Laurens owes us nothing, says Karl Burke

REIGNING Yorkshire horse of the year Laurens will face eight rivals in tomorrow’s Prix Rothschild at Deauville.

Karl Burke's Laurens (left), pictured winning at Doncaster under PJ McDonald, will chase Group One honours in France this weekend.

Victory in France would be the horse’s sixth success at Group One level – and mark a welcome return to winning ways.

Owned by John Dance and trained at Leyburn by Karl Burke, the four-year-old was second in Newbury’s Lockinge Stakes on her seasonal reappearance before finishing sixth to Yorkshire rival Lord Glitters in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

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Laurens, the mount of PJ McDonald, heads to France after a slight setback forced her to miss the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket earlier this month.

Her rivals include Kevin Ryan’s Breeders’ Cup runner-up East, but Burke is encouraged by the horse’s wellbeing. “She obviously had a little setback, which was very frustrating,” he said. “It was just a tiny sprain on a hind leg below the hock. It’s very minor, and she actually cantered sound, but an hour later when she cooled off she was just a little bit off. She owes us nothing, and we can’t take any chances with her.

“At the start of the year we said if she wins one more Group One it would be a huge for her CV – to win Group Ones at two, three and four. We’ve still got four or five chances to do that, and I see no reason to change the plans with her.”