Lucida to be crowned 'Queen of Royal Ascot' today after landing the highly-prestigious group one, �375000 Coronation Stakes over the round mile of a 'good to firm' surface; all signals are in place and judged on her time-handicap mark, nigh on seven weeks ago, Jim Bolger's charge will take hers, in the hallowed winners' enclosure.
Only three-quarters of a length separated Lucida from impressive winner, Legatissimo, in the English 1000 Guineas, the former having quickened clear 300 yards out where she traded long odds-on 'in running' for exchange manipulators; the final climb just exploited a stamina loophole.That represents outstanding classic form, much better than the latest sterling effort by Aidan O'Brien-trained, Found, not quite good enough in the Irish equivalent, when beaten half a length by Pleascach at The Curragh.
French '1000' winner and runner-up, Irish Rookie, add spice to what promises to be a tremendous spectacle; this is the real 'Ladies' Day' and Lucida, assisted by veteran Kevin Manning, can recoup those Newmarket losses incurred on the famous Rowley Mile.Will Limato gain revenge over Adaay in the first running of an eighteen-runner group one Commonwealth Cup over six furlongs or is Muhaarah about to prove too classy?
On 'good to soft' at Haydock last month Limato lost his unbeaten record when Adaay proved just too strong, winning by a length; the actual time-figure was disappointing, inconclusive, but William Haggas' charge is progressing and will probably confirm placings; Muhaarah could be the 'fly in the ointment' even though this distance might be a tad too short.
Muhaarah clocked an impressive TH mark when winning the 'Greenham' over seven furlongs and then ran remarkably well in the French '2000' given he was drawn wide, close to the River Seine; he's class and that might just prove the key to what promises to be a wonderful 'extra' for a truly great fixture.
Charles Hills trains Muhaarah for Hamdan Al Maktoum and later stable-companion Elronaq carries his famous blue colours in the sixteen-runner Maiden Stakes over six furlongs, during the first evening programme of 2015 on the July course; look no further for the winner!