Laurens walking 'free as a bird' as Burke maps campaign ending at Breeders' Cup

Karl Burke fears that problems in the build-up to Royal Ascot may have contributed to the setback that has ruled Laurens out of Friday's Falmouth Stakes.

However, he is hopeful she will be fit to return in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville on July 28 and has mapped out a farewell campaign which culminates in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita for the five-time Group 1 winner.

Owned by John Dance, Laurens finished sixth in the Queen Anne Stakes last month and her trainer reflected: "She had maybe one or two little pieces going into Ascot, nothing that really concerned us, but in hindsight maybe one of those little bits and pieces caused her to put a little more pressure than she should have done on her hind leg.

"They were normal training problems for any horse, just silly little things and they could have contributed to her not moving right and putting pressure on another joint in her body, and that showed up with the little minor hock injury she's got now. 

"But she's walking round free as a bird, she's cantering great. It's the tiniest little sprain. She'll be ridden out tomorrow and hopefully we'll be able to build her back up. We've got two weeks and she's a very fit filly now."

Laurens scored her last two victories of 2018 in the Matron Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes, and return visits to Leopardstown and Newmarket are on the cards this autumn.

"God willing, we'll get her there for the Rothschild and then head for the Matron," said Burke, speaking at the launch of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival.

"We're very keen to try and go back and defend the Matron. After that is the Sun Chariot and where we didn't go last year, which we mooted, was the Breeders' Cup – that would be her swansong. It would be a huge ask but it would be a fantastic place to finish."