Late setback rules Laurel out of Duke of Cambridge engagement

Connections of Laurel will look to the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes after she was frustratingly ruled out of the Duke of Cambridge Stakes with a late setback.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, the daughter of Kingman was towards the top of the market for the one-mile Royal Ascot Group Two – a race which had been her main target for the first half of the season – but her name was missing from the 10 declarations on Monday.

A winner of three of her five starts, she would have had a fine chance of bouncing back from a below-par effort in the Lockinge where she was tasked with taking on colts for the first time.

However, she suffered an issue over the weekend which will keep her on the sidelines during the Royal meeting, with the focus now switching to getting her back to full fitness for her next assignment, which could come on July 14 at Newmarket’s July Festival.

“She’s just had a little setback over the weekend and this morning John and Thady weren’t 100 per cent happy with her, so unfortunately we couldn’t declare her,” said Barry Mahon, European racing manager for owners Juddmonte.

“It’s just a bit of wear or tear and it was 50-50, but you are on the big stage and when you are not 100 per cent happy it’s not worth taking the risk. So we said we will give her an easy few days and probably aim for the Falmouth at the July meeting.”

Mahon added: “It’s frustrating as this is the race we had in mind for her all year, but the filly’s welfare always comes first and once the trainer wasn’t 100 per cent happy that was it, there was no question.”

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