Burke targets lucrative race with Doncaster star

Laurens ridden by P.J. McDonald wins the William Hill May Hill Stakes race during day two of the William Hill St. Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse. (Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire)
Laurens ridden by P.J. McDonald wins the William Hill May Hill Stakes race during day two of the William Hill St. Leger Festival at Doncaster Racecourse. (Picture: Mike Egerton/PA Wire)
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KARL BURKE’S Doncaster heroine Laurens could chase Group One honours next month.

A last-gasp victor of the May Hill Stakes under inspired North Yorkshire jockey PJ McDonald, connections are eyeing a tilt at Newmarket’s bet365 Fillies’ Mile on October 13.

The £500,000 race is the joint richest Group One race for two-year-old stars of the future and Laurens, owned by North East businessman John Dance, is reported to be thriving.

“We are pretty keen to run Laurens in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile but it will all depend on how she’s performing at the time, she has to be in top form – it is probably 70-30 in favour of her running at the moment,” said Leyburn-based Burke.

“I am 100 per cent happy with how she has come out of the May Hill but she is just having a quiet week at the moment, then we will start building her up again.

“It was a great performance by her in the May Hill as she won it despite the way the race was run. We wanted a good gallop for her, but instead there was a slow pace and she did well to get her head in front.

“She is more of a long-term project than her Group-winning stablemates, she is a huge filly – in fact she was huge as a yearling – and she was always going to be a three-year-old type.

“That’s why we have taken our time with her and only given her three runs. I’m pretty sure that she can take one more but we don’t want to force her.

“She will be a mile-and-a-quarter or even a mile- and-a-half filly next season.”

Burke also reports that stable star Quiet Reflection, a dual Group One winner, to be in “great form” ahead of her comeback race at Naas 
this Sunday – an intended prep race for next month’s British Champions Sprint at Ascot.

Cheltenham Festival hero Cole Harden – a former winner of Wetherby’s West Yorkshire Hurdle – has suffered an injury setback. Trainer Warren Greatrex reports that the horse has suffered a knee injury and a decision on the eight-year-old’s future is likely to be made at the end of the year following an inauspicious switch from hurdles to steeplechase fences.

Leading amateur rider Nina Carberry is back in action at Ballinrobe today for the first time since the birth of her daughter Rosie.