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Castle Lady out to rule again in G1 Coronation Stakes

Racenews

Classic heroine Castle Lady goes for a second G1 victory over a mile in the Coronation Stakes, the feature race on day four of Royal Ascot, Friday, 21 June.

The unbeaten daughter of Shamardal announced herself as one of Europe’s top three-year-old fillies when staying on strongly to beat subsequent G1 Prix de Diane runner-up Commes by a nose in the G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp, France, on Sunday, 12 May.

Castle Lady also won over a mile at Longchamp in the G3 Prix de la Grotte in April and started out with an easy success in a Polytrack newcomers’ race over the same distance at Chantilly in March.

Mickael Barzalona, on board for both of Castle Lady’s Longchamp victories, takes the ride again on the Henri-Alex Pantall-trained filly, who faces nine rivals headed by Hermosa, winner of both the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas.

Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin commented: “Henri-Alex Pantall is very happy with Castle Lady.

“He feels that she has improved since the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and is at her optimum racing weight.

“The ground doesn’t seem to be too much of an issue for her. She won on heavy last time out, but it was good in the Prix de la Grotte.

“It’s a big test and it will be only be her fourth lifetime start, but she fully deserves to take her chance, having already won a Classic.”

Silent Wave (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle, drawn 10) was an impressive all-the-way winner of a six-furlong maiden on her debut at Goodwood and the two-year-old War Front filly lines up over the same distance in the 26-runner G3 Albany Stakes.

Charlie Appleby said: “Silent Wave has a stout pedigree on her dam’s side, but shows a lot of natural pace at home.

“She has definitely come on since Goodwood and a stiff six furlongs should play to her strengths.”

Secret Advisor (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle) attempts to overcome a significant lay-off in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap over a mile and a half.

The five-year-old son of Dubawi edged out Bin Battuta in the valuable 14-furlong Melrose Handicap on his latest start in August, 2017, and was third over the same trip in the G2 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot earlier the same year.

He is joined in the 19-runner race by four-year-old Lucius Tiberius (Charlie Appleby/Brett Doyle), who finished fourth in the 10-furlong G2 Prix d’Harcourt at Longchamp in April and went down by a neck on his latest outing in a York handicap over an extended mile and a quarter on Friday, 17 May.

Charlie Appleby added: “Secret Advisor has had his fair share of setbacks, but we have enjoyed a good preparation with him – he looks to be in good nick and has been training well.

“He had a progressive profile as a three-year-old and is fit enough if he is good enough.

“Lucius Tiberius has been competitive over shorter so far this year and we are hoping that the step up to a mile and a half will bring some more improvement from him.”