Uncertain future for Laurens, but Breeders’ Cup is ruled out

Laurens, the mount of PJ McDonald, will stay in training next year, says owner John Dance.
Laurens, the mount of PJ McDonald, will stay in training next year, says owner John Dance.
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OWNER John Dance admits he has still not decided whether to keep Laurens as a broodmare once her racing days are over.

The popular filly, trained by Leyburn’s Karl Burke, found Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes a race too many after four Group One wins this year including the French Oaks.

Laurens stays in training as a four-year-old. “We’ve come to the conclusion it was one race too many,” said Dance whose firm, Vertem, sponsors this Saturday’s Futurity Stakes at Doncaster – the final Group One of the 2018 seasion.

“A few people questioned whether the ground was too soft, but that is definitely not the case. PJ (McDonald) said she was loving the ground for five furlongs, she was enjoying herself and giving him a good feel, but as soon as he asked her to lengthen she was empty.

“Ironically it was the first time something has gone a good gallop in front of us, something to follow, which we’ve been waiting for virtually all season, Karl is adamant she’s better with a lead.”

Dance ruled out a trip to the Breeders’ Cup, adding: “She’ll not be going to America, she’ll have a well deserved break and will hopefully come back stronger next year.

“Part of our way to alleviate financial damage is by breeding and we’d probably never get the chance to breed from a horse like her. One of the main reasons she’s staying in training is so we don’t have to decide whether to breed from her ourselves, yet.

“We’ve flip-flopped between keeping her to breed or to sell her and reinvest into other horses. The figure that would make us sell, I don’t think anyone would offer.”