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Mark Johnston takes aim at Alpha Centauri in Falmouth Stakes

11 Jul 2018

Trainer wil saddle Threading and Nyaleti against brilliant Coronation Stakes winne at Newmarket on Friday.

Alpha Centauri trounced her rivals in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. Picture:

Alpha Centauri heads seven runners for the Group 1 Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket on Friday.

The mile feature forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series and Alpha Centauri will start at cramped odds to follow up her stunning success in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, having previously scooped the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas before that.

However, this will be the first time the daughter of Mastercraftsman will take on her elders.

“She’s drawn one and she is in great form,” Jessica Harrington, her trainer, said. “The usual suspects have all turned up again.”

Ladbrokes cut Alpha Centauri to 4/7 (from 4/5) once the final entries were revealed.

Threading chased home Alpha Centauri at Royal Ascot and will attempt to turn the tables. Mark Johnston, her trainer, will also be represented by Nyaleti.

“The Coronation Stakes was a great run by Threading, bar the fact that one horse [Alpha Centauri] absolutely trounced her,” Johnston said. “Arguably things won’t be very different in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes – where if the two of them repeat their Ascot performances Threading will be second again – but I have a principle that I don’t run away from one horse.

“There is some hope that Threading can improve upon her Ascot effort but the main reason for declaring her is that one should never run away from one horse.

“It is obviously a concern that Threading’s two worst runs have been at Newmarket, albeit on the Rowley Mile rather than the July Course, and I have no idea why that might be.”

He added: “I don’t think that the form of Nyaleti’s win in the German Guineas was particularly strong and it may have been overrated. That said, I also think that many of Nyaleti’s other performances have been underrated, such as when she beat the Derby winner, Masar, at last year’s Royal Ascot, or when she finished half a length behind another Classic winner, Laurens.

“I will not be at all surprised if Nyaleti finishes in the first three.”

Aidan O’Brien has won the Falmouth for the past two years and this time relies on Clemmie, winner of the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket last autumn.

Arabian Hope, third in last year’s renewal of the Falmouth, and  Opal Tiara, who was seventh, are back for more. Altyn Orda, trained by Roger Varian, completes the line-up.