Novakai primed for French Classic mission

Novakai remains firmly on course for a tilt at Classic glory in France after seeing her form receive a significant boost at Epsom last weekend.

Runner-up in the May Hill at Doncaster and the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket, the Lope De Vega filly made her three-year-old debut in the Musidora Stakes at York.

Karl Burke’s filly again had to make do with second place, but that now looks a fine effort after the surprise winner, Soul Sister, followed up in the Betfred Oaks at Epsom under Frankie Dettori.

Immediately after her run at York, Burke nominated the French Oaks as the likely objective and he is looking forward to seeing her line up at Chantilly on Sunday week.

“She’s on target for Prix de Diane, she looks in great shape,” said the Spigot Lodge handler.

“She’s not a particularly strong work horse at home, but she does look in good form and we’re very happy with her.

“The Musidora form obviously got a nice boost and she’ll step up on that York form as well.”

Novakai will bid to provide Burke with a second French Oaks success following the victory of his star filly Laurens in 2018.

Whether she will renew rivalry with Soul Sister remains to be seen, but she is likely to meet her stablemate Running Lion, who was withdrawn before the start of the Oaks at Epsom.

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