Laurens team favour Sun Chariot over French trip


Six time Group one winner Laurens looks set to stay in England and race in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday instead of heading to France for the Prix de la Foret this weekend.

The four year old Laurens claimed her fifth Group One of her career when taking this back in 2018 seeing off the Aidan O'Brien trained Happily.

Karl Burke's filly has since added to her Group One winning CV when landing the Prix Rothschild at Deauville early on this season.

However, if she is to take this contest for the second year in a row she will have to better than her recent performances, finishing second in the Group Two City Of York Stakes and then a weak fourth in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown where again she was looking to score for a second consecutive year.

She is normally a very consistent runner and her owner John Dance has explained the decision for siding towards racing her in England instead of in the Prix de la Foret and it comes down to less travelling and the possibility of a wide draw in a big field at Longchamp.

(Credit At The Races) The owner said: “Karl is pretty keen to go to Newmarket. I’m not sure what might persuade him against it at this stage – he seems pretty keen on it.

“Karl’s thoughts are there’s less travel involved, she’s got a great record at Newmarket and it will be less draw dependent in a smaller field.

“You could say her personal best was actually in the York race over seven, giving plenty of weight away, but until then it was in the Sun Chariot last year.”

PJ McDonald took a fall on Monday at Wolverhampton but explained earlier in the week he was hoping to be back on board Laurens on Saturday.

Dance added: “Hopefully PJ will be fit to ride her – we’ve got our fingers crossed.

“I think over seven on softish ground she could put up her best performance yet – but that would only happen if she bounced back to form anyway, so we’ll have to see how we go.”