Gimcrack Winner Minzaal To Be Aimed At Commonwealth Cup Next Term


Trainer Owen Burrows has had one of his best seasons on the flat to date and part of that is down to his star juvenile Minzaal that will be aimed at the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot next season.

Minzaal has been electric this term, having landed the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes at York's Ebor meeting and that being the highlight of his season.

He looked to be a rising star for the Owen Burrows yard at the start of the term, having made his debut at Ascot in a classy maiden and finishing fourth.

He came on massively for that run and cruised to victory in a Class 5 event at Salisbury, winning by just under four lengths but never coming off the bridle.

In what looked a decent field of juveniles at York, he again travelled strongly into the six furlong event and when Crowley went for the whip he responded in kind and pulled away from the field to take his first group contest of his career.

Last time out he was stepped up to Group One company and although finishing third behind the Clive Cox trained Supremacy it was still an eye-catching run that can be built on as a three year old.

Burrows said: “Minzaal ran well in the Middle Park and he has come out of it fine, but that is him done for the season. He will be heading back up to Shadwell shortly for the winter.

“He is still very exciting and we will look forward to taking on the winner (Supremacy) again next year.

“I don’t think we will be looking to go any further than six with him and the Commonwealth Cup will be the first aim.”

Before going straight for the Group One at Ascot next year he will be given a prep run, but the plans for which race have yet to be decidied.

The trainer said: “We would give him a run before Ascot, as it is always hard to go Ascot in a normal year first time out. As long as he is well, we will try to find a prep race for him.

“Where we start before that, I’m not sure yet, but the Pavilion at Ascot is an obvious one then there is also the Sandy Lane. The ground will be a factor, but it’s a long way off.”

Although Minzaal's sire Mehmas only trained as a juvenile and was then sent to stud, Burrows has explained that will not be the case for his runner.

He added: “Mehmas was taken off to stud at two, but I can’t see any reason why this lad won’t train on.

“He is as chilled as you like. He is not small and I look forward to how he does over the winter.

“Hopefully he will come back a stronger horse next year. He is bang up there with the best of them.”