22 June 2023

Tahiyra ‘in a very good place’ for Coronation Stakes

22 June 2023

Everything looks in place for Tahiyra to add the Coronation Stakes crown to her victory in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

The daughter of Siyouni has had just four runs, her sole defeat coming by half a length when beaten by Saeed bin Suroor’s Mawj in the English equivalent at Newmarket.

With Mawj unfortunately an enforced absentee, the Dermot Weld-trained three-year-old takes on six rivals in the Group One contest, including Meditate, who has finished behind in both mile Classics this term.

Chris Hayes’ mount looked to have a bit in hand when scoring by a length and a half on the last occasion and Pat Downes, manager of owner the Aga Khan’s Irish Studs, says it is unfortunate Mawj, who scoped dirty earlier this week, will not be taking her on again.

“It’s a rematch for the Irish Guineas and it’s a shame the other filly hasn’t been able to run,” said Downes.

“That’s the way it goes sometimes. We are very happy with out filly and all has been very well since the Irish Guineas.

“We are really happy with her. She is doing very well and is a very good place and is ready to go.”

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Meditate, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland in November, is a proven top-class performer and has finished runner-up on three occasions at the highest level.

In contrast the John and Thady Gosden-trained Queen For You is unexposed, with just two career starts. The beautifully-bred daughter of Kingman did not make her debut until May 3, when taking a novice race over a mile.

She was then beaten a short head in the Listed Michael Seely at York by Sounds Of Heaven, who reopposes.

“She is the least experienced in the field and did not run as a two-year-old,” said Thady Gosden.

“She has had experience of running at Ascot as she won on debut here. She stepped up on that and though she didn’t win, she improved when upped in class at York and stayed on nicely once the penny dropped.

“She was only beaten a short head and has taken that in her stride. We’re very pleased with her and she’s in good form.

“This is another major step up, but we feel she has every right to take her chance in what obviously is a tough Group One.”

Sounds Of Heaven was a relatively unfancied 14-1 chance when winning that race at York on her first outing since breaking her duck at the second time of asking in a Leopardstown maiden in October.

Kate Harrington, assistant trainer to her mother, Jessica – who won this race with Alpha Centauri in 2018 and again three years ago with Alpine Star – is hoping she will make light of her underdog status again.

“She is in good form,” she said. “She came out of the York race very well. We go there taking a big step up in class, but she goes off the back of a very good run and we hope she runs a massive race.

“She is lovely filly and a very underestimated filly, and only does as much as she has to. She has a great mind and I think Ascot will really suit her. We’re hopeful of a big, big run.”

There is further Irish interest in the form of Comhra, who was beaten a length and a half into third in the Irish Guineas when sent off at 150-1.

Jim Bolger feels she will get her ideal conditions and will again be equipped with blinkers that served her well when fitted for the first time at the Curragh.

William Buick come in for the ride for the first time and Bolger quipped: “Rory Cleary rides most of mine and he’ll be in action at Down Royal – he doesn’t have bilocation!

“I’m hoping she can go two better – she wasn’t beaten far. The going and the cheekpieces made a difference. Her previous runs were in soft and she ran on good last time.

“We hope she’ll have faster ground at Ascot and I’m sure that will help her. She’s very nice. She’s an oil painting!”

Remarquee, a good winner of the Fred Darling at Newbury on her seasonal debut, was 17 lengths adrift of Tahiyra at Newmarket and Ralph Beckett’s filly has plenty to find on that evidence. Mammas Girl was four places in front of her in 11th.

Trained by Richard Hannon, Mammas Girl did not handle the soft ground that day and Tom Pennington, racing manager for owners Amo Racing, feels she will be seen in a better light this time.

He said: “She was an impressive winner of the Nell Gwyn prior to that. The ground went against her in the Guineas. The drying ground will help, but obviously it is very competitive.

“The favourite is obviously a very good horse, but Richard has been happy with her since.

“I think it is very competitive and the favourite will take a fair bit of beating.”

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