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.
Surprisingly, the race had eluded one of the greatest jockey’s of all time, Frankie Dettori until 2020. Picking up the ride on Alpnie Star for Jessica Harrington, Dettori finally completed his Royal Ascot Group 1 full house with a commanding victory. The performance reminiscent of Jessica Harrington’s other winner of the race, Alpha Centauri in 2018.
Current leading jockeys: Gerald Mosse, 2 wins (1993, 2011); Ryan Moore, 2 wins (2014, 2017)
Current leading trainer: Sir Michael Stoute, 4 wins (1986, 1987, 1998, 2003)