The Group 1 Coronation Stakes is the feature race for three-year-old fillies over a mile at Royal Ascot. It is the automatic choice for fillies that ran in the English, Irish or French 1000 Guineas (Poule d’Essai des Pouliches) and often establishes the best filly in Europe. Notable past winners include Sonic Lady (1986), Ridgewood Pearl (1995), Russian Rhythm (2003), Winter (2017) and Alpha Centauri (2018).
The Coronation Stakes currently takes place on day 4 of Royal Ascot in June. It is run over a mile on the round course and always attracts a strong field, compiled largely of winners and placed horses from the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Curragh. The Guineas form is no certainty to be upheld at this stage of the summer. Fillies that were slow to come to hand in the spring can often overturn the Guineas form at Ascot.
Famous Coronation Stakes Winners & History
The Coronation Stakes was first run in 1840 and named to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838. The inaugural race was won by Spangle while 1874 winner Apology went on to complete the fillies’ Triple Crown of 1000 Guineas, Oaks and St Leger. That feat was achieved for the fifth time in history by 1904 Coronation Stakes winner Pretty Polly.
The race was originally rated a Group 2 contest in 1971 and was promoted to Group 1 status in 1988. The roll of honour for the Coronation Stakes is littered with Classic winners. Newmarket 1000 Guineas form is not always confirmed here but Russian Rhythm (2003), Attraction (2004), Ghanaati (2009) and Winter (2017) were able to complete the big race double.
Attraction also won the Irish 1000 Guineas in between for Mark Johnston and Kevin Darley, becoming the first filly to win both Guineas. She won ten of her fifteen races, including the Sun Chariot Stakes (2004) and Matron Stakes (2005).
Ghanaati was a shock 20-1 winner of the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket for veteran trainer Barry Hills. She had only a maiden win at Kempton Park to her credit before taking in the first Classic. Her winning time was a race record and she confirmed that she was a filly of the highest order by beating the winners of the Irish and French Guineas in the Coronation Stakes.
French raiders have also been successful here in the past, most recently with Ervedya (2015), Qemah (2016) and Watch Me (2019). Ervedya was the last filly to win the French Guineas and take the Coronation Stakes, owned by His Highness The Aga Khan.
Key Coronation Stakes Trials
As previously stated, the Coronation Stakes is all about Classic form with fillies that ran in the English 1000 Guineas, Irish 1000 Guineas or Poule d’Essai des Pouliches dominating proceedings. These three races account for nine of the last twelve winners between them. The Newmarket race just has the edge overall with ten of the past twenty winners having come from that contest.
Coronation Stakes Betting Trends
There have been eight winning favourites or joint-favourites of the Coronation Stakes in the last twenty years. Two of them were odds-on with Russian Rhythm returning at 4-7 and Winter at 4-9. Attraction was a popular 6-4 favourite with Alpha Centauri (11-4), Ghanaati (2-1) and Lillie Langtry (7-2) also clear market leaders.
Shock results are rare in Group 1 races but Watch Me sprang a 20-1 surprise in 2019. She had finished an unlucky sixth in the French Guineas on her previous start but proved too strong for English and Irish 1000 Guineas winner Hermosa.
Coronation Stakes Odds
Here are the latest odds for the Coronation Stakes in June 2022:
There is no open book of odds in the ante-post market for this event yet
Coronation Stakes Tips
Here are some tips for Coronation Stakes in June 2022:
2 points to win for TBC at odds of TBC
1 point each way for TBC at odds of TBC
A few horses taking part in the Coronation Stakes will also race in other competitions throughout the year. Keep a close eye on the horses to watch how they do then place your ante-post bets.
Coronation Stakes Stats
The Coronation Stakes is usually won by a top class filly with a previous win at Group 1 or Group 2 level. Fifteen of the last twenty winners fit into this category. A similar number had raced at least once previously that season and all had won over at least seven furlongs. One slightly surprising stat is that almost half of the last twenty winners had been unplaced on their previous start. This illustrates the point that the Classic form is not always to be taken at face value.
Top Trainers and Jockeys
John Porter still holds the record for most Coronation Stakes wins with six between 1883 and 1898. This is one more than the late Sir Henry Cecil who trained his fifth and final winner in this race with Kissing Cousin in 1994. Sir Michael Stoute has four victories but the most recent was Russian Rhythm in 2003. Aidan O’Brien has not managed to farm this race quite as successfully as he has some of the other Royal Ascot prizes. He has won it three times to date with Sophisticat (2002), Lillie Langtry (2010) and Winter (2017).
Similarly, there has not been an outstanding jockey in the Coronation Stakes in modern times. Frankie Dettori chalked another Royal Ascot race off his bucket list when winning on Alpine Star in 2020, Ryan Moore has won it twice on Clive Brittain’s Rizeena (2014) and Aidan O’Brien’s Winter (2017).
Betting on the Coronation Stakes
The ante-post betting on the Coronation Stakes begins to take shape immediately after the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. Horses who finish in the frame there are either aimed at the Epsom Oaks over a mile and a half or stay at a mile for this prestigious event. The Irish 1000 Guineas is equally significant and this is always a competitive race.
The winner of the Coronation Stakes is usually aimed at one of the Falmouth Stakes (Newmarket), the Prix Du Haras or the Prix Rothschild (both at Deauville). Lillie Langtry, Sky Lantern and Rizeena were all beaten in the Falmouth before Alpha Centauri’s victory in 2018. Winter was stepped up in trip for her next start, winning the Nassau Stakes over ten furlongs at Goodwood in 2017.
The Coronation Stakes is the fillies’ equivalent of the St James’s Palace Stakes (colts), featuring the best of the Classic generation over a mile. There are often some hard luck stories in the Classics with Alcohol Free (2021) the most recent filly to turn the form around at Ascot.