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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Costello upset after losing the ride on Quiet Reflection

Happier times: jockey Dougie Costello with Quiet Reflection and connections
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Dougie Costello has described himself as "not surprised" but "a little upset" after Karl Burke dispensed with his services, leading to Martin Harley being named the new rider of double Group 1-winning filly Quiet Reflection.

Burke said things had not worked out with former jump jockey Costello, who rode the filly in all her six starts last year that yielded wins in the Commonwealth Cup and 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock.

Costello has ridden 14 times for Burke this year but has not been aboard any of the stable's runners in the last fortnight.

Burke said: "Dougie won't be riding for me for the foreseeable future. I don't want to go into it too much but it hasn't worked out how I would have liked and I've got to do what's best for all my owners.

"Martin Harley will be riding Quiet Reflection – he's got plenty of experience in big races and I am sure he will do a good job for us.

"I have a good team of young riders at the stable so it's not going to be a problem for us finding suitable jockeys for our horses."

Karl Burke: "It's not going to be a problem for us finding suitable jockeys for our horses"

As well as being the trainer, Burke is a part-owner of Quiet Reflection with Hubert Strecker and Ontoawinner and, although disappointed, Costello said he was not surprised. 

"I was always just part of the team and I was not surprised at the news, although I am a little upset," said 34-year-old Costello. 

"There's not been any fallout. Karl told me at the start of the season he wouldn't be using me so much and then a few weeks ago he said he would be not be using me for the time being, but he did not say I would never ride for him again. 

"I have to say I am grateful to Karl as he has given me several Group-race winners and a leg-up in my first year as a Flat jockey. 

"Of course, it's a huge disappointment to lose the ride on Quiet Reflection, but I just feel lucky to have ridden such a good horse. I wish Karl and the owners all the best with her in the future."

Costello, a Cheltenham Festival winner as a jump jockey, said he would continue as a freelance and was open to riding over jumps again.

"I'm still confident in my ability and I don't believe I have had any criticism for my riding of Quiet Reflection," he added. "Karl has taken a business decision and I have to respect it. 

"I want to stick with Flat racing but I have not lost my bottle and would be quite happy to go back to the jumps if a good offer came along."

Harley might have to wait for his first ride on Quiet Reflection who is likely to skip next week's Duke of York Stakes.

"We worked Quiet Reflection at Newcastle this morning and I have to say her work hasn’t been fabulous," Burke said.

"She is not sparkling as I would like but it might not be a big problem and simply something to do with her getting older.

"Looking at the weather forecast, it looks as if it's going to be too dry for her at York, but even it rained she might not go there.

"It's probable now that she will go to the Temple Stakes as a prep race for Royal Ascot."

I want to stick with Flat racing but I have not lost my bottle and would be quite happy to go back to the jumps if a good offer came along
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