KARL Burke believes his five-time Group One-winning filly Laurens could become the superstar of this year's one mile division, as he readies her for her return in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

Laurens is one of 17 five day entries for the £350,000 contest, the first older horse Group One race run in Britain in 2019 and the feature prize of Newbury’s richest Flat raceday.

Laurens, owned by Newcastle-based stockbroker John Dance, went on a Group One-winning spree last year when she netted the Prix Saint-Alary, Prix de Diane, Matron Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes.

She features alongside the Aidan O’Brien-trained pair Le Brivido and I Can Fly, bet365 Mile first and second Beat The Bank and Sharja Bridge, Godolphin’s Mythical Magic, plus Accidental Agent, Romanised, Without Parole, Billesdon Brook and One Master, all five Group One winners in 2018.

Speaking on Monday, Burke said Laurens was a bigger and possibly quicker horse this year so was likely to stick to mile races.

“The mile division probably lacks a real superstar and hopefully she is there to fill that gap,” he said.

“She is a high class horse. She has proved that each year she has run. We think she has improved again. She has certainly improved physically and as she has got stronger she has probably got quicker.

“That’s why we are happy to start at a mile and we’ll make a decision after Saturday and the Queen Anne Stakes as to whether we stay at a mile.

"I would be surprised if we go back up, certainly to a mile-and-a-quarter. Maybe we would take on one mile, one furlong, but to be honest the pattern of races over a mile suit her perfectly after the Queen Anne."

“Her first two races against the colts could be her hardest of the year, as the other races, if we stick at a mile, are probably going to be against fillies, apart from the Breeders’ Cup if we go there at the end of the year."

The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is the feature race of Newbury's richest raceday this Saturday, where prize money is £750,000, and is part of a two-day meeting which also takes in Friday.