LAURENS (right) gets the better of Alpha Centauri to land the 2018 Matron Stakes (Group One) at Leopardstown
© Photo Healy RacingKarl Burke remains hopeful Laurens will recover from a recent setback in time to run in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville later this month.
The daughter of Siyouni has yet to add to her tally of five Group One wins so far this season — finishing a promising second on her seasonal reappearance in the Lockinge at Newbury, before coming home a slightly disappointing sixth in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot.
She was due to go back against her own sex in Friday’s Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, before connections revealed last weekend that she had suffered a minor injury.
However, speaking at a stable visit on Wednesday to promote the Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival, Burke issued an upbeat report.
“She obviously had a little setback, which was very frustrating — especially looking at what has ended up in the Falmouth,” said the Middleham trainer.
“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.
“She’s just been doing lots of walking exercise, but she’ll be ridden out on Thursday — and hopefully we’ll be able to build her back up for the Prix Rothschild in just over two weeks.”
Burke believes the root cause of his stable star’s recent problem may precede her run at Ascot.
He added: “She just had one or two bits and pieces going into Ascot — nothing major and nothing that really concerned us, but in hindsight maybe one of those things caused her to put more pressure than she should have done on her hind leg, and maybe it caused that little niggle.
“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.”
Considering options beyond the Prix Rothschild on July 28, the Spigot Lodge handler said: “There’s the Prix Jean Romanet over a mile and a quarter, but I would doubt we’ll go down that route.I would say it will be the Rothschild, and then probably wait for the Matron. We’re very keen to go back and defend our crown at Leopardstown.
“After that it’s the Sun Chariot and then it would be the Breeders’ Cup — which would be her swansong.”