Laurens heads to York rather than the Curragh

French Oaks heroine Laurens will sidestep next month’s Irish Oaks at the Curragh and instead head straight for the Yorkshire Oaks on August 23.

Having rounded off her juvenile campaign with a Group One triumph in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket, Karl Burke’s star filly has continued in the same vein this season, finishing second in the 1000 Guineas before landing the Prix Saint-Alary and the Prix de Diane.

Burke is keen to ensure Laurens is still at the top of her game when the autumn comes around, with a tilt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe having been mooted, and he feels a mid-season break will be beneficial in that regard.

“She has come out the race really well and there have been no issues,” said the North Yorkshire handler.

“She will have a nice easy two or three weeks. We are not going to go for the Irish Oaks. We will miss that and hopefully go for the Yorkshire Oaks. If we try take in the Irish Oaks as well it will not give her a break before an autumn campaign so it makes sense to do that.

“We certainly hope we will go back to France for the Arc. The Yorkshire Oaks will tell us a lot more when we step up in trip again.

“If there is any reason she doesn’t stay the mile and a half we have got the Prix de l’Opera to consider. We’ve also been very kindly given an invite to a very valuable filly and mares race in Japan in November and of course there is also the Breeders’ Cup, so there’s plenty to think about.

“The main thing is she’s healthy and well and as tough as she is, she is good as well. She has lots of ability.

“Everyone says she keeps having hard races. I think she is only doing what she has to do and I think that is why she keeps backing up in these races. Long may it continue.”

Burke also provided an update on his high-class sprinter Havana Grey, who was last seen finishing sixth behind Battaash in the Temple Stakes at Haydock.

Burke said: “He is fine. He has had a little cauterise operation for his wind. He has taken that really well and he will start cantering next week.

“I’m sure he’s still got the ability, but our horses were not quite right when he first ran and I think he just needed a little bit a help with his wind as well.

“Hopefully we will go to Ireland for a Group Two on July 22 (Sapphire Stakes) and then hopefully the King George at Goodwood.”

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