Alflaila Back In Peak Condition Ahead Of Five-Year-Old Campaign

Alflaila with groom Selwen Pandu at trainer Owen Burrows's Lambourn yard |

Alflaila (GB), who was last seen finishing fifth behind Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in the G1 Irish Champion S. at Leopardstown in September, has been given a clean bill of health by trainer Owen Burrows as he prepares to return to action following an injury-plagued four-year-old campaign.

The son of Dark Angel (Ire) was restricted to just two starts in 2023, first returning from nearly 10 months off to win the G2 York S. on the Knavesmire in July and then passing the post only three and a quarter lengths behind the dual Derby winner at Leopardstown.

That was Alflaila's first run in Group 1 company and Burrows was encouraged by what he saw, with other races at the top level likely to enter calculations if the five-year-old comes through his first run of the season unscathed.

“He was only just over three lengths behind Auguste Rodin [in the Irish Champion Stakes], so he doesn't have a huge amount to find to step up into these Group 1 races,” said the trainer.

“In the last couple of weeks he's started fast work and it'll be good to get him back. He obviously didn't have the longest of seasons last year, but he won well at York on King George day and then it'd didn't go to plan in the Irish Champion Stakes. That was the case for a lot of the English horses and then, unfortunately, he had a little setback and that finished him for the season.”

“Touch wood we can get him back soon,” added Burrows before considering immediate plans. “I was hoping to start him in the Brigadier Gerard, but that may just come a fraction too soon.

“It all depends how the next few weeks go, but he looks as well as ever, he's filled out and strengthened up again. I'm not going to rush him to try and get to Sandown. If it comes around then it comes around, but if not we'll look to June time–there's plenty of races for a nice horse like him.”

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