REIGNING Yorkshire horse of the year Laurens is set to make an unexpected appearance at next week’s Ebor Festival at York.
Karl Burke’s stable star recorded her sixth Group One win last month when landing the Prix Rothschild at Deauville under PJ McDonald.
Laurens will have an entry on Monday morning, all being well, and she’s in good form.Karl Burke
And while the longer-term target is the seven-furlong Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp on Arc day in early October, she could take in the Sky Bet City of York Stakes.
Now four, owner John Dance’s horse has recorded wins at the highest level for three successive seasons – a rare feat and testament to Burke’s astute handling of the filly and decision to concentrate on shorter distances after failing to stay a mile-and-a-half in last year’s Yorkshire Oaks.
“Laurens will have an entry on Monday morning, all being well, and she’s in good form,” said Leyburn-based trainer Burke.
Stablemate Kelly’s Dino, meanwhile, will contest the £1m Sky Bet Ebor on Saturday week following a gutsy win at Newmarket last Friday.
Burke added: “I was very happy with him – he’s only done a couple of canters since but he’ll work at the end of the week, and I couldn’t have been happier.
“He had a wind op at the end of last year, and it’s really helped him – he looks in great condition and is moving brilliantly.
“Obviously it will be a tough race, but if he gets in the first four we’ll be over the moon.”
However, Middleham trainer Jedd O’Keeffe has been dealt a devastating blow after stable stalwart Lord Yeats had to be put down.
The six-year-old fractured his pelvis, and could not be saved, during a piece of work on the gallops ahead of next week’s Ebor.
Owned and bred by Geoff and Sandra Turnbull, Lord Yeats won five times and earned more than £100,000 in prize money.
North Yorkshire trainer Chris Fairhurst is confident Benadalid can return to winning ways in the feature race on Flemingate Ladies’ Day at Beverley today.
The four-year-old son of Assertive is one of nine declared runners for the Jill Willows Handicap over a mile-and-a- quarter at the Westwood track.
And though he was slightly disappointing on his last outing at Thirsk, Fairhurst believes that run can be stricken from the record.
The Middleham-based handler said: “He’s been fine since Thirsk – not a bother – but we were just wondering whether he gets home over that sort of distance these days. He ran a good race, but I think we’ll see a better horse at Beverley.”