Coronation Stakes clues as Hermosa aims to record impressive hat-trick
Coronation Stakes (Group 1) | 1m | 3yo fillies | ITV/SKY
The three-year-oldmile division might appear murky for the males after the 2,000 Guineas, Irish versionand St James's Palace Stakes were won by different horses, but Hermosa has the chance to stamp her authority among the fillies in the Coronation Stakes.
Largely unconsidered as a 14-1 shot in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, the daughter of superstar sire Galileo built on that with an impressive performance in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and aims to emulate her trainer Aidan O'Brien's Winter, who completed a sublime Classic-Coronation Stakes treble in 2017.
She has rock-solid credentials and O'Brien said: "She is very well and seems to have come out of the Curragh in good form. She has always been a very straightforward filly and everything has gone well since the Curragh."
O'Brien also fields Happen, a Group 3 winner at the Curragh when last seen, and Just Wonderful, a major off-season fancy for the 1,000 Guineas whose 2019 campaign has yet to ignite.
"Happen is a very consistent filly who won well the last day at the Curragh,"headded. "Just Wonderful ran well at Newmarket and things didn't go her way at the Curragh. She seems in good form since."
Joy for Jubiloso camp?
Sir Michael Stoute is noted for his patience with horses, but he has wasted little time pushing Khalid Abdullah's Jubiloso into top-level company after her impressive success in a Newbury novice last month.
A daughter of Shamardal out of Joyeuse– a half-sister to the outstanding Frankel– the three-year-old will be ridden by James McDonald, who won the Jersey Stakes last year on connections' Expert Eye.
Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said: "This is a step up, there's no question about that. She's gone maiden, novice and now a Group 1, but everything she's shown either on the racecourse or at home has encouraged us to do this.
"She's been in very good form since Newbury and has worked well. We'll have to see as she's taking on some proven and high-class fillies. I imagine if we have a drying day the ground will be on the easy side of good, which I don't think will be a worry. A deluge would mean going into the unknown."
Pretty looks good for Bell
Pretty Pollyanna– a top juvenile last term when claiming the Prix Morny– swerved the 1,000 Guineas, but ran big when second to Hermosa in the Irish edition.
Her trainer Michael Bell said: "Her run in the Irish 1,000 Guineas was very good. We could do with a drying day and hopefully she can give a very good account of herself.
"She was in good form before the Irish 1,000 Guineas, but given normal progression she should have improved 2-3lb at least."
Castle puts French form to the test
With the British and Irish 1,000 Guineas form well represented by Hermosa, Henri-Alex Pantall is intrigued to see how Castle Lady, winner of the French equivalent, fareson her first start since the Longchamp Classic.
Castle Lady did not race as a two-year-old but is unbeatenin three starts after a win on the all-weather at Chantilly and two successes in Group company at Longchamp.
Her trainer said: "It will be interesting to see how the form of the British, Irish and French Guineas matches up. She has progressed well and I think she showed a little bit of inexperience in the Poule d'Essai so she should be better on that front, while she has also strengthened up a bit.
"She was still a little wintery at Longchamp and her coat looks better, though I think she still hasn't quite blossomed in that respect.
"She is drawn close to Hermosa and I hope she can take us into the race."
What they say
John Gosden, trainer of Twist 'N' Shake
She's only small so we didn't want to run her in the Sandringham with a lot of weight to carry. It's a nice race to be involved in and if we can get a piece of it we'll be happy.
Francis Graffard, trainer of Watch Me
I still hold her in the same high regard despite the disappointing result in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches. The timing of the race works well after Longchamp and the filly herself is showing all the right signs of being in great form. Obviously if she were third that would be fantastic and the rain that has arrived is good news because she won on very deep ground at Toulouse last year. She is in great form and I'm looking forward to running her.
Hermosa bids to follow Attraction and Winter into the record books
Hermosais tasked withjoining an elite group of fillies to have landed the 1,000 Guineas and Irish 1,000 Guineas before scoring in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Attraction (2004) and Winter (2017) are the only two horses to have achieved thetreble this century. Finsceal Beo also won both Classics but finished eighth at the royal meeting.
Attraction began her Classic campaign in great style to account for Sundrop by half a length in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket. The logical next step was the Irish 1,000 Guineas, where the 2-1 favouritebeatfive-time Group 1 winner Alexander Goldrun at the Curragh. The treble was completed at Ascot one month later when Attraction arguably produced her most deadly display in the Coronation Stakes, defeating ten runners in blistering fashion.
5-4 favourite Rhododendron was all the rage before the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket but succumbed to her lesser-fancied stablemate Winter. She proved that was no fluke at the Curragh by securing the Classic double in comfortable fashion. A third straight top-level victory looked a formality in the Coronation Stakes and although lacking the visual impression of her previous wins, Winter cemented her status in the record books with another Group 1 triumph at Ascot.
Hermosa, a sister to Hydrangea, arrived at Newmarket with questions to answer on her seasonal return but made every yard of the running to win the 1,000 Guineas at 14-1. She doubled up to defeat Pretty Pollyanna by four lengths at the Curragh and bids to emulate Attraction and Winter at the royal meeting.
Thejockey bookings for Hermosa arean exact copy of Winter's treble, with Wayne Lordan on board at Newmarket before Ryan Moore took over in the saddle at the Curragh and Ascot.
Dual Guineas winnerHermosawill be hard to beat but whether she should be quite such a red-hot favourite is another matter altogether. At the likely prices, preference is forHappen, who has been an improved filly in two 7f Group 3 races this season and has given the very strong impression that a step up to 1m will see her step up again. She makes a good bit of each-way appeal.Castle Ladydid well to win the French 1,000 Guineas last time considering that was only her third start and she didn't run as a 2yo. The bare form is pretty ordinary by top-flight standards, though, so it could well be another Ballydoyle bonanza withJust Wonderfultaken to claim third.
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