Ryan Ascot, sorry typing error, Royal Ascot continues today after another thrilling afternoon saw the ‘silent assassin’ take his tally to eight for the week.
More from Moore looks guaranteed, and with it a record breaking royal meeting will be completed by the most talented jockey in racing. I can’t see him winning the first today, though even the lack of a mount may not hold him back on current form. Of the five rides he does have, you’d have to fancy at least three with Hootenanny and Found particularly exciting mounts.
Today’s racing has an incredibly competitive look to it, and though the Commonwealth Cup could well prove the highlight, I’ve decided to take a closer look at the Coronation Stakes.
A race for three-year-old fillies over a mile, this Group 1 often becomes a target for the Guineas winners of England and Ireland. The roll of honour is an exceptional one, and in recent times several wonderful fillies have doubled up with success at Newmarket or the Curragh, before victory here at Royal Ascot.
Russian Rhythm was one of the very best; trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Kieren Fallon she was foaled in America before arriving in Britain under the ownership of Cheveley Park Stud. A terrific campaign at two which saw her win three of her four outing’s, was followed by a wonderful season as a three-year-old in 2003.
She opened her campaign by winning the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket in impressive fashion, with Fallon weaving a path through the traffic before storming to victory over two classy French fillies, with Soviet Song back in fourth. Her next run was at Royal Ascot when sent off a short-priced favourite for the Coronation. Taking up the running a furlong from home she was pushed out by Fallon to record another win over Soviet Song.
She returned to Ascot in September for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes when putting up a terrific display in chasing home Falbrav. Russian Rhythm raced on as a four-year-old, and when she won the Lockinge at Newbury defeating the likes of Norse Dancer and Refuse To Bend, it looked as if another great summer lay ahead. Unfortunately she sustained an injury soon after and in September was retired to stud. She finished her racing career with seven wins from ten starts.
In 2003 and 2004 the wonderfully unfashionable Attraction ran up a stunning sequence of victories. Bred in Scotland and trained by Mark Johnston, she was born with crooked forelegs, making her rise to the top all the more astonishing. At two she won the Queen Mary Stakes at the royal meeting along with the Cherry Hinton at Newmarket.
She opened at three with a thrilling win in the 1,000 Guineas before taking the Irish version defeating Alexander Goldrun in the process.
She arrived at Royal Ascot as a short-priced favourite for the Coronation Stakes and duly thrashed her opposition which included Sir Michael Stoute’s classy filly Red Bloom. Defeats to Soviet Song followed but by the time she retired as a four-year-old she had won ten of her 13 starts. Tough and gutsy, Attraction was a terrific filly.
Today’s field certainly lives up to those of the past with runners-up of the English and Irish Guineas taking on the winner of the French. Coolmore are represented by the Aidan O’Brien trained Found. The race favourite has taken a while to come to herself this season, but her second to Pleascach last time at the Curragh looked a huge step in the right direction. She’ll be ridden by the prolific Ryan Moore and is sure to run a huge race.
Lucida is trained by Jim Bolger and owned by Godolphin. She was run down by Legatissimo at Newmarket in the 1,000 Guineas having looked the winner entering the final furlong. She’s a tricky ride by all accounts, and her chances may well depend on how she leaves the stalls and then settles into the race. There’s no doubting her talent however, and she has to be major player if behaving herself.
France is represented by another major owner in the Aga Khan. His famous silks are carried by the impressive French Guineas winner Ervedya. Beaten by Found in the Marcel Boussac last autumn, she is two from two this season including that stunning win at Longchamp. Expect her to come late with a withering run in the expert hands of Christophe Soumillon.
It looks a cracking renewal with the classics of England, Ireland and France strongly represented. The Coronation Stakes as always is set to be one of the highlights of the meeting.