Karl Burke confirms Laurens set for Matron Stakes defence

Shine So Bright denies Laurens in a York thriller
Shine So Bright denies Laurens in a York thriller

Karl Burke reports Laurens has taken her memorable York tussle in her stride and is on course to defend her crown in the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes.

John Dance's admirable filly just lost out to Shine So Bright in a thrilling finish to the City Of York Stakes over seven furlongs last Saturday, and is ready to step back up to the mile in a bid to take her Group One haul to seven.

Last September at Leopardstown, Laurens lowered the colours of Alpha Centauri when leading all the way to take the Matron honours - and that race has been a major objective again this term.

"She's come out of the race really well," said her North Yorkshire trainer.

"The Matron has probably been the main target for the second part of the season all along, and she's on target for that."

Ground conditions will then dictate whether Laurens drops back to seven for the Qatar Prix de la Foret at Longchamp or sticks to a mile for the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket - which she won in 2108.

Burke said: "After (the Matron), I'd imagine if it's soft ground we'd go for the Foret in France, and if it's fast we'd switch back to the Sun Chariot.

"That's the last conversation I had with John (Dance, owner).

"She'll be kept in both until we have to make a decision."

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