Coronation Stakes Betting Tips & Predictions – Ascot, Friday 21st June 2019

Prominent amongst the big highlights on Day 4 at the marvellous Royal Ascot festival is this top class contest for fillies. Won by the likes of Russian Rhythm, Attraction and Winter over the years, this is one of the real championship contests for the Classic generation.

1000 Guineas and Irish 1000 Guineas title-holder Hermosa finds herself in a commanding position at the top of the betting for this exciting looking renewal. The market continues to show its support for her but in the process they are overlooking the real threat carried by Poule d'Essai des Pouliches winner Lady Castle.

Top Tips

Lady Castle to win @ 7/1

Pretty Pollyanna each way @ 10/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

One mile is the trip for this Group 1 contest which offers £500,000 in prize money. It’s set to be run on soft going but don’t be surprised if the official reading changes given how unpredictable the recent weather has been.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Soft 1m Group 1 £500,000 10 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

Considering the conditions of the race, it is no surprise that it regularly attracts runners from the English, Irish and French 1000 Guineas. Three winners of the English Classic have done the double in the past 10 years.

With three wins in the past eight years, this has been just about the best contest at the meeting for the French raiders. This year we have a pair of trainers making the journey over from across the Channel, Henri-Alex Pantall (Castle Lady) and Francis-Henri Graffard (Watch Me).

YearWinnerSPTrainerJockey
2018 Alpha Centauri 11/4 Jessica Harrington Colm O'Donoghue
2017 Winter 4/9 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2016 Qemah 6/1 Jean-Claude Rouget Gregory Benoist
2015 Ervedya 3/1 Jean-Claude Rouget Christophe Soumillon
2014 Rizeena 11/2 Clive Brittain Ryan Moore

Analysis: Can Hermosa storm the castle?

There are only two names among this Coronation Cup stakes with a proven record at the highest level, Hermosa and Castle Lady. The pair are set to meet for the first time this Friday in what looks set to be a thrilling battle between them. Trends for this race suggest they’ve both received a handy draw, two gates apart from each other, and the pair of prominent runners will no doubt be the pace setters at Ascot.

Jubiloso much of an unknown

Second in the betting for this Coronation Stakes renewal is Jubiloso (4/1), a name you are unlikely to have encountered before. The filly has only made two career starts to date with the most competitive of them being a Class 3 maiden stakes affair at Chelmsford. Not only is this race a huge step up in standard for her but it’s also a step up in distance too with Michael Stoute’s horse yet to face a mile test. Perhaps she’ll thrive on the occasion but at her price it’s hard to say she justifies the gamble.

Castle to lay siege

As impressive as Hermosa looked in both her 1000 Guineas and Irish 1000 Guineas victories, she’s yet to face a horse quite as talented as Castle Lady. The unbeaten American-bred filly has raced exclusively over one mile, looking very much at home over such a trip. Her debut triumph came on artificial turf but she later won at Longchamp on both good and heavy going, demonstrating her ground versatility. This could well come in handy here as who knows what conditions might be at Ascot when this race gets underway.

Pollyanna looking pretty

We’ve only had one Coronation Stakes winner set off at double digit odds since 2002 but there has been some murmurings of supports for Pretty Pollyanna (10/1). Michael Bell’s horse finished second to Hermosa in the Irish 1000 Guineas and unlike the winner, didn’t have the benefit of an earlier run. A similarly solid effort in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile to end last season makes a place finish here far from out the question. Although she’s yet to be tested on softer ground, it’s important to remember that Hermosa’s last high-level loss game on good to soft going at Chantilly.

Final Verdict: Castle Lady to win

After winning a muddy French 1000 Guineas last month, the rapidly improving Castle Lady is incredibly well priced to maintain her unbeaten streak. Soft going at Ascot will very much work in her favour and help give her the edge over Aidan O’Brien’s Hermosa. We also rather like the look of Pretty Pollyanna as an each way option though as she looks more than capable of improving on an encouraging Irish 2000 Guineas offering.

About

Painting of the Coronation of Queen Victoria by Sir George Hayter
Sir George Hayter via Wikimedia Commons

Standing as the leading contest on day four of Royal Ascot is the mile long Coronation Stakes. Named to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria two years earlier, this race has been on the go since 1840. It’s been an ever-present feature at Ascot since, postponed only when Ascot closed during times of war. Initially handed Group 2 status when the present system of grading was introduced, a number of high quality performers in the 1980s triggered its promotion to Group 1 in 1988.

The race is one of several top quality affairs strictly reserved for three-year-old fillies. Others include the 1,000 Guineas, the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and the Irish 1,000 Guineas, which are also run over a distance of one mile. This is arguably the most sought after of the lot though thanks to its recent purse increase. In 2018 the Coronation Cup was valued at £538,750, a huge 25% increase from the previous year.

Post-Guineas destination

It’s common to find fillies that feature in the 1,000 Guineas or the Irish 1,000 Guineas winding up in this race. Runners in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches do sometimes make the move across the Channel for the Coronation Stakes too although this is less common. The result of either the British or Irish Guineas has been a reasonably strong predictor of how this race turns out and it’s certainly of some worth to heed the results. As you can see from the table below, when winners of the Classic races do feature here, plenty are able to at least meet expectations.

1000 Guineas Winners in the Coronation Stakes: 2009 to 2018

Year Horse 1000 Guineas Irish 1000 Guineas Race Finish & SP
2018 Alpha Centauri 1st at 11/4
Billesdon Brook 4th at 9/2
2017 Winter 1st at 4/9
2016 Jet Setting 6th at 9/4
2015 Pleascach 2nd at evens
2013 Sky Lantern 1st at 9/2
Just The Judge 3rd at 5/1
2012 Samitar 4th at 9/2
Homecoming Queen 8th at 9/4
2009 Ghanaati 1st at 2/1
Again 7th at 8/1

Thrilling finish to a special 2013 renewal

There is never a bad Coronation Stakes race but there are some that are more memorable than others. One that will stick in the mind of many racing fans is the 2015 edition of the race, won by Richard Hughes’ Sky Lantern. That year saw a field of 17 go for the Group 1 prize, making it the most well-attended renewal since the turn of the century. With a furlong left to go five horses were level pegging at the front of the field. It looked to be anyone’s for the taking but Sky Lantern put the burners on to swallow the lot of them on her way to an emphatic four length victory. Sky Lantern’s superb display can be seen in full in the video below.

Odd way to victory

Make of this what you will but there has been an unusual bias towards horses starting in odd numbered stalls in this race. From the last 17 renewals, they’ve accounted for 14 winners (82%) with gate 11 (24%) being the most successful of the lot. While it could easily just be the possibility of pure fluke, the lack of success of the inside runner is unlikely to be. Fillies who have been drawn in gate one haven’t claimed victory a single time this century, a winless streak long enough to make you suspect they are at some disadvantage.

Chart Showing the Stall Numbers of Coronation Stakes Winners Between 2002 and 2018

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