Andre Fabre’s improving Wind Chimes is an intended runner in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes that takes place on day four of Royal Ascot on June 22, the most open of the top level contests of the showcase meeting with betting firms going 5/1 the field.
Running in the colours of the Ballydoyle partners – Derrick Smith, John Magnier and Michael Tabor – Wind Chimes is trained by the multiple French champion who sent out Pour Moi to win the 2011 Investec Derby for the same owners. The daughter of Mastercraftsman won both her outings as a juvenile including the listed Prix Herod at Chantilly last November, then looked as if the run would bring her on when fifth on heavy ground at Longchamp in Group 3 company in April.
Stepped up to the highest level back at Longchamp on May 13 for the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, the French 1000 Guineas, Pierre-Charles Boudot’s mount was given a patient ride before she began picking off rivals two furlongs from home. Really getting into top gear inside the distance, Wind Chimes finished fast but the post came too soon and she had to settle for third place behind the David Simcock-trained Teppal, beaten just a short neck and a head.
“She will go for the Coronation Stakes,” Fabre told reporters. “She’s training well and I’m very happy with her. I thought she ran a good race in the Pouliches and she took a big step forward from her trial, like I thought she would do.”
The French filly is a top priced 8/1 shot with Ladbrokes to win the Coronation Stakes, run over the round mile at Royal Ascot and restricted to three-year-old fillies only. Irish 1000 Guneas heroine Alpha Centauri, Aidan O’Brien’s top two-year-old filly of last term Clemmie, and French 1000 Guineas winner Teppal are the general 5/1 co-favourites at present.
Fabre won the coveted prize back in 2001 with subsequent Breeders’ Cup winner Banks Hill. French raiders have a fine recent record with Robert Collet’s Immortal Verse scoring in 2011, while Jean-Claude Rouget has won it twice in the last three years, sending out Ervedyah to score in 2015, and Qemah 12 months later.
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.