Laurens doubles up with gutsy Diane victory
17 June 2018
The writing had been on the wall since declaration-day last week. The 2018 edition of the Prix de Diane was going to be a close-run affair, and so it proved. Until Sunday afternoon at Chantilly, just two foreign-trained horses had won the coveted fillies classic in the last twenty years, but the Karl Burke-trained Laurens bucked the trend and in the process lifted her third of four Gr.1 races she has run.
With a quartet of horses sent off better favoured than she was, she defied the domestic market with courage and determination. Despite being drawn wide, jockey P.J. McDonald was quick to place her towards the front from where she tracked the leader, Luminate. McDonald was one of the first to ask the question, was quickly rewarded, and held on well despite some resolute and concerted attacks, most notably from Prix de la Grotte winner, Musis Amica, who missed out by just a neck. The supplemented Homerique was a nose away in third. Happily and With You finished respectively a head and a nose further back.
Burke and owner John Dance have had the Prix de Diane in mind since the day Laurens was purchased and the Siyouni filly now counts five victories and two second-places to her name. Although early days yet, the Arc looks a distinct possibility.
Picture: Laurens and PJ McDonald celebrating their Diane's success
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