Laurens gamely holds Aidan O’Brien’s Happily at Newmarket
Sun Chariot stakes victory a fifth Group One of the season for Karl Burke’s stable star
Laurens and Daniel Tudhope hold off Happily to take the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket. Photograph: Tim Goode/PA
Laurens claimed the fifth Group One of her career in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.
Karl Burke’s stable star was reappearing just three weeks after winning the Matron Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend and with
Danny Tudhope once again deputising for the injured PJ McDonald, he was content to go stride for stride with Happily through the early stages.
Laurens soon started to pressure her rivals though, and with a furlong and a half to run, Tudhope was still motionless with everyone else hard at work.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Happily did eventually rally and Laurens, the 11-4 favourite, only had a head to spare at the line with Roger Varian’s Altyn Orda in third. The supplemented Wind Chimes was disappointing, finishing a distant last.
Tudhope said: “She’s been a great spare ride, I’m very grateful to Karl and PJ for putting me forward.
“She was probably a bit fresh and keen today. He (Donnacha O’Brien on Happily) was trying to steady it up, but I thought I’d go on at my own pace.
“She’s done it well and is very tough. I was hoping she’d relax more and she did, she got the job done and is a super filly.
“PJ is hoping to be back for the Breeders’ Cup if she goes there.”
Burke said: “I might have been cursing the rain if she’d got collared. Danny said on that ground she was changing her legs, dancing and hopping around.
“She’s a great filly. Two out, I thought she was going to bolt up and she just needed the line in the last 100 yards.
“She was on the go before Christmas, just gently back in working towards the Guineas. She had a nice break after the Prix Diane and that was the best thing we did all year.
“We’ve got that scalp back off Billesdon Brook (1000 Guineas winner who finished fifth).
“She could be supplemented for the QEII, she’s already in the Champion Stakes and there’s two options at the Breeders’ Cup so we’ve got a bit to discuss and the main thing is to make sure she’s A1.”
Burke added: “The horse looked fantastic and it is all credit to the staff at home, they’ve done a fantastic job all year. You can’t ask any more of her, she’s a special filly and I’m delighted to have her, hopefully I’ll have her next year.
“As John (Dance, owner) said after her Group One in Ireland, she’ll stay in training, so I hope he keeps to his word.”
O’Brien said of Happily: “I’m delighted with her run, she ran a great race.
“She ran a stormer in the Irish Guineas and things have not quite fallen for her since, but she is a good filly. She could have a look at Ascot or America.”