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Royal Ascot Ultimate Guide - 2019-06-06

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The road to the winner’s enclosure

FRIDAY 4.20 CORONATION STAKES

ANDREW PENNINGTON

ALPHA CENTAURI ended 2018 as the leading three-year-old filly, with the Coronation Stakes the second leg of a golden four-timer for Jessica Harrington’s stable star. She had a fine two-year-old season, winning her first two starts before finishing second when 2-1 favourite for the Albany Stakes at and she was then beaten six and a half lengths by Happily in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh. The daughter of Mastercraftsman returned in the 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown, but in heavy ground could finish only tenth. Alpha Centauri thrived following that reappearance and her connections were more than happy in the run-up to the Irish 1,000 Guineas. On good ground she relishes, Alpha Centauri came with a late burst to pick up the pace-setting Ballydoyle third string Could It Be Love to give Harrington a first Classic success. Alpha Centauri then thumped a high-class Coronation Stakes field by six lengths in a track record time of 1m 35.89sec, more than a second faster than previous title-holder Barney Roy. It confirmed her growing reputation, which was further enhanced with victories in the Falmouth Stakes on the July course at Newmarket and the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville. She closed her season with a gallant second to the mighty Laurens in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.

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