The meaning of an underdog is a competitor who is assumed to have little or no chance in winning a contest.
The sheer fact the Karl Burke trained Laurens went off a 10/1 shot in the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown is an insult to her ability.
The tenacious John Dance owned multiple Group One winner Laurens has confirmed time, and time again she is as honest as they come. Her second place effort in the Newmarket 2000 Guineas was certainly one of the top class performances of the season, the way she travelled throughout that race was outstanding, perhaps kicking too early in hindsight as the race turned chaotic, but the way she stuck to the task suggested “she’s a bit special”.
She then proved that previous run was no fluke, when winning the French Oaks, under a power-packed ride by jockey PJ McDonald. Laurens took the early incentive to kick on from the front, however late on in the race she gave the impression to be back peddling, yet this once-in-a-lifetime filly bluntly refused to get beaten. After that unforgettable triumph she attained another victory in France “Elle aime juste la France” which translates into English “She just loves France”.
If Laurens was trained by the likes of Aidan O’Brien, or John Gosden by this stage she would be glorified to be the next coming however she is trained by Karl Burke and the pessimists have just kept looking for flaws instead of praising her natural ability.
Prior to coming to Leopardstown Laurens fluffed her typical consistency when running a sporadic below-par performance at Doncaster finishing a disappointing 6th place of 8th. That certainly wasn’t a true reflection of her capabilities.
Lining up at Leopardstown racecourse on day one of the Irish Champion weekend, this John Dance owned horse was a 10/1 shot seemingly only here for the placings. The thought of anything overhauling the Jessica Harrington trained Alpha Centauri was preposterous to even imagine however Laurens had other opinions on the matter.
Jumping out well from the starting stalls Laurens got into a prominent early position, bowling along at the head of affairs. As the race gradually built up speed Laurens still was in total control hitting the two furlongs pole, but Alpha Centauri seemed to be just hitting top gear for Colm O’Donoghue down the outside, with Magical also trying to make her presence felt, but Laurens kept on repelling all the challengers, she wasn’t for stopping.
The owner John Dance and trainer Karl Burke deserved to win this, their brave horse had the form in the book to be a major player, it was no fluke. Laurens perhaps now can get the credit she completely deserves.
It’s debateable if Laurens will stay in training next year, either way presently she is one of the best horses in training, she is definitely no underdog. Her tenacious ability and willingness to win should be more appreciated, horses like her don’t come around too often.
Dance, and Burke took on the big contenders within the Irish racing scene with Laurens and they won. Simple as that, no justifications needed from beaten dockets, the best horse on the day won.