Inspiral was the leading juvenile filly last year winning all four starts, including the Group 1 Fillies Mile at Newmarket last Autumn. The daughter of Frankel was slow to come to hand during the spring forcing connections to miss the English, French and Irish 1000 Guineas. Back in action in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes on the fourth day of Royal Ascot, she overcame an absence of 252 days to produce a brilliant display streaking away inside the final furlong to register a four and three quarters of a length victory under Frankie Dettori. She is a top-class filly and John and Thady Gosden have the option of stepping her up to a mile and a quarter later this year, although she is blessed with plenty of speed. Races such as the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood or the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville are likely to come under consideration, assuming that they feel the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket's July meeting (8th July) may come too soon.
Perfect Power successfully dropped back to six furlongs and recorded his third Group 1 victory in the Commonwealth Cup. The Ardad colt was drawn on a wing in stall six and Christophe Soumillon's mount was nudged along during the early stages but he responded generously and stayed on strongly to beat Flaming Rib by a length and a quarter. It was Richard Fahey's second winner of the week at the Royal meeting and the Belgium gave him an outstanding ride. It is a mystery Soumillon has only had one ride at the meeting.
William Haggas indicated on page 84 of Ahead On The Flat that the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes was the target for Candleford and, in all likelihood, the four year old would go straight there. The Kingman gelding hadn't been seen since beating Coltrane at Kempton in November (219 days) but was produced in rude health by the Somerville Lodge team and he powered home by six lengths off a mark of 91. His trainer feels he is at his best racing right handed but they must be tempted to enter him in the Skybet Ebor at York in August. It was a superb piece of forsight by Haggas who suggest the idea when we spoke in mid February.
It was an excellent day for followers of the Royal Ascot Update with 3 winners, namely Perfect Power (advised @ 9/2), Candleford (12/1) and Heretia (advised @ 14/1). The last named extended her unbeaten record by winning the Sandringham Handicap. The Dark Angel filly, who is entered in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, was racing off a mark of 98 and, despite edging to her left late on, she held off the late challenge of Zanbaq to provide Sean Levey with his first Royal Ascot winner. Fingers crossed we can have more of the same on Saturday.
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