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Royal Ascot News 2006

Royal Ascot 2006

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ascot racecourseNannina Proves Herself Best Filly In Europe 23/06/06

Nannina finished two lengths clear of a glittering field featuring Europe’s finest three-year-old mile fillies when winning the Group 1 Coronation Stakes under Jimmy Fortune.

The Medicean filly, home-bred by David and Patricia Thompson’s Cheveley Park Stud, had disappointed on her only previous run this season in the Stan James 1000 Guineas.

“It was fast ground on the Saturday for the 2000 Guineas but they had an inch and a half of rain overnight and she hated it on the Sunday,” recalled winning trainer John Gosden. “It was always going to be good to firm here though.

“She was a little further back than we we wanted but fortunately she was able to get up the inner and Frankie let her through. The plan was always to try to get lucky.

“The owners are fabulous breeders, they’ve bred a classic winner this season and they have won the championship fillies’ mile race here. I’ve been second in this race three times so it’s great to win it.”

Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park Stud, added: “We decided to run her in the Guineas because we are Newmarket-based, you only get one go at the race and the Thompsons were keen to have a go. But I said all along that the ground would make a difference here.

“When going into a race like today’s with four or five classic winners and a champion two-year-old, you’d be happy with just a place.

“It’s great for the Thompsons, as she is from the first crop of a home-bred stallion. It justifies the policy of racing, rather than selling, the colts and standing them as stallions.”

Jockey Jimmy Fortune added: “Today she showed what a good filly she is. She’s a bit of character at home, and all credit to Robert Havlin who rides her out usually, and I got a bit excited when I rode her in some work last week.

“The boss had said to me in the Guineas to take it easy if she was not enjoying it but she’s always been a very nice filly, she was a Group 1 winner last year and has done nothing but progress.

“She had the draw, the pace and everything went right for her today. She’s tough with a lot of class and is a real character. On the form today, she’s the best filly in Europe and she’s good enough to take on the colts now.”

ascot racecourseChoice Field for Coronation Stakes

Fifteen Fillies will make up the field for a top-drawer renewal of the Coronation Stakes on Friday. It is the biggest field for the Coronation Stakes since Avila won in 1949 from 14 others.

The Group 1 contest will feature three Guineas’ winners in the shape of Speciosa, Nightime and Vague.

Speciosa surged to a scintillating success in the Stan James 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 7.

She struck a major blow for Fenland trainer Pam Sly on that occasion and subsequently produced a solid display in finishing fourth in the Vodafone Oaks at Epsom.

Nightime gave Curragh handler Dermot Weld an Irish 1,000 Guineas’ victory at his local track last month. The form of that race has a solid look with 1000 Guineas’ runner-up and subsequent French Prix de Diane Hermes winner Confidential Lady back in sixth.

Vague is the third Guineas’ scorer in the showpiece race. The Elusive Quality filly won the UAE equivalent at Nad Al Sheba in February but is returning from a lengthy injury lay-off.

Trainer Jeremy Noseda said: “She is a tough filly, who tries very hard and has improved from two to three. She has worked well in the build-up to the Coronation Stakes.

“I would have loved a couple more weeks to prepare her but I feel she will be suited by a mile, suited by the ground and is worth her place in the contest.”

Price Tag was first past the post in the French 1,000 Guineas but was subsequently disqualified and placed third with Tie Black handed the race. She will seek to prove that she is the best filly in Europe in what is a red-hot renewal of the Coronation Stakes.

There will be one or two bidding to restore slightly dented reputations. Flashy Wings, a Queen Mary and Lowther Stakes’ winner, headed the market for the 1000 Guineas all through the winter and spring but disappointed.

A similar remark applies to 2005 Fillies’ Mile winner Nannina, while last year’s Cheveley Park heroine Doona Blini will seek to prove that she does stay this trip.

Nasheej’s third place in the 1000 Guineas was a big effort but she subsequently hated the heavy ground in the Irish equivalent, trailing in 14th of 15.

Godolphin’s Silca’s Sister, who beat the colts in the Prix Morny last summer, encouraged when fourth in the 1000 Guineas. She had Wake Up Maggie immediately behind her on that occasion and both will do battle again on Friday.

The field is completed by Lolita, Mostaqeleh, Nantyglo, Race For The Stars and Rajeem.

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