Coronation Stakes – Lightning Thunder Crowned Queen?
The first thing punters should do when searching for the winner of Friday’s Group 1 Coronation Stakes (4.25) is to take note of any 1,000 Guineas form – either from the English, French or Irish version.
The stats tell us that no fewer than 16 of the last 18 Coronation winners indeed emerged from a 1,000 Guineas, including the current 4/1 second favourite, Lightning Thunder.
Olly Stevens’ filly was agonizingly touched off by 1/4l by Miss France in the English Guineas at Newmarket last month (1m, good to firm), before filling the same spot in the Irish equivalent three weeks later (1m, soft). On that occasion Lightning Thunder was beaten 3l by Marvellous, who was a subsequent sixth in the Epsom Oaks.
While Lightning Thunder had to settle for second on both occasions, she did have Euro Charline (3l back in fifth), Rizeena (4l back in seventh) and Sandiva (5l back in ninth) held at Newmarket, and there is no reason why any of that trio should reverse form – for instance, Rizeena was well fancied at HQ, but simply failed to get home having won over 5f on three occasions last season.
The favourite for the French Guineas at Longchamp 40 days ago (1m, good) was Lesstalk In Paris (10/1), who could manage only twelfth place (beaten 9l) and will need to bounce back in a big way if figuring here. Brian Meehan’s, J Wonder (12/1), was also beaten over 6l at Longchamp when looking to have held every chance.
However, there could be a rare Coronation Stakes winner yet to have even raced this season in John Oxx’s, My Titania, who is currently the 7/2 favourite.
That price pays testament to the ability My Titania displayed as a juvenile, winning the final of those three outings in a Group 3 at the Curragh (7f, good). Some punters may see her odds as skinny, though, as she has yet to prove she has trained on, while a lack of experience may also be a negative – 16 of the last 18 winners had four or more career outings.
Similar comments apply to Charles Hills’, Kiyoshi (10/1), who a Group 3 sprint at this meeting 12 months ago, but hasn’t been seen since a 2l third in a Group 1 sprint at Newmarket in September. She has both fitness and distance to prove.
This year’s Coronation Stakes has a host of fillies who have questions to answer, having either flopped in a Guineas or remain unraced this season, but neither concern applies to Lightning Thunder. It could therefore be a case of keeping things simple, as she is the one who has proven form in the book and a repeat could be good enough.
Here are the full trends covering the last 18 years…
17 of the 18 winners were drawn away from the highest stall.
17 won a race – only one filly got off the mark here from 25 runners. Ten won a Group race over 7f-1m.
16 ran in the English, Irish or French 1,000 Guineas. Placed runners from the French Guineas did better than the winners – eight sunk since 1996 – while one German winner from three scored (Crimplene prior to her Irish win).
16 had four or more career outings.
16 won during their first two career outings.
15 made the top five last time.
14 won a race worth 28k or more.
13 made the top three of a Group 1.
Sir Michael Stoute and Aidan O’Brien sent out two winners apiece.