Laurens heading to clash with Alpha Centauri

Laurens (centre) winning the French Oaks
Laurens (centre) winning the French Oaks

Alpha Centauri is the star name among 16 fillies confirmed for the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday.

Jessica Harrington's three-year-old has arguably been the star of the season so far, winning the Irish 1,000 Guineas, the Coronation Stakes, the Falmouth Stakes and the Prix Jacques le Marois.

The daughter of Mastercraftsman will be a red-hot favourite to extend her Group One tally to five on the opening day of Irish Champions Weekend. Aidan O'Brien has seven remaining contenders including Rhododendron, Magical, Happily and Athena.

The potential British challenge is headed by Karl Burke's star filly Laurens. Burke has also left in Ellthea. Burke said: "Laurens is in great form. I couldn't be happier with her. Laurens definitely runs, and we'll see what happens weather-wise for Ellthea."

Mick Channon could send Dan's Dream across the Irish Sea. Dermot Weld's impressive recent Cork scorer Making Light is also in the mix.


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