The Coronation Stakes gives the 3 year old fillies center stage on Friday at Ascot. It’s a Group 1 race over 8 furlongs and is run on the round course. With the winners of the English and Irish 1000 Guineas renewing rivalry, it promises to be a well up to par renewal. The times suggested the going today was firm, as they suggested it was for the first two days. Rain was forecast for Wednesday night and today, but they got little, if any. The clerk says he’s going to put 4 mm on Thursday night, and with only very light showers forecast this seems a wise policy. It does mean the ground is likely to ride fast again tomorrow. Before having a bet why not avail of a free bet by opening a new account.
Just The Judge went through the Newmarket Guineas like the best horse for much of the race, but while they didn’t go overly fast upfront, they perhaps kicked for home a bit to soon, and as a result finished the final furlong quite slowly. Sky Lantern got up to beat her by 1/2l, under a well judged ride. Just A Judge went on to the Curragh and won the Irish 1000 by 1 1/2l, again she traveled like the best horse, but didn’t find that much off the bridle, with the outsider, Rehn’s Nest closing her down to the line. The 2nd seemed exposed off 102 beforehand, but this was the first time she got fast ground so maybe that explains the improvement. It would still be hard to rate this an improved effort for Just A Judge, but she may still be capable of one.
Sky Lantern was 2nd in the Nell Gwyn under a 3lb penalty and improved a bit on that to win the Guineas. She did, as already mentioned get a perfect ride though, and has less scope to improve than the runner up. She is however tough and consistent, and has the advantage of a break since, where as Just A Judge comes here after two hardish races.
Big Break has improved with every race and the Irish 1000 was her first start this year. Only the winner traveled better than her, but she flattened out the last furlong after looking like she might challenge. She was still only beaten 2l, and given she may have needed it she could improve. I do think she will prove better on good, or good to soft ground though, and it now looks unlikely that she’ll get that tomorrow. The stable is not in great form either. Before today Weld has only had 7 places from 37 runners, when 14.7 would be expected given their odds. Along Came Casey did win for them at Leopardstown this evening though.
Pavlosk won on her debut at Newbury, and improved hugely on that when easily winning a listed race at York. The official going was good to soft, and soft for those victories, although times suggested it might have been faster both times. She traveled supremely well at York, and put the race to bed a good way out from some decent enough types. She meets much better rivals here, but doesn’t need to improve more than about 8-10lb, and already improved much more than that from her first to second start. I’m not that worried about the ground, in fact she may even be better on fast ground, as her sire’s offspring do much better on fast than soft, and a few of her better siblings are best on fast too.
Viztoria ran three times on heavy last season and that surface seems to suit very well. She made a winning comeback on good to soft at the Curragh, but while she won cosy enough, the form isn’t anywhere near what would be required here, and with the ground faster again, I wouldn’t give her much chance. Siyenica won a minor event on her debut and then dropped away after leading over 10 furlongs in a group 1. She finished only 7th of 8 after having a soft lead, so while she pulled a bit, and may be better over shorter than that 10 furlongs, she needs to improve an awful lot to figure here.
Rehn’s Nest seemed to how vastly improved form in the Irish 1000, but as mentioned it was her first run on fast ground, and perhaps she improved for it. The alternative is it wasn’t a very good race, but it may pay to take the view the winner Just The Judge ran a similar race to Newmarket. If that’s the case then Rehn’s Nest could run well here, but she has had a good few more runs than others with similar form, and it would be hard to see her finding the improvement to win.
Maureen stayed on well in the English 1000, after being slightly held up in her run, she was in no way unlucky though, indeed Snow Queen came from 2l behind her to beat her. She was again blocked in her run at the Curragh but got out in plenty of time to do a lot more than she did. Indeed she was just behind Rehn’s Nest when in the clear, but that one went away from her. Maureen looks like she’s being held up to get the mile, and is flattered making cheap late gains, if she was ridden more prominent I’d expect her to fade out of it, and wouldn’t give her much chance in this. Snow Queen came home well at Newmarket, but disappointed at the Curragh, she could run well, but it would be disappointing if there wasn’t something to beat her.
The two Guineas winners have to have a good chance, and of the two I think Just The Judge is the more likely winner as she has more scope to improve. That said she didn’t appear to improve at the Curragh despite winning, and I think Pavlosk has a good chance of progressing past both of them. I think the faster ground is a likely to prove a positive as a negative and at 8/1 with