Bobby Zen

Ground conditions will dictate future plans for Royal Rhyme (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) following his impressive return to action in the Brigadier Gerard S. at Sandown on Thursday.

The Karl Burke-trained four-year-old dominated his rivals in handicap company at Goodwood last summer and went on to win a Listed prize at Ayr before finishing fifth to King Of Steel (Wootton Bassett {GB}) in the Qipco Champion S. at Ascot.

Making his first appearance since Champions Day, the colt was a short price to dispatch of three rivals at Group 3 level and did so with the minimum of fuss under Clifford Lee.

Royal Rhyme holds an entry in the Prince of Wales’s S. at Royal Ascot next month, but he would appear unlikely to take up that engagement unless there is some ease underfoot.

Reflecting on his comeback victory, Burke said, “It wasn’t the strongest Group 3 in the world, but they’re all there to be won and he did it nicely.

“He improved with every run last season and I think it will be the same this year. He wasn’t fully wound up by any means. Obviously ground is key with him, but he’s a very useful horse on his day on the right ground.”

One Burke-trained and Sheikh Mohammed Obaid-owned runner who definitely has the Royal meeting on his agenda is Elite Status (GB) (Havana Grey {GB}), who was a most impressive winner of the Carnarvon S. at Newbury.

The son of Havana Grey finished third as a hot favourite for the Norfolk S. at Royal Ascot last year and is set to get a second chance to secure victory at the showpiece meeting in the Commonwealth Cup.

Burke concluded, “I was very, very happy with him, he’s a high-class horse and he came out of that race fine. We’re heading for the Commonwealth with him, barring accidents.”

The post Ground To Dictate Where Brigadier Gerard Winner Royal Rhyme Goes Next appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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