Hukum Surprises Owen Burrows With Cumberland Lodge Romp

Owen Burrows is doing a fine job of advertising his skills just at the right time as Hukum returned to winning ways in the ABF/BGC Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot.

Burrows has trained largely for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum since starting out at Kingwood House Stables in Lambourn.

After the leading owner died earlier this year, his equine interests were taken on by his daughter Sheikha Hissa – and it was recently announced that her worldwide Shadwell Estate string is to be slimmed down.

That does allow Burrows to spread his wings, however.

Second in the Cambridgeshire last week with Shadwell’s Anmaat, he brought Minzaal back from over a year off to finish second in the Rous Stakes on this card – in the same famous blue-and-white colours.

But he needed a big winner – and his old faithful Hukum provided him with it.

While Burrows had been worried about the soft ground, Hukum – surprisingly beaten on the all-weather last time out at Kempton – was simply in a different league to his rivals, with Jim Crowley able to ease the 85-40 favourite down heavily yet still win by six and a half lengths from outsider Eagles By Day.

Burrows said: “He’s just proved that he’s a very good horse. Before today, his third in the Hardwicke here was probably his best piece of form.

“I was worried about the ground – but he powered through it, and I’m a bit surprised how well he’s done it. He’s never let us down, turned up every time.

“I’m not sure about the Breeders’ Cup (Turf), because it might be a bit sharp for him – we’ll see how he comes out of this.

“I had half thought this might be it for the year. But he’s clearly on good terms with himself, so there’s Hong Kong, and I’ve always fancied a crack at the Sheema Classic with him. He has been on the go a while, so he will need a break at some stage.”

Reflecting on Shadwell’s decision, he said: “Winners like this help massively.

“We were just touched off in the Cambridgeshire last week; Minzaal ran well today – but watching him (Hukum) win like that, with the sales next week, I need as much promotion as I can.”

Crowley said: “I don’t think he acted on the all-weather, and it was a laboured effort, but today is probably the best feel I’ve ever had off him.

“We’d love to make him a Group One winner, and you possibly could abroad.

“I know there was talk of Canada earlier this year, but Covid put paid to that.”

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