Alflaila heading to Bahrain to cap off a strong season for Owen Burrows

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Despite the blow of prominent owners Shadwell significantly decreasing their racing interests, Burrows has enjoyed a breakthrough year, with Hukum providing him with a first Group One success in the Coronation Cup at Epsom in June and Minzaal doubling his top-level tally in September's Sprint Cup at Haydock. Alflaila, a three-year-old son of Dark Angel, has also flown the flag with distinction for the Lambourn handler, with a Listed success at Pontefract followed by back-to-back Group Three wins at York and Newmarket respectively. Alflaila's most recent triumph in the Darley Stakes gained him an automatic entry into the Bahrain Trophy and he is set to make the trip to the Middle East next week. Burrows said: "I've been really, really pleased with Alflaila since Newmarket. He has come out of the race well. "We've had a couple of quiet weeks with him but are stepping his work up now. He looks great and although we're coming towards the end of the year, he's showing me no signs that he has had a hard season. He's really well." Alflaila missed the break in the Darley Stakes, but ultimately pulled clear of his rivals in the hands of Jim Crowley. "I was slightly concerned at Newmarket that he would be vulnerable with a slow start there because, as we know, you can struggle to come from behind on the Rowley Mile," Burrows added. "It was interesting to see the second horse (Ottoman Fleet) frank the form (by winning subsequently at Newmarket), so I think it looks as though it's a strong piece of form." Burrows is confident there is more to come from his improving colt, saying: "We had high hopes for him last year and for whatever reason while he didn't run badly, but he didn't fulfil what we thought he was potentially going to be. "He's won two Group Threes now and we hope he'll progress to Group Two and then Group One level, but the race in Bahrain is proper Group One level money. "I'm really looking forward to it. It's been quite a year for us with our first runners in Dubai, so I am really looking forward to going to Bahrain. Everybody tells me it is such a good place and there are great training facilities. "Alflaila is pretty versatile ground-wise. Jim Crowley has a good relationship with the horse and is set to ride the horse in Bahrain." "I don't see why he won't stay the mile and a quarter. His last two runs were over nine furlongs. I think it will probably give him a chance to find his feet and I didn't think he was stopping at Newmarket last time. I'd be surprised if we were blaming the trip if he gets beat."

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