Royal Ascot, Friday: Will Queen Come Home In Front?
The Coronation Stakes is the feature race of the afternoon on Day 4 of Royal Ascot 2012, and impressive 1000 Guineas winner Homecoming Queen is the current favourite to bounce back to form and take this stellar Group 1.
She gave Aidan O’Brien his second Classic in as many days in May, but disappointed in her home equivalent at the Curragh last time. Her win at Newmarket was astonishing though, and she was clear by nine lengths at the line. That was a bigger margin than Frankel’s famous victory in the 2011 2000 Guineas. Some have labelled her victory a fluke, especially after her flop in Ireland, but the latter could be blamed on the livelier ground. With conditions set to get wetter at Ascot as the week progresses, if Homecoming Queen was back to Newmarket form, she could easily win this race.
Mick Channon gained his first ever Classic with Samitar who beat Homecoming Queen at the Curragh in the Irish 1000 Guineas. The pair will renew rivalry tomorrow and it will be interesting to see if Samitar can beat her again. Her form is rock solid and in her Classic triumph, she beat subsequent Jersey Stakes winner Ishvana, so she does deserve to go close. Channon’s other runner Laugh Out Loud is ridden by Dettori and won a Group 2 in France latest.
Although Starscope is the third string of John Gosden’s trio on betting forecasts, she must be the first string on form lines. She was second at 33/1 to Homecoming Queen in the Guineas in May and a line can be ruled through her latest effort in the Fillies Trial at Newbury, in which she failed to stay. Stable jockey William Buick has opted for Gosden’s Fallen For You and although she won impressively first time out, she looked below-par last time.
Alain de Royer-Dupre’s Reliable Man was the forgotten horse of yesterday’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and ran on well to take fourth, above the expectations of most. In this, the Frenchman saddles Bugie D’Amore, who found herself behind Laugh Out Loud at Chantilly last time. Being French, the potential of softer ground will, if anything, be a positive and she wouldn’t have been sent over if connections didn’t think she had some sort of chance. Similar comments apply to Russelliana. Sir Michael Stoute must think she is capable of improving to have even entered her in this Group 1 contest and so each way punters may latch on to her.
3.45pm for the Coronation Stakes.
Image courtesy of racingpost.com