Alcohol Free Victory
Oisin Murphy rode Alcohol Free to Coronation Stakes victory; minutes after he was placed to second place aboard Dragon Symbol in the Commonwealth Cup following a stewards’ inquiry. The Andrew Balding-trained filly was fifth in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas on her latest start; but turned the tables on the winner that day, Mother Earth (9/2), who finished third. Second place went to Snow Lantern (14/1), a length and a half behind the winner.
Alcohol Free racing in the famous Jeff Smith silks gave Balding a 109.5/1 Friday Royal Ascot double; and a third winner of the week. Murphy was also scoring for the third time this week; joining Frankie Dettori at the head of the leading jockey standings.
Oisin Murphy said:
“I didn’t get a chance to stress ahead of Alcohol Free. I had a plan and I don’t know if Andrew agreed me; but he filled me with confidence when I told him what I was going to do. “She jumped normal and what worried me was the clerk of the course decided to put the stalls on the far rail. That was fine; but then everyone wants to get to that rail; so it is congested and I was worried it was going to get congested.
Speaking about coming out for the Coronation Stakes straight after the outcome of the stewards’ enquiry; he added: “I said to my valet when he put his hand around me: ‘there’s no place for tears in here. There are far worse things going on in the world; we’re in the entertainment industry, and I’m steering these marvelous animals and keep looking forward to the next one’.”
Coronations Stakes History
The event was established in 1840. Its title commemorates the coronation of a new British monarch, Queen Victoria, two years earlier. The present system of race grading was introduced in 1971; and for a period the Coronation Stakes held Group 2 status. It was promoted to Group 1 level in 1988
The Coronation Stakes is now contested on the fourth day of the five-day Royal Ascot meeting. It usually features fillies which ran previously in the 1,000 Guineas, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches or the Irish 1,000 Guineas. The most recent filly to follow up a win in one of those races with victory in the Coronation Stakes was Alpha Centauri, the 2018 Irish 1,000 Guineas winner.
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