Ascot aim for Sprint Cup fourth Swingalong

Karl Burke is targeting Qipco Champions Day with Swingalong following her fine effort in the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock.

Third behind Shaquille in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, Swingalong subsequently plundered a Group Three prize at York to earn herself a return to Group One level on Merseyside.

The daughter of Showcasing was beaten just a length and a half into fourth place by Regional but that does not tell the whole story, with Burke’s filly ploughing a lone furrow against the stands rail while much of the action was taking place on the far side of the track.

The Spigot Lodge handler feels Swingalong would have finished even closer had she had something to race with and is now hoping to see her return to Berkshire next month, provided conditions are suitable.

Burke said: “It was a shame. I walked the track pretty comprehensively because of Spycatcher (withdrawn due to unsuitable ground) and there was a track of ground there that Swingalong ran on that was as quick as anywhere on the track.

“I couldn’t believe that nothing came with us. As usual they all followed the main bunch and it was unfortunate because while she’s a good front-running filly, she will extend when a horse comes to her.

“If she had something chasing her or coming to challenge her, I’m sure she could have found another length or so, which would have put us absolutely bang there.”

He added: “She ran an absolute cracker and she’s got every chance of winning a Group One somewhere along the line. I think the plan at the moment is to leave her in training next year, which is great.

“The plan is to go to Champions Day. Hopefully the ground doesn’t come up too soft, but she loves Ascot and if she turns up there in the same form on good ground, she’ll run her usual big race.”

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