An exciting rematch: the best three-year-old fillies battle it out over the mile as the first three home in the Coronation Stake go head-to-head.
Alcohol Free was a superb winner of the Royal Ascot race, firmly putting stamina doubts to rest as she stormed home in desperate conditions.
The daughter of No Nay Never clearly confirmed all the promise she showed as a juvenile, having won two of her three starts this season, with the only blip coming in the ultra-competitive 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.
As impressive as her Ascot performance was, ground conditions will be completely different today. She has solid form on a faster surface also, nonetheless that is a question mark.
Connections of Snow Lantern had every right to feel a little bit unlucky after the grey didn’t get quite a clear run in the closing stages at Royal Ascot. She clearly settled much better than when beaten as odds-on favourite at York a few weeks earlier, though, and that gave her a chance to finish fast in the end.
Her talent was never in doubt, though, and the supremely well-bred Snow Lantern is still open to any amount of improvement.
The same could be said about Primo Bacio, who got the better of Snow Lantern at York. She quickened in visually impressive manner, following-up on an eye-catching seasonal debut performance in the Fred Darling Stakes.
Can she step up to Group 1 level? We’ll find out today. As visually arresting her last run was, on topspeed ratings she has plenty to find with the market principles.
Aiden O’Brien throws only one dart today. His 1000 Guineas heroine Mother Earth finished 3rd in the Coronation Stakes and was also a fine runner-up in the French Guineas before that.
She was an excellent juvenile but has stepped up as a three-year-old again and represents consistency of the highest order. She lost nothing in defeat at Royal Ascot. In fact, in my view, she enhancer her claims to be considered the favourite today.
Mother Earth clearly benefited from better ground at Newmarket, and it’s only down to her class that she performs nearly as well on slow going. As impressive as Alcohol Free and Snow Lantern appeared visually in the Coronation Stakes, Mother Earth’s finishing speed % was actually better that day.
Flying the flag for the older generation is Duke Of Cambridge Stakes winner Indie Angel. Although that is good form and she won well, she is well exposed and probably a league below the required standard in order to feature against the strong classic generation.
Lady Bowthorpe was runner-up that day and her consistency gives her a chance on any given day. Nonetheless, she has something to find with the market principles.
Perhaps the dark horse is who could spring a surprise, given her 20/1 price tag, is the Joseph O’Brien trained Pretty Gorgeaus. I feel it’s too early to say she hasn’t trained on after two starts in heavy conditions this year.
it was certainly an improved showing at Royal Ascot, where she can be marked up given she was tracking a fast pace while the first three home were all ridden with a bit more restraint.
In conclusion: There is little to chose between the market principles in terms of form. If Alcohol Free or Snow Lantern can improve again remains to be seen. They will have to, though, as I strongly fancy Mother Earth to run a massive race on the better ground. Given current odds she is overpriced at 6/1+.
2.40 York: G3 Summer Stakes, 6f
A quick selection to throw in here as Last Empire looks a silly price in a wide open race. She has to give weight away and was beaten by Light Refrain earlier this year and was bitterly disappointing when last seen.
Nonetheless, if you can forgive her Haydock run, then she is one the more consistent fillies and mares in this race, and one of the few who has multiple times ran fast enough – judged by topspeed ratings – to feature prominently in a race of this class.
Last Empire has ran multiple times to 90+ topspeed ratings, and her Kilvington Stakes runner-up performance back in May saw her clock a 96 rating once again, showing she is still capable to run a a high level.
The drift in her price is a worry, yet 20/1+ on offer is a silly price which I can’t let go.