Karl Burke feels a fast start will be required if his Havana Grey is going to stop the likes of Battaash in the King George Qatar Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
The five-furlong Group 2 dash features a strong cast of speedsters, headlined by Battaash for in-form trainer Charlie Hills.
Sioux Nation for Aidan O’Brien, Tom Dascombe’s Kachy and 2015 winner Muthmir will be amongst those aiming to deny last year’s victor a repeat success and they will be joined by Havana Grey.
Havana Grey impressed last month in landing the Sapphire Stakes in Ireland and Burke feels there’s a good chance his charge is going to be improved from that Curragh success.
Given the nature of the race and the raw speed that Battaash possesses, Burke knows how vital it will be not to give up any ground leaving the starting gates.
“It’s a tough race and there’s certainly plenty of speed in there. It’s one of the most competitive renewals of the King George I can remember,” Burke said.
“There’s probably three, four or five horses who could win and hopefully we’re one of them.
“Battaash is going to be very hard to beat, but you should never run scared of one horse and our lad is in great form and I think he’ll strip a little bit fitter for the run in Ireland. I would say the start will be the key to the race.”
Battaash is 1.83 to win the King George Qatar Stakes, while Havana Grey is trading at 9.00.