Guineas Winners Could Have Advantage in Coronation Stakes

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

June 20th, 2018

It usually takes a very good filly to win the one-mile Coronation Stakes (Eng-I) at . And in my opinion, #5 Billesdon Brook fits the bill as, indeed, a very good filly.

Considering that four of the last five winners of the Coronation (Winter, Ervedya, Rizeena, and Sky Lantern) had previously prevailed in a Group 1 race, it’s encouraging that Billesdon Brook fits the profile of past winners. Trained by Richard Hannon, the daughter of Champs Elysees showed plenty of promise as a two-year-old, winning three of her nine starts (including the Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood) while placing in four more during a busy season.

Following a fourth-place finish in the April 18th Nell Gwyn Stakes (Eng-III) at Newmarket, her seasonal debut, Billesdon Brook was a 66-1 shot in the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas Stakes (Eng-II) a little more than two weeks later, but improved sharply in her second start off the layoff and came powering past her rivals to win by a decisive 1 ¾ lengths over the proven Group 1 winner Laurens, who came right back to score wins in the Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-I) and then Prix de Diane (Fr-I).

It’s fair to question whether Billesdon Brook’s performance was a fluke, but given the authoritative nature of her victory and the promise that she showed last year, I think she can follow up with a similar effort in the Coronation Stakes. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee victory against this competitive field, but I’ll make Billesdon Brook one of my key horses to play in the exotics

#7 Clemmie could start as the favorite based on her fine two-year-old form that culminated with a win in the Cheveley Park Stakes (Eng-I), but the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly has spent the majority of her career racing six furlongs, and her lone start at a mile yielded a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Irish 1,000 Guineas (Ire-I) at the Curragh last month. She could improve from that run, considering that she suffered a stone bruise during the winter that delayed her return to the races, but at a short price I think she could be vulnerable in the Coronation Stakes, especially since there are still some questions about her ability to handle the distance.

In contrast, #3 Alpha Centauri and #10 Teppal don’t have quite the same reputation as Clemmie, but they can boast major wins going a mile already this year, with Alpha Centauri claiming a clear win in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and Teppal battling to a narrow triumph in the French equivalent, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (Fr-I). Based on the Racing Post Ratings, the Irish 1,000 Guineas was the stronger of the two races, so we’ll emphasize Alpha Centauri over Teppal in our bets while also including Mark Johnston’s Group 2 stakes winner #11 Threading, who won a listed stakes at York last month and appears to be on the rise:

$4 exacta: 3,5 with 3,5 ($8) $2 trifecta: 5 with 3,10,11 with 3,10,11 ($12) $1 trifecta: 3 with 5,10,11 with 5,10,11 ($6) $1 trifecta: 3,5 with 3,5,7 with 3,5,7 ($4)

Good luck!