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Confident Burke sets his sights on Yorkshire Oaks

Trainer Karl Burke.
Trainer Karl Burke.
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KARL BURKE is hopeful stable star Laurens will be able to add to her Group One tally in the Yorkshire Oaks.

The three-year-old stepped up her preparations for the race with a gallop earlier this week under regular rider PJ McDonald.

Laurens and PJ McDonald won the first of three Group One races at Newmarket last October.

Laurens and PJ McDonald won the first of three Group One races at Newmarket last October.

And Leyburn-based Burke is confident the filly will have sufficient stamina for the mile and a half a trip which she will be tackling for a first time on August 23 at York.

“We’re confident but you never know until you try,” the trainer told The Yorkshire Post.

“She worked very well and we’re really happy with her.

“It was just a routine piece of work.

“It’s a case of getting her to York in one piece – there’s a lot that can go wrong between now and then – but she’s in great form.”

It’s possible Laurens, who won the French Oaks on her latest start under an inspired McDonald ride, could face last year’s Arc heroine Enable.

Trained by John Gosden, she’s been on the injury sidelines all season.

However the four-year-old – last year’s horse of the year – was ridden on the Newmarket gallops yesterday by Frankie Dettori and Enable holds entries in both the Yorkshire Oaks, and Juddmonte International, at the Ebor festival.

If she’s not ready for either of these two assignments, Gosden has earmarked a comeback race at Kempton next month.

Meanwhile, both Enable and Laurens feature amongst the 53 entries for the Qipco British Champion Fillies and Mares Stakes at Ascot in mid-October.

Notable entries also include Irish Oaks heroine Sea Of Class, Epsom Oaks winner Forever Together and Wild Illusion who won last week’s Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

Frankie Dettori will miss Saturday’s Shergar Cup at Ascot to ride at Newmarket on the same afternoon.

Organisers of the event were hoping the popular Italian, who is synonymous with Ascot, would be available to ride for the European team this weekend.

But those hopes have been dashed as Dettori is required to ride for trainer John Gosden at Headquarters.

Dettori’s agent, Ray Cochrane, said: “Frankie’s going to Newmarket. Hopefully Frankie will have seven rides. He can’t be everywhere, I’m afraid.”

In Dettori’s absence, veteran French jockey Gerald Mosse will captain the European team in the Shergar Cup.

Meanwhile, the Dettori-ridden James Garfield is set to be supplemented for the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock on September 8.

George Scott’s stable star came close to claiming Group One glory in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville last Sunday, making much of the running under before being mowed down late by Freddy Head’s Polydream.

Scott feels that career-best effort has earned his charge a shot at another top-level prize and connections are ready to stump up the required £15,600 supplementary fee to add him to the Sprint Cup field.

Scott said: “We are going to go for the Sprint Cup at Haydock, which we need to supplement him for.

“He has come out of Sunday’s race incredibly well. He was a huge credit to everyone involved.

“I learnt a lot about him in the build-up to the race, as much as anything. I trained him very differently and tried to put the speed back into him.

“We are really looking forward to the rest of the year as we were at a crossroads going into his last race as there was a thought he maybe was going to be retired and get a small stallions job.”