Race of The Day Friday June 22
16:201 mile (1600m)

Coronation Stakes (Group 1)

Ascot

  • Current Favourite  Alpha Centauri
  • Current Odds 7/2
Race Analysis Runners 13 Going Good to Firm Distance 1 mile (1600m)

Race Overview

A Group 1 contest open to three-year-old fillies and run over a mile, the Coronation Stakes is often a playground for Guineas’ winners and this year is no different, with the English, Irish and French Classic heroines set to do battle.

A dust-off between the best fillies of the Classic generation, the race has been a Group 1 since 1988 and was won last year by the brilliant Aidan O’Brien-trained Winter. Three times in the last seven renewals this race has been won by French-trained raiders, for whom the flag is flown this year by Coeur De Beaute.

Richard Hannon’s Billesdon Brook was a shock winner of Newmarket’s 1000 Guineas last month and, having been supplemented into this field, bids to show that was no fluke.

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Horse racing - Electra Niarchos, Colm O'Donoghue, Jessica Harrington

Favourite Alpha Centauri

Jessica Harrington’s daughter of Mastercraftsman delivered a powerful surge on the outside to win the Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh last month in fine style. She’s well-suited to running on quick ground and will aim to give the popular Irish handler a first Royal Ascot winner.

Horse racing Aidan O'Brien

Other Contenders

Having powered home to win the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, Billesdon Brook commands maximum respect now, especially as connections stumped up the supplementary fee to get into this field. Teppal makes it a trio of Guineas winners having landed Classic glory in France, while Aidan O’Brien has won this event three times in the past and fires Clemmie at the prize, the Galileo filly having a score to settle from the Irish Guineas with Alpha Centauri.

Race Analysis

(Published 11.57, June 21) – A race that has very much lived up to its billing this year with the winners of English, Irish and French 1000 Guineas all ready to square off. Their presence alone ensures we have a high-class feature on day four of the Royal meeting, but there is a supporting cast more than capable of playing the spoiler role to these Classic winners.

Richard Hannon’s Billesdon Brook is our starting point after her emphatic, if surprise, Newmarket Classic success last month. Having been beaten in the Nell Gwyn on her reappearance, the daughter of Champs Elysees produced a strong and sustained run to win the Rowley Mile contest. A rank outsider in the betting, there appeared nothing to be questioned in terms of the merits of that win.

Connections clearly believe that to be the case, having forked out a supplementary fee to line-up here. She is a very smart filly in possession of a blinding turn of pace, as we witnessed to thrilling effect last summer at Goodwood and she must be taken seriously.

David Simcock’s Teppal is the second Guineas winner in this line-up having maintained her unbeaten record with victory at Longchamp last month. That race appeared to be run at a muddling sort of pace and the suspicion is that Olivier Peslier’s mount is going to encounter a different test this time around, ensuring she has a task on her hands to confirm French form with the likes of Coeur De Beaute and Capla Temptress here.

The former bids to give the French a fourth win in this contest in eight years and is greatly respected, while Andrea Atzeni and Capla Temptress will be looking to give trainer Marco Botti a second winner after he got his Royal Ascot breakthrough on Wednesday with Aljazzi.

Aidan O’Brien must be respected and it is noted that the Ballydoyle handler fires a lone dart at this bullseye. Clemmie was one of the leading juveniles of last season, culminating in her impressive Group 1 win in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.

She met with a setback in the spring and evidently was not at her best in last month’s Irish Guineas, where she was the thick end of 8 lengths behind the winner Alpha Centauri. Expect them to finish much closer together now.

Jessica Harrington’s desire for a Royal Ascot winner isn’t being hidden and her first Classic winner is a big player here. Alpha Centauri was flagged up in our ante-post preview of this race at 5/1 and has predictably shortened into favouritism with many firms now.

The daughter of Mastercraftsman has excellent form figures on quick ground and is proven at this meeting having gone down by a neck to Different League in the Albany Stakes over 6f last summer in a race where she did not enjoy a perfect passage. She did really well in overhauling the front-running Could It Be Love at the Curragh and is likely to have more to offer over this mile trip. Despite the market having found her now, she’s not overlooked easily.

At the current prices however there is some value to be had in Mark Johnston’s THREADING, a good winner of York’s Group 2 Lowther Stakes last season. She’s won three from five starts, with both defeats coming at Newmarket, including behind Clemmie in the Cheveley Park. She is given a pass however, as it seems Headquarters is not to her liking.

On her first attempt at the mile trip she ran out a facile winner of a Listed contest at York last month and the Exceed And Excel filly is open to plenty more progress at this distance. The ground will be to her liking and she ought to handle this track with no concern. At a rewarding each-way price, she can surely go well for William Buick and is offered as the value bet here, despite a big liking for Alpha Centauri.

Of the remainder in this field, it is to be noted that Sir Michael Stoute is pitching twice-raced Newmarket maiden winner Veracious right in at the deep end on her seasonal return. Royal Ascot’s winning-most trainer doesn’t tilt wantonly at this sort of prize and Frankie Dettori’s mount should be noted in the betting as such.

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Betting.net Selection

Threading
14/1
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Betting.net Danger

Alpha Centauri
7/2

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Written by Enda McElhinney

Enda McElhinney is an Irish-based racing writer with an increasing portfolio of work on British and Irish racing. His daily routine is race-by-race form analysis, both on the Flat and over jumps. While the racing world must keep on turning, he is quite sure that no horse will ever pull at his heartstrings quite as much as the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Denman.