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Laurens in top trim for Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes

4 Oct 2018

The Karl Burke-trained filly will be aiming for a fifth Group 1 triumph

Laurens wins the Prix de Diane.

Laurens is acclaimed after her win in the French Oaks. Picture: Rcaingfotos.com

Laurens is in “great form” for the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday, when she will meet nine rivals in the QIPCO British Champions Series contest.

The three-year-old filly has won six of her nine career outings for Karl Burke – including four times in Group 1 company – with her only defeats coming behind Freddy Head’s high-class Polydream last season, Billesdon Brook in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and when she seemingly failed to stay in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks.

Back at a mile last time out, she landed the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown when beating Alpha Centauri, who was subsequently retired due to an injury sustained in the race.

“Laurens looks to be in great form and is spot on physically,” Burke said on Thursday. “Her weight is almost identical to when she left the yard for Leopardstown to run in the Matron. Her coat is in perfect condition and I am very happy with her.”

“There are no indications whatsoever that the long season is taking its toll. We purposely gave her a midsummer break after the Diane to avoid that with her autumn campaign in mind.”

“She has run at Newmarket twice before, winning a Group 1 and finishing second in a Classic, so the straight mile clearly suits her. That said, she handles bends well – she has won both right-handed and left-handed – and is very well balanced, I don’t think the type of track comes into it with her.”

He added: “A lot depends on what happens on Saturday but, all things being equal, there is every chance she will have another run this year. She could go to QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot [on 20th October] or the Matron was a ‘Win And You’re In’ for the Breeders’ Cup – those are her options.

“Having a horse of mine bidding for a fifth Group 1 is not a position I really thought about at the start of my career. It’s fantastic to finally be getting hold of this sort of horse and I just hope that it continues.”

Laurens will face Billesdon Brook once more, with Richard Hannon hoping a return to Newmarket will help her bounce back to winning ways after defeats in the Coronation Stakes and the ten-furlong Nassau at Goodwood.

Andre Fabre supplemented the Coolmore-owned Wind Chimes earlier in the week after she was only narrowly beaten by Recoletos in the Prix du Moulin last time.

Aidan O’Brien is represented by Happily, a dual Group One winner at two but without a success this season, Boomerang Stakes victor I Can Fly and Clemmie, last year’s Cheveley Park heroine.

Veracious will take her chance for Sir Michael Stoute and Cheveley Park Stud, Royal Ascot winner Aljazzi goes for Marco Botti.

Martyn Meade’s Wilamina and Roger Varian’s Altyn Orda complete the field.