Day four of Royal Ascot see’s the three year old fillies taking centre stage, with thirteen set to battle it out for glory in the Coronation Stakes. Established in 1840 and named after the coronation of Queen Victoria two years previously the race is run over an official distance of seven furlongs, two hundred and thirteen yards. Upgraded to Group1 status in 1978, the race offers something of an international feel, with Irish, French and UK challengers usually in attendance.
The French have supplied two of the last five winners of this and have an intriguing candidate this time, in the shape of Coeur De Beaute. Trained by Mauricio Delcher Sanchez she ran on strongly when last seen, finding only the re-opposing Teppal a short neck too good at Longchamp. Three times a winner in her homeland the livelier ground today poses a significant question. Teppal looks an uncomplicated ride and was always in a good position when fending off the aforementioned Coeur De Beaute, unbeaten in three starts she warrants respect despite a niggling feeling that she was given a canny ride last time out.
Billesdon Brook caused an almost unprecedented shock when landing the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, returning at odds of 66/1. Despite the humongous odds Richard Hannon’s filly could hardly be described as lucky, if anything quite the opposite as she travelled beautifully throughout before powering clear late in the day to return a visually impressive winner. Proven on todays ground and already proven to be a useful type before Newmarket it is unlikely outlandish odds will be available this time and all things considered, she looks the one to beat.
Alpha Centauri heads up a strong challenge for Ireland and arrives here having landed the Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh last month. Proven on the ground the concern for her today would be if they went slow, granted a decent pace to aim at however she looks an ideal type for a stiff test like Ascot.
Threading bolted up in a four runner Listed race at York when last seen, she may well play a part today although she has plenty to find judging on her earlier form. Clemmie represents Aidan O’Brien and won the Group 1 Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket as a two year old. Her debut at three was a disaster although she is surely much better than that. Veracious could be the fly in the ointment, unexposed and from the record breaking yard of Sir Michael Stoute, she hasn’t been seen since romping home at Newmarket last season. Strong market support would make her a most interesting challenger today though in spite of that, and the claims of the rest, it is the Jessica Harrington trained Alpha Centauri who is taken to rubber stamp her position as one of the leading fillies of this current generation.
ALPHA CENTAURI (WIN)
14:30 – Main Edition (WIN)
15:05 – Raa Atoll (WIN)
15:40 – Sioux Nation (WIN)
17:00 – Ganayem (E/W)
17:35 – Dash Of Spice (WIN) – NAP
written by Chris Connolly