Shanakill is peerless for taut Burke

Colt hangs on to land first Group One for trainer who is facing an anxious week

What is likely to be a stressful week for Karl Burke at least began well. Yesterday afternoon, the Yorkshire-based trainer notched the first Group One success of his 17-year career when Lord Shanakill held on by a diminishing head to take the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly. In a day or two he will hear the judgement of the sport's authorities after charges emanating from the infamous collapsed race-fixing trial at the Old Bailey. Any punishment could include disqualification or a heavy fine.

For all the right reasons Burke, 46, is currently enjoying his highest professional profile. Since moving nine years ago to the historic Spigot Lodge establishment in Middleham, his progress up the ranks has been marked. Last season Lord Shanakill became his first Group Two winner, in the Mill Reef Stakes, before missing out by a nose in the Dewhurst.

Now the top-level record is straight, and with it Burke's belief in a horse he has always held in the highest regard, plus a £220,000 prize. In the saddle Jim Crowley – also recording his first Group One – judged things to the inch, settling his mount in the wake of trailblazing Milanais before kicking on inside the penultimate furlong. Oiseau De Feu came fast under Christophe Lemaire, but too late.

After disappointing in the 2,000 Guineas after an interrupted preparation, Lord Shanakill bounced back to the top table with a close third in the St James's Palace Stakes. Yesterday's success, in what is traditionally one of the weaker elite contests in the calendar, paid a compliment to his Royal Ascot conquerors Mastercraftsman and Delegator, but Burke is relishing the chance to take them on again.

"The top races, the Sussex Stakes and the Prix Jacques Le Marois, they're the ones now," said Burke, whose juvenile, Corporal Maddox, took third in one of the supporting races. "I knew he'd come on for his run at Ascot, because we had to back off him a bit after the Guineas. I actually thought he was coming here with a favourite's chance but on the local betting he went out to something like 11-1, which was an amazing price."

The favourite, at 3-1, was the Ballydoyle contender Westphalia, who had already run third in both the Poule d'Essai des Poulains and the Prix du Jockey-Club. But first-time blinkers had an adverse effect; the colt ran too free early before fading to fifth.

For all Lord Shanakill's durability and courage, the weekend's glittering hero was, of course, the superb Sea The Stars, who became only the fifth horse to record the across-the-distances top-grade treble of the 2,000 Guineas (over a mile), Derby (12 furlongs) and Eclipse Stakes (ten furlongs) in the same season. His predecessors were Flying Fox (1899), Diamond Jubilee (1900), Blue Peter (1939) and Nashwan (1989); the only other two to take all three – Isinglass and Royal Palace – won the Sandown heat as four-year-olds.

Only one, Nashwan, added the great mile-and-a-half summer showpiece, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot as a three-year-old, albeit as it was only first run in 1951 none of the others named could have done. The vibes from Co Kildare yesterday were that Nashwan will remain the sole member of his exclusive club. Typically, Sea The Stars took the return journey from Esher to Currabeg in his mighty stride as easily as his comfortable length defeat of Rip Van Winkle, but he is likely to remain at the intermediate distance, with the International at York in August his next likely outing.

"He ate up after travelling home last night," reported his trainer John Oxx yesterday, "and was fresh and well this morning, in good form. We've had a brief discussion about plans, and will probably reach a decision by midweek, but the King George is three weeks away and York would allow more space between races." In Nashwan's year, there were only two weeks between the Eclipse and King George.

One who will relish the mile-and-a-half challenge at Ascot later this month is Saturday's third Conduit, winner last year of the St Leger and Breeders' Cup Turf.

"The King George is the plan," confirmed Peter Reynolds, racing manager to owners Ballymacoll Stud. "We'll take anything on over that trip."

Turf account: Chris McGrath

Nap City Vaults Girl (7.20 Ripon)

In time, her optimum trip will be further than six furlongs but, with the experience of a promising debut two weeks ago under her girth, can get off the mark for her in-form yard in what seems an ordinary enough contest.



Next best Bussell Along (6.50 Ripon)

A drop in class and a step up in trip should suit after a decent effort at Yarmouth last time.

One to watch

Sandown's seven-furlong maiden on Friday traditionally produces smart sorts. The winner, Dreamspeed, has obvious potential but Halyard (Walter Swinburn) made progress after a slow start and is from a stable whose juveniles progress with experience.

Where the money's going

South African raider J J The Jet Plane, impressive in his last workout, is 8-1 from 10-1 with Victor Chandler for Friday's July Cup at Newmarket.

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior SQL DBA (SQL Server 2012, T-SQL, SSIS) London - Finance

£30000 - £33000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior SQL DBA...

C# Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, MVC-4, HTML5) London

£35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Web Develop...

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, RSPSS, R, AI, CPLEX, SQL)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution