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Coronation Stakes 2011 

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Immortal Verse Takes Coronation Crown
17/06/11

1 Immortal Verse 8/1
2 Nova Hawk 9/2
3 Barefoot Lady 16/1
NR: Maqaasid
12 ran Distances: 2¼l, ½l, ½l
TIME 1m 42.75s (slow by 2.75s)

French horses trained by father and son Robert and Rod Collet finished first and second in today's feature, the £250,000 Group One Coronation Stakes for fillies.

Immortal Verse
© Racehorse Photos

Immortal Verse

Collet Snr came out in front thanks to Immortal Verse, who was ridden by Gerald Mosse for owner Richard Strauss. This was Collet's second Royal winner, his first being Last Tycoon, who landed the King's Stand Stakes in 1986 under Cash Asmussen and also wore Strauss's colours.

Collet said: "This is the best filly I have trained. At Newmarket [in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas] they put a hood on her to enter the stalls and there was a lot of wind, which irritated her [and she did not line up].

"Then in the French Guineas [the Poule d'Essai Des Pouliches] things didn't go to plan so we have to forget that, and it is great that she has come back and proved herself a Group One filly. Her best weapon is her turn of foot."

Jockey Gerald Mosse said: "The pace was fast enough on the ground, but not that fast, but she was a bit keen so I decided to drop her in behind to make sure she was totally relaxed.

"When I pulled her out to challenge her reaction was quicker than I expected and we hit the front too soon. It was the first time I had been on board, but she did it really easily.

"The last good filly I rode in the Coronation Stakes was Gold Splash [who won in 1993] - this one also has a fantastic turn of foot, and only top-class horses can do that. I would like to congratulate the owner and thank him for putting me on the filly at the last moment. She really was a great ride.

"It's one of the best moments to ride a winner at Royal Ascot - it is known worldwide and a dream to have a runner, let alone ride a Group 1 winner."
Asked if he would like to ride Immortal Verse against Golden Lilac, who won the Pouliches, Mosse said: "It would depend on the ground, track and distance, and the filly would have to be right on the day, but I believe she can compete with anyone."

Does he feel this year's three-year-old French fillies are superior to their British counterparts? Mosse said: "I'm not going to say that and upset anybody!"

 

Position
Horse
Trainer
Jockey
Weight
Starting Price
Beaten Distance
1
Immortal Verse
Robert Collet
G Mosse
9st 0lbs
8 - 1
Winner
2
Nova Hawk
Rod Collet
S Pasquier
9st 0lbs
9 - 2
2 1/4 lengths
3
Barefoot Lady
R A Fahey
K Fallon
9st 0lbs
16 - 1
1/2 length
4
I Love Me
A M Balding
David Probert
9st 0lbs
14 - 1
1/2 length
5
Together
A P O'Brien
R L Moore
9st 0lbs
7 - 2
Short Head
6
Joviality
J H M Gosden
William Buick
9st 0lbs
10 - 1
3/4 length
7
Memory
R Hannon
R Hughes
9st 0lbs
10 - 1
1 3/4 length
8
Theyskens' Theory
B J Meehan
Martin Dwyer
9st 0lbs
6 - 1
6 lengths
9
Claiomh Solais
J S Bolger
K J Manning
9st 0lbs
9 - 1
2 3/4 lengths
10
Elshabakiya
C E Brittain
P Robinson
9st 0lbs
80 - 1
7 lengths
11
More Than Real
Todd Pletcher
O Peslier
9st 0lbs
12 - 1
5 lengths
12
Clinical
Sir Mark Prescott
S Sanders
9st 0lbs
25 - 1
4 1/2 lengths
NonRunner
Maqaasid
J H M Gosden
R Hills
9st 0lbs
-
       

 

Rarely is a trainer delighted in defeat but Rod Collet displayed just such emotion after seeing his filly Nova Hawk play second fiddle to Immortal Verse in the Group One Coronation Stakes; the reason being that the winner is trained by none other than his father, Robert Collet.

Nova Hawk had finished fourth in both the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas and French 1,000 Guineas this season and was sent off at 9/2 to taste Coronation Stakes success.

The three-year-old Hawk Wing filly, keen in the early stages before being settled towards the rear under Stephane Pasquier, hit traffic problems in the straight as the winner swept from last to first with an uninterrupted wide run down the home straight.

Collet was pleased with Nova Hawk's effort in taking second, two and a quarter lengths behind his father's filly, but could now look at dropping down in distance.

He said: "She ran a great race but she still needs to be a bit more relaxed in her races - she has a lot of speed.

"She finished short in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and at Longchamp too. A mile is quite a bit long, so seven furlongs could be a great distance for a filly like that.

"I am happy for two things; my father beat me and it is always better when it is your family. Everybody is happy and for me Ascot is a beautiful place to be. And also last year when I came for the first time, Sahpresa was sick and we finished nowhere (Windsor Forest Stakes), so for me you should never say stop, or I was beaten last year so I'm not coming back again; no, you should always keep fighting and try again and in racing sometimes you are down and sometimes you are up."

As to future targets, plans have yet to be made for Nova Hawk's next assignment.

Collet added: "At the moment I have no idea because I will talk to the owners and then see what we will do next."

Richard Fahey, trainer of third-placed Barefoot Lady (16/1), said: "She is very tough and very genuine. She was first beaten but was still there at the finish. I have said it before, she is the toughest I have ever trained and she still probably wants a bit further."

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