Karl Burke hoping Laurens can go the distance in Yorkshire Oaks test

French Oaks winner steps up to 12 furlongs in York feature

  • Wednesday 22 August
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Karl Burke is “as confident as he can be” about Laurens staying the trip in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on Thursday.

Already a three-times Group One winner, she claimed Classic glory in France last time out in the Prix de Diane (French Oaks).

While she has arguably achieved more than the favourite Sea Of Class, the fact she is tackling the trip for the first time is a bit of an unknown.

“I never get tired of talking about her,” said Burke.

“William Haggas’ (Sea Of Class) is a very good filly so I’m not surprised she’s favourite, but Laurens’ style of winning maybe leaves everyone to think that is all she is.

“We think there’s a bit more in the tank and we’ll find out here.

“You would tend to think if they stay a mile at two – don’t forget she’s a Fillies’ Mile winner – they should be able to stay a mile and a half at three.

“While Siyouni is a huge influence for speed, her dam’s side is laden with stamina, so we’re as confident as we can be that she will get the trip.”

Sea Of Class benefited from a brave James Doyle ride in the Irish Oaks and has now won her last three starts, but any rain would be a negative.

Haggas said: “Sea Of Class is very well. She moved beautifully on Thursday morning in her final bit of work, so I don’t really want to run her on soft ground. But if the ground is good or better, then I look forward to it.

“As I said after the Irish Oaks, we’ve got nothing to lose now. We’ll just enjoy her, though obviously we want to win everything we run in. I’m pleased with her condition.”

Asked if she is still open to further improvement, Haggas said: “That’s what we all hope. She’s a late May foal and has only just got her act together recently.

“She’s been in a maiden and Listed races and that was a big step up to the Irish Oaks and she won quite well actually, but not very far. So we’re up to Group Ones now and why can’t she improve? I think she has got a good brain, so we hope she will – we’ll see.”

Assessing the race, Haggas said: “I’ve been rather sceptical about this year’s three-year-olds, I’ve not been too sure. I’m slowly being proved wrong of course, but that’s normal!

“So I hope that the fillies in the Yorkshire Oaks will be better than the four-year-olds. Coronet is a very useful filly, but there will be others.”

Coronet is John Gosden’s representative and having won the Middleton Stakes at York in May, she was beaten a nose in a Group One in France and finished third in the King George.

Frankie Dettori takes the ride and told his Labrokes blog: “I am really looking forward to riding Coronet.

“I love the filly and she loves York. This race was always the target. There are a couple of very good three-year-old fillies in the race such as Laurens and Irish Oaks winner Sea Of Class, so it is quite tough, but Coronet won’t run a quiet race.”

Dermot Weld’s Eziyra was impressive on her comeback a fortnight ago and steps back up in class while Aidan O’Brien runs Ribblesdale winner Magic Wand, Flattering and Bye Bye Baby.

Andrew Balding’s Lancashire Oaks winner Horseplay completes the eight-runner field.

Karl Burke hoping Laurens can go the distance in Yorkshire Oaks test

York 15:35, 23 August 2018

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