KARL Burke reports Laurens has taken her memorable York tussle in her stride and is on course to defend her crown in the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes next month.
John Dance’s admirable filly, the mount of PJ McDonald, just lost out to Shine So Bright in a thrilling finish to the City Of York Stakes over seven furlongs last Saturday, and is ready to step back up to the mile in a bid to take her Group One haul to seven.
Last September at Leopardstown, Laurens lowered the colours of Alpha Centauri when leading all the way to take the Matron honours – and that race has been a major objective again this term.
“She’s come out of the race really well,” said Leyburn-based Burke.
“The Matron has probably been the main target for the second part of the season all along, and she’s on target for that.”
Ground conditions will then dictate whether Laurens drops back to seven for the Qatar Prix de la Foret at Longchamp or sticks to a mile for the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket which she won in 2108.
Burke said: “After (the Matron), I’d imagine if it’s soft ground we’d go for the Foret in France, and if it’s fast we’d switch back to the Sun Chariot. That’s the last conversation I had with John. She’ll be kept in both until we have to make a decision.”
Meanwhile, Hughie Morrison is confident Dante winner Telecaster can develop into a top-class middle-distance performer next year after calling time on his season.
Victorious in York’s Dante Stakes under Oisin Murphy, the season’s leading jockey, the Castle Down Racing-owned three-year-old was last in the Epsom Derby before finishing down the field behind Enable in the Eclipse at Sandown.
Although connections decided to stump up the £85,000 to supplement Telecaster for the Epsom Classic following his York win, Morrison senses it was a step too far at that stage of his career.
He added: “In hindsight, we probably shouldn’t have run him in the Derby.
“We had beaten Aidan O’Brien’s Japan, and that is now one of the best mile-and-a-quarter horses, and Too Darn Hot – who was one of the best milers this summer –in the Dante, so if we didn’t run people would have laughed at us.
“We tried to gain some compensation in the Eclipse.
“But the Derby was too much for him, and it was too quick afterwards, and he just got jarred up – and that’s why he ran poorly at Sandown.”