The Yorkshire filly kicked off her campaign by finishing second in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket before claiming successive Group One victories in France. She disappointed when stepped up to a mile-and-a-half in last month’s Yorkshire Oaks won by Sea Of Class, but Burke reports Laurens to have thrived on Middleham’s gallops ahead of her return to a mile.
Danny Tudhope replaces the injured PJ McDonald in the saddle and Leyburn-based Burke said: “She looks as well as she’s done all year and she’s working better than ever.
“It’s a tough one up against Alpha Centauri, but we’re looking forward to it.
“Some people will say it’s a bit strange to drop her back to a mile. After the Yorkshire Oaks, we looked at it and given on her only previous run over a mile she finished second in the Guineas, we felt it was worth a go. She’s thrived and got stronger as the year has gone on and has actually got quicker. Strength doesn’t always mean stamina and I think that’s the mistake we made.”
Meanwhile, the Irish Champion Stakes is headed by John Gosden’s Roaring Lion who has already won York’s Dante Stakes – and Juddmonte International – this season. It promises to be a tactical battle – Aidan O’Brien saddles four of the eight declared runners – but Irish-born Murphy, 23, is hopeful of recording his first Group One win in his homeland. “I still had loads of horse at the line at York. I couldn’t pull him up. He has an unbelievable amount of ability,” he said.