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The Coronation Stakes

2.00pm Ascot

FM
Alcohol Free
  • Distance 1m
  • Class 1
  • Group 1
  • Prize money £400,000

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.

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)

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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Redemption for Murphy as Alcohol Free lands Coronation Stakes

Oisin Murphy loses Commonwealth Cup in the Steward's, gains quick reprieve minutes later in the Coronation Stakes

The lows and highs of racing were never more apparent than the 45 minutes between the Commonwealth Cup and Coronation Stakes on Day 4 of Royal Ascot.

Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy, having lost the Commonwealth Cup in the Steward’s room minutes earlier, guided Alcohol Free to Coronation Stakes glory. What disappointment he must have felt was quickly put aside as he produced Andrew Balding’s filly perfectly down the centre of the track for a convincing victory.

Oisin Murphy had Alcohol Free relaxed in the early stages with Novemba and Pretty Gorgeous taking them along. Down the straight as the pace quickened, several were getting tired in the rain softened conditions. However, Alcohol Free was always travelling better than most. Murphy coaxed her into contention and she put any doubts about staying the extra distance to bed.

Sky Lantern stayed on eye-catchingly having not had a clear passage, as well as QIPCO 1000 Guineas winner Mother Earth from the back, finishing second and third in that order.

As he passed the line Murphy blew a kiss to the crowd. A job well done under hugely difficult circumstances. He said: “I didn’t get a chance to stress before Alcohol Free, I had a plan and thankfully it paid off. That was for the Japanese fans”

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.

  • Course plan Ascot Champions Day Course Plan#
  • Course Intro

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 £4m 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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View fixtures

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