Royal Ascot 2021: Coronation Stakes Ante-post Preview and Betting Tips
In terms of prestige, the Coronation Stakes is second only to the 1,000 Guineas for three-year-old fillies over a mile.
In 2021, the line-up potentially includes the first half a dozen home in the Newmarket Classic, the first two home in the Irish equivalent and the second and fifth from the French equivalent, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches.
Empress Josephine needs to be supplemented
Interviewed after her victory in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, trainer Aidan O’Brien intimated that Empress Josephine ‘might’ go for the Coronation Stakes but, if she does, will need to be supplemented at a cost of £30,000 to connections. That may well happen but, for ante-post purposes, she looks plenty short enough at the odds on offer, particularly as her winning form is on soft and heavy going.
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Mother Earth boasts solid Classic form
Also trained by Aidan O’Brien, Mother Earth won the 1,000 Guineas, on good to firm going, before finishing a creditable second, beaten 1¼ lengths, behind Coeursamba in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, on very soft going, two weeks later. That form is as good as any on offer and it will take a very smart performance to lower her colours.
Primo Bacio firmly on the upgrade
Primo Bacio finished a never-nearer fourth, as a 100/1 rank outsider, in the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury in April, but showed the benefit of that run when readily winning the Listed Michael Seely Memorial Stakes at York, on her first attempt over mile, a month later. She has clearly improved from two to three and doesn’t have much to find with the best of these on official ratings, so shouldn’t be underestimated.
Alcohol Free looks more of a sprinter
Alcohol Free won the aforementioned Fred Darling Stakes before finishing fifth, beaten 2 lengths, behind Mother Earth in the 1,000 Guineas. She obviously has a ‘squeak’, but has plenty of natural speed and may ultimately prove best when dropped back to sprinting distances. Indeed, the idea of running her in the preceding Commonwealth Cup, over 6 furlongs, rather than the Coronation Stakes has been mooted by connections.
Potapova is an unknown quantity
The twice-raced Invincible Spirit filly Potapova has been impressive in winning novice stakes races at Chelmsford and Redcar, by 6½ lengths and 8 lengths, respectively. Of course, there is a yawning gulf between that form and what’s required to win the Coronation Stakes, but her trainer Sir Michael Stoute is no stranger to the winners’ enclosure at Royal Ascot. She could, indeed, be anything, including not up to the standard required.
Indigo Girl shouldn’t be forgotten
Indigo Girl finished 1½ lengths ahead of Mother Earth when a narrow second in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket last October and a reproduction of that form would clearly give her every chance. She hasn’t been seen in public since and has yet to race on going faster than good, but remains open to significant improvement after just three runs. Her pedigree suggests that she may well be suited by further than a mile in due course but, provided she arrives fit and well after her lengthy absence, she could go well at rewarding odds.
Mother Earth is hard to fault on her two runs so far this season and can chalk up another Royal Ascot victory for the Master of Ballydoyle.
Selection: Mother Earth (9/2 with William Hill)
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