Homecoming Queen eyes Coronation
RACING:HOMECOMING QUEEN can follow in the hoofprints of recent 1,000 Guineas winners Ghanaati and Attraction by landing the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot today.
Aidan O’Brien’s filly couldn’t build on her front-running success at Newmarket when only fourth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas behind Mick Channon’s Samitar – who reopposes in today’s Group One.
She was a 20-1 shock winner when beating stablemate and favourite Maybe – who was third – at Newmarket. Many believe that was a fluke and her run at the Curragh seemed to back that up.
But the Holy Roman Emperor filly looks a top class horse this year having been highly tried as a juvenile. And she can prove her Guineas win wasn’t lucky.
Samitar and John Gosden’s Elusive Kate will be dangers but Homecoming Queen can just come out on top under Joseph O’Brien, who has his first Royal winner aboard So You Think on Wednesday.
The King Edward VII Stakes is looked on as the “Ascot Derby” and is a decent prize for those who couldn’t quite cut it at Epsom or bypassed the Classic.
It was won last year by subsequent King George winner Nathaniel, who missed Epsom after finishing second in the Chester Vase.
O’Brien’s Astrology won the Dee Stakes on the Roodee and can land the Group Two contest.
He followed that with an excellent third to stablemate Camelot in the Epsom Derby after setting a decent gallop in front. He was only touched off on the line for second.
The Galileo colt will be ridden with a bit more restraint now and sets the standard in this small field. His chief rival is likely to be Henry Cecil’s Noble Mission.
Gosden and William Buick scored with Nathaniel and also won the Wolferton Handicap with Beachfire 12 months ago. The winner bids to follow up again under Warrington jockey Paul Hanagan. But the Gosden-Buick combination can score again with Gatewood.
The four-year-old is on a hat-trick after successes at York and Epsom and he hasn’t stopped improving.
His success at Epsom – although only by a neck – was very impressive. He had to weave his way through the field coming from almost last to first.
He was value for a little more than the official verdict and on a more conventional track he should be able to make it three out of three this season.
James Fanshawe’s Primaeval – owned by Ant and Dec – can take the Britannia Stakes, while it may pay to side with O’Brien’s Athens in the Queen’s Vase.