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The Coronation Stakes

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History

Another big day out for the best three-year-old fillies. The Coronation Stakes, indeed, is often a showdown for the winners and placed horses from the English, Irish and French 1000 Guineas. This Group 1 event, run over one mile during Royal Ascot, is the third entry in the QIPCO British Champions Series Fillies & Mares category.

The timing of the Coronation Stakes in mid-June, a month and a half after the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, allows these still maturing fillies that much more time to develop and strengthen up, so don’t always expect the 1000 Guineas winner to emerge triumphant again – another filly might have improved past her.

The race was established in 1840, commemorating Queen Victoria’s coronation two years earlier. Awarded Group 2 status in 1971, it was upgraded to the highest level in 1988. This is an event with a lot of Hills in it – that’s twin jockeys Richard and Michael Hills and their father Barry Hills, the trainer. Richard and Barry combined to bring Ghanaati home in 2009, while Michael and Barry did the same with Maids Causeway in 2005. Michael also won in 1997 on Rebecca Sharp, but she was trained by Geoff Wragg.

At the age of a remarkable 80 years, Clive Brittain saddled the winner in 2014, Rizeena.

Current leading jockeys: Gerald Mosse, 2 wins (1993, 2011); Richard Hughes, 2 wins (2007, 2013)

Current leading trainer: Sir Michael Stoute, 4 wins (1986, 1987, 1998, 2003)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

Going/Track

Weather

No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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Winter warms to task to stay in command

Aidan O’Brien dominated the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot with Winter leading home stablemates Roly Poly and Hydrangea.

Winter was sent off 4-9 favourite after her wins in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Irish equivalent and was always travelling sweetly under Ryan Moore.

When asked to deliver her challenge in the home straight, she found plenty for pressure to quicken away from the field in the closing stages to score by just over two lengths.

Roly Poly (12/1), ridden by Seamie Heffernan and Hydrangea (16/1), partnered by Padraig Beggy, kept on to finish second and third, with a neck separating the pair.

O’Brien said: “Winter is getting relaxed. She was a little bit lazy early on in the race, but she galloped on strongly at the end. She is doing well and is a big powerful horse now and we are delighted with her.

“She is a filly that is thriving from race to race. She travelled well – Ryan had her in a lovely position – and she comes home very well, which is a massive thing.”

O’Brien suggested a tilt at another Champions Series race, the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket on July 14, could be her next target. Paddy Power quote her at 5/4 favourite.

He said: “We might head to the Falmouth in three weeks’ time, but we will see how she is as she has had four quick races in not a lot of time.”

Reflecting on the runs of Roly Poly and Hydrangea, O’Brien added: “We’re delighted with them both – they have run crackers.”

Moore said of Winter: “Those three races back-to-back, she’s come a long way in a very short space of time. It wasn’t a big field but there was plenty of quality and she did what she had to do. Hopefully, she’ll keep on doing what she’s doing.

“She is only doing what she has to do, really. She travelled beautifully through the race and is getting very professional – just doing what she has to do.

“It is hard thing to do, win two Guineas and then come here. Attraction was the last to do it and it is very hard.

“She is a very good filly and has beaten some good horses from France and America. It’s a strong piece of form and she is a high-class filly.

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

British horseracing can lay claim to plenty of blue-blooded connections, but none rival those of Ascot. The Berkshire racecourse’s roots go back 300 years to Queen Anne, who recognised the potential of a stretch of heath land while out riding just a few miles from Windsor Castle.

The royal link has endured ever since. Today, Queen Elizabeth II and members of the Royal Family attend the world-famous ‘Royal Ascot’ meeting each year, arriving in a horse drawn carriage. Royal Ascot, meanwhile, has earned iconic status as a centrepiece of the social calendar, when the world’s best thoroughbreds face fierce competition from the world’s most extravagant fashion designs.

Ascot, which underwent a £200 million redevelopment between 2004-6, also hosts the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes sponsored by QIPCO in July, the most prestigious open-age Flat race staged in Britain.

It will also host the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day in October which will be the richest raceday ever staged in Britain with over £4.2m in prize money and the climax to the QIPCO British Champions Series.  Including the five category finales on QIPCO British Champions Day, Ascot stages no less than 13 of the 35 QIPCO British Champions Series races.

What sort of horses like Ascot? Horses that like right-handed courses. And what sort of people? People who like champagne and scones, apparently. During the five-day Royal Ascot meeting in 2010, 60,000 bottles of champagne and 40,000 scones were consumed. Lobsters, meanwhile, don’t like Royal Ascot – 1,500 of them were eaten over that same period.

Getting there

Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 7JX

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RT @BuckleyKevin: Fantastic to see European Champion 2YO and dual Guineas winner CHURCHILL (Galileo) settling into his new surroundings at…