Monday 25 September 2017

Winter wonderland for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore

Winter stamps her class on the Coronation Stakes
Winter stamps her class on the Coronation Stakes

Dual Classic heroine Winter continued her fantastic season with an assured victory in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The daughter of Galileo caused something of an upset when seeing off better-fancied stablemate Rhododendron in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, but proved that was no fluke when following up in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh in tremendous style.

Her stablemate Churchill, this year's dual 2000 Guineas winner, came up short in Tuesday's St James's Palace Stakes, but Winter made no mistake in the hands of Ryan Moore.

With French raider Precieuse and Winter's stablemate Roly Poly setting the pace, the 4-9 favourite was waited with by Moore.

She was sent about her business passing the two-furlong marker and quickly found an extra gear to leave her rivals toiling.

Winter passed the post with two and a quarter lengths in hand over Roly Poly, while Hydrangea was third to provide trainer Aidan O'Brien with a one-two-three, and a big double on the day after Caravaggio in the preceding Commonwealth Cup.

Moore said: "She was only doing what she had to do. She travelled beautifully through the race and was very professional, but she was just doing what she had to I think.

"It's a hard thing to do to win two Guineas and then come here, but she's with a trainer who can do magic things.

"It's very hard to do what she's done, but she's good. She's beaten some good fillies from France and America and this is a strong piece of form."

O'Brien said: "She's a filly who is thriving from race to race, she travelled well, Ryan had her in a lovely position and she's won very well.

"She gets the trip very well, she's very classy and is a great traveller. When you ask her she gallops out strong.

"Physically she's thriving, David (Wachman, former trainer) always thought the world of her last year and now she's thriving race to race."

O'Brien went on: "All roads lead to Del Mar (Breeders' Cup), but first there's a race in three weeks' time, the Falmouth, so we'll see how she is and how her training keeps going.

"She's had four races quick enough, but she's doing well and enjoying it. She'll get further later on so we might look at races like the Nassau. I thought her best furlong was the last. She galloped out."

O'Brien also had news of Rhododendron, who was last seen pulling up in the French Oaks, and the brilliant Minding, whom it is hoped will return for an autumn campaign after a setback derailed her from a number of targets.

He said of Rhododendron: "She's OK. She's a little bit quiet in herself, so we'll go gently away for a couple of weeks and she how she comes on."

He added of Minding: "She's back on long-reins work on Monday. She'll be doing that for three weeks and then hopefully she'll be able to be ridden again. It will probably take a couple of months after that, I'd imagine that's what it would take."

John Gosden said of Dabyah, who travelled well but faded into fourth: "She ran a beautiful race, she was last off the bridle and I just wanted the furlong pole to be the finish line.

"We rode her to get the mile and she's a lovely filly, but she just doesn't quite stay so it's a case of coming back to seven furlongs now."

There were stings in the tails for Seamie Heffernan, rider of Roly Poly, who received a five-day ban for careless riding, while Derby-winning jockey Padraig Beggy, who was aboard Hydrangea, picked up a two-day suspension for using the whip above the permitted level.

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