Lillie Langtry Crowned in Coronation
1 Lillie Langtry 7/2F
Lillie Langtry, sent off a well-supported 7/2 favourite, ended the Ballydoyle drought at this year’s Royal Ascot with an emphatic victory in the Coronation Stakes.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained filly quickened clear of her rivals under Johnny Murtagh to record a length and a quarter verdict in the mile contest over fellow Irish-trained raider Gile Na Greine, in a time of 1m 39.69s.
O’Brien said: “We always thought that she was a very good filly - she was a very good filly last year - but she had a little injury at the back end of the season and it is a credit to everyone for getting her back because it looked like she might never race again.
“She was off the whole winter and just ready to start in the Irish Guineas, where she ran a lovely race - Johnny was delighted with her then and was looking forward to coming here with her.
“The lads at home put so much work in day in and day out so it’s a relief for everyone. It’s a privilege to be a part of the effort so on the whole it’s a relief that we have done this for the lads really - we’re delighted for them.
“Johnny gave her a lovely ride today and he produced her lovely. She quickened really well and showed what she can do. We are delighted - you always dream of these things happening but it doesn’t always work out that way.
“She has the option of stepping up to a mile and a quarter - the Pretty Polly or the Nassau Stakes - so I think they are two options but we have to sit down and talk as to whether she stays at a mile for something like the Sussex Stakes or steps up to a mile and a quarter.
“Age Of Aquarius ran a great race for a four-year-old in the Gold Cup yesterday. Yeats was running in the Coronation Cup when he was four and for Age Of Aquarius to come here as a four-year-old, we were delighted with him.”
Murtagh commented: “Coming into this week I felt the horses would all run well. You just need that little bit of luck and thankfully we got it today.
“I though I had a very strong book of rides here today. I’ve got four seconds on the board this week so two more wins and I’m back on top as leading jockey at the meeting.
“I always thought Lillie Langtry was the best filly last year. She’s got good heart, great ability and plenty of speed. She was finishing well in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and maybe if I’d been a bit more aggressive at the Curragh she might have won.
“That was a very good performance today and it rode like a good race so I’d say it was a pretty strong Coronation Stakes.”
GUTSY GILE TAKES SECOND
The Jim Bolger-trained Gile Na Greine put in a courageous performance when, having made nearly all, the running she was passed in the final furlong to finish second to Lillie Langtry.
“She likes to do her own thing and the main thing is that she travels well,” said Bolger. “She’s hardy, carries plenty of condition and behaves a bit like a colt. But she can take plenty of mileage and she’s good.
“There’s a possibility that she could step up in trip, she certainly won’t be stepping back in distance.”
Trainer Henry Cecil was philosophical following Jacqueline Quest’s third place. The Rock Of Gibraltar filly had finished first past the post in the StanJames.com 1000 Guineas only to be disqualified by the stewards into second.
“She’s done nothing wrong and they were all the best fillies around up against her. We’ll just have to see what we do now, I’m not sure where we’ll go,” said Cecil.
“My other runner Chachamaidee (who finished 12th) ran well until the final stages of the race. She’d been working well but just didn’t stay the mile and will go back to seven furlongs. The obvious race for her is the Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood.”
LONGER TRIP WORTH A TRY FOR MUSIC SHOW
Music Show, who was luckless from an unfavourable draw in the StanJames.com 1000 Guineas, fared little better in the Coronation Stakes.
Trainer Mick Channon, clearly highly disappointed after the filly had finished fourth, said Music Show had been given little chance by today’s draw, which saw her line up on the outside in stall two.
Channon referred further questions to Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Jaber Abdullah.
Raymond said: “She was a little further back than we would have liked, but to get her in among them and not leave her wide he [jockey Ryan Moore] had to take her back. She seemed a bit one-paced, and I would like to try her over a mile and a quarter, but Mick’s the trainer, and it is up to him.”
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