KARL BURKE could consider international races at the end of the season for Classic-winning stable star Laurens.
He was speaking after confirming that the Group One Yorkshire Oaks at York’s Ebor Festival is the three-year-old’s next target.
Owned by John Dance and ridden by PJ McDonald, Laurens took her Group One tally to three when landing the French Oaks – the Prix de Diane – at Chantilly on June 17.
Having proved herself over 10 furlongs, McDonald, for one, believes she could be even better over a mile and a half.
However, Burke is keen to ensure Laurens is still at the top of her game when the autumn comes around, with a tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe having been mooted.
He feels a mid-season break will be beneficial in that regard. “She has come out the race really well and there have been no issues,” said the Leyburn trainer.
“She will have a nice easy two or three weeks. We are not going to go for the Irish Oaks. We will miss that and hopefully go for the Yorkshire Oaks. If we try take in the Irish Oaks as well it will not give her a break before an autumn campaign so it makes sense to do that.
“We certainly hope we will go back to France for the Arc. The Yorkshire Oaks will tell us a lot more when we step up in trip again.
“If there is any reason she doesn’t stay the mile and a half we have got the Prix de l’Opera to consider. We’ve also been very kindly given an invite to a very valuable filly and mares race in Japan in November and of course there is also the Breeders’ Cup, so there’s plenty to think about.
“The main thing is she’s healthy and well and as tough as she is, she is good as well. She has lots of ability.
“Everyone says she keeps having hard races. I think she is only doing what she has to do and I think that is why she keeps backing up in these races. Long may it continue.”
Burke also provided an update on his high-class sprinter Havana Grey, who was last seen finishing sixth behind Battaash in the Temple Stakes at Haydock.
Burke said: “He is fine. He has had a little cauterise operation for his wind. He has taken that really well and he will start cantering next week.
“I’m sure he’s still got the ability, but our horses were not quite right when he first ran and I think he just needed a little bit a help with his wind as well.
“Hopefully we will go to Ireland for a Group Two on July 22 (Sapphire Stakes) and then hopefully the King George at Goodwood.”
Karen McLintock is ready to send her Royal Ascot runner-up Dubawi Fifty back into battle for the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on Saturday.
The five-year-old made much of the running in the Ascot Stakes under champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa, before being caught late on by the Willie Mullins-trained Lagostovegas.
McLintock reports her smart stayer to have taken those exertions well and is looking forward to seeing him turn out just 11 days later for this weekend’s £150,000 feature.
Charlie Appleby is leaning towards stepping Blue Point back up to six furlongs for the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on July 14.
William Buick’s mouny gained a first top-level success of his career with victory in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot a week ago.
“We will probably be looking towards the July Cup. Obviously we have the Nunthorpe (York) in August if we want to drop back to five furlongs again,” said Appleby.