Friday 22nd June, 4:20 – Royal Ascot – 1m (7f 213y) (Rnd) Coronation Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Fillies) (Class 1) (3yo)
The Coronation Stakes was established in 1840 to commemorate the Coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838. In 1971 the race was designated at a Group 2 event and was promoted to Group 1 status in 1998. The race is open to three year old fillies and is usually contested by horses who ran in the 1,000 Guineas, the Irish 1,000 Guineas and the French equivalent the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches.
The betting is the first port of call when looking for the winner of the race as 15 of the last 18 winners were sent off at starting prices of no more than 6/1. Seven of the last 12 winners were favourites or joint favourites and eight of the last 12 winners were in the first three in the betting.
All of the last 12 winners had run earlier in the season and five of the last 12 winners had won on their previous start. Only four of the last twelve winners had previously run at Ascot. Previous form over the race distance of 1 mile is significant as eight of the last 12 winners had previously won over the trip and all 12 winners had won at least twice previously, although not necessarily over 1 mile.
The 1,000 Guineas has been an excellent guide to the likely winner of the Coronation Stakes in recent times with 10 of the last 15 winners having contested the 1,000 Guineas. Seven of those 10 winners finished in the first six at Newmarket. The Irish 1,000 Guineas winner has followed up and won the Coronation Stakes eight times in the last 31 years.
An Official Rating of 109 or higher has been needed to win the race in 10 of the last 12 renewals. Previous Group 1 winning form should be noted as seven of the last 12 winners had at least one win at Group 1 level and 11 of the last 12 winners had previously won in Groups 1 to 3.
Billesdon Brook provided possibly the biggest shock in the history of the 1,000 Guineas when she won at odds of 66/1. However, the way the Chestnut Filly was ridden to make her move from near the back of the field to win by 1¾ lengths was visually very impressive. She showed a very good turn of foot and stayed on strongly on the uphill finish and was subsequently supplemented to run in the Coronation Cup.
Her trainer Richard Hannon has said that she has a good chance so long as the rain stays away and with no rain in the forecast she should get the same Good to Firm going she enjoyed when winning at Newmarket last time out. Should she win the Coronation Stakes she will become the sixth filly this century to do the 1,000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes double. However, with the winners of all three Guineas running it will prove to be no easy task.
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