THERE don’t look many better races this week than the Coronation Stakes (4.20pm), which sees all the best three-year-old fillies in the mile division – with the notable exception of Homeless Songs – clash.
Many will be looking forward to seeing the delayed return of John & Thady Gosden’s unbeaten filly Inspiral after a setback kept her out of the Guineas earlier in the season.
She has apparently come on well at home in the last few weeks and is ready to start back.
Given she comfortably disposed of both her two main market rivals Cachet and Prosperous Voyage in the Fillies Mile at Newmarket last season, it’s not hard to see why she is a strong favourite and she could confirm herself as top-class by winning this excellent race on reappearance.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since that win in October last year though and she will have to be at her best to confirm that form, with both 1000 Guineas winner Cachet and runner-up Prosperous Voyage looking to have improved this season.
I still think she will be too good for them however, so it might be worth giving a few others a chance in the each-way market.
Andrew Balding won this contest last year with Alcohol Free and his runner SANDRINE has some nice form to her name.
Last season, the daughter of Bobby’s Kitten won the Group Two Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes over six furlongs on quick ground and was seen staying on well on similar going in the Cheveley Park Stakes, which suggest she saves her best for a quick surface.
She caught the eye travelling well on her reappearance in the 1000 Guineas, and despite pulling hard in the early stages, she still finished just over two lengths behind Cachet and Prosperous Voyage.
That makes her look overpriced at around 12/1 with William Hill.
The other I’d like to side with is Inspiral’s stablemate, the twice-raced filly GRANDE DAME.
She was unraced as a two-year-old and has only won a maiden, when picking up smartly over this course and distance in April, but was thought good enough to contest a Listed race on her second start.
At York last time she only went down by the narrowest of margins and at 12/1 with William Hill I’m happy to chance that there’s plenty more to come.
Sandrine e/w 4.20pm Ascot
Grande Dame e/w 4.20pm Ascot