Laurens has put the seal on a tremendous season for trainer Karl Burke with a thrilling victory in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket to deny trainer Aidan O’Brien his 24th Group One win for the season.
Having won the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster last month, the 10-1 chance stepped up to highest level for the first time on Friday and raced on the speed throughout.
With the rail to help, PJ McDonald kicked for home inside the final two furlongs and after shaking off stablemate Ellthea and Magic Lily, looked set to win decisively.
The O’Brien-trained September was travelling strongly in behind and once the gap came she flew home to virtually join Laurens on the line.
After a nervous wait, the judge confirmed Laurens had held on by a nose.
It was a first Group One success on the Flat for McDonald, who rode the winner of the Scottish Grand National during his days as a National Hunt jockey.
“I honestly can’t believe it,” McDonald told ITV.
“I’m 35 years of age now and the relief when that number got called out was amazing. If I never do anything else in my career, I’ve ridden a Group One winner.”
North Yorkshire-based Burke, who has also enjoyed Group One success with the colt Unfortunately during this campaign, as well as a host of other notable successes, said he thought the filly would be even better over further.
“She’s a very high-class filly and we always knew that,” he said.
“When we step up to a mile and a quarter or even further next year, she’s going to be very good.”
Laurens was cut to 14-1 from 25-1 with RaceBets for the 1000 Guineas, with Paddy Power going 8-1 from 20-1 for the Oaks.
“We’ve got a lot to talk about,” Burke said.
“I think the ideal race for her next year would be the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) over a mile and a quarter, but we’ll sit and think. We’ve got plenty of time.”