Grey will be pre­pared for a re­turn to the Cur­ragh next month fol­low­ing his fine ef­fort in the Group One Nun­thorpe Stakes at York on Fri­day.

Karl Burke’s three-year-old was beaten by three lengths into fifth place on Knavesmire, de­spite rac­ing on his own on the far side of the track at the busi­ness end of the race as Bryan Smart’s Al­pha Del­phini won a tense photo fin­ish.

Ley­burn-based Burke was pleased to see his charge bounce back from what he felt was a below-par per­for­mance when sixth in the King Ge­orge Stakes at Good­wood, and his likely next port of call is the Fly­ing Five Stakes at the Cur­ragh on Septem­ber 16.

Ha­vana Grey won the Sap­phire Stakes over the same course and dis­tance last month.

Burke said: “He ran a great race (at York). We felt the Good­wood race wasn’t his true run­ning – we felt he ran two or three lengths below his best that day – and I think he proved that at York.

Ha­vana Grey could be joined on the trip across the Ir­ish Sea by es­teemed stable­mate Lau­rens.

The triple Group One win­ner failed to see out the mile-and-ahalf York­shire Oaks and Burke is not rul­ing out drop­ping the filly back to a mile for the Ma­tron Stakes at Leop­ard­stown on the same week­end. “She came out of the race 100 per cent. She just didn’t stay – it’s as sim­ple as that,” he said. “We’ll come back in trip and she is in the Ma­tron, so that is a pos­si­bil­ity.”

North York­shire jockey Phil Makin is fac­ing a spell on the side­lines af­ter break­ing a bone in his neck in a fall at Red­car on Satur­day.

Makin was part­ner­ing the Si­mon Cr­is­ford-trained Eye­catcher in the one-mile, six­fur­long Mar­ket Cross Jewellers Hand­i­cap and looked to have ev­ery chance of vic­tory when the pair came to grief in­side the fi­nal fur­long.

Eye­catcher was fa­tally in­jured, while there was a short de­lay to the fol­low­ing race af­ter Makin was trans­ferred to hospi­tal.

Makin’s part­ner Sammy Jo Bell, a former jockey, tweeted: “Fi­nally home af­ter nine hours in A&E with Phil Makin, he is very sore and has a bro­ken bone in his neck, but it’s sta­ble and in a brace for a few weeks to then be re-as­sessed.”

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