Lillie Langtry set for centre stage in fillies' mile decider

Chris McGrath
Monday 21 September 2015 12:39

In contrast to the gorgeous throng in the stands, the females on the track itself today comprise a very grey area. All three of the major fillies' Classics over a mile have produced chaotic finishes, and it is time the protagonists introduced some clarity in the Coronation Stakes.

Admittedly, the filly who freakishly "won" two of them in the stewards' room, Special Duty, is absent. But her Newmarket form is represented by Jacqueline Quest, first past the post before being relegated for interference, while Lady Of The Desert was among no fewer than five fillies who shared a photo with her at Longchamp. Then there is Music Show, principal victim of a draw bias at Newmarket, and third of five who scrambled home together in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

Two who rubbed shoulders with her that day could well open up a gap this time. Anna Salai, making only her fourth start, tied up only in the final strides after being exposed to a strong gallop and may enjoy this sharper test.

Lillie Langtry (3.50) would seem far more exposed, having ended a seven-race juvenile campaign with a disastrous trip to the Breeders' Cup. She fractured a knee in California, but her comeback at the Curragh could hardly have been more encouraging. Held up, she had to weave through traffic before finishing best.

The draw flattered Jacqueline Quest at Newmarket and her stablemate, Chachamaidee, may prove more dangerous at much bigger odds.

Lillie Langtry's trainer, Aidan O'Brien, gives At First Sight the chance to prove himself a top performer in his own right after opening up that astonishing lead as pacemaker in the Derby. He comfortably held on to second but has had little time to recover, so perhaps Monterosso (3.05) can find the necessary improvement stepped up in trip.

O'Brien has a formidable candidate for the Queen's Vase in Mikhail Glinka (5.0). In the Derby reckoning before a setback last month, he should relish this test and looks a cut above the norm for this race. Anna Salai's trainer, Mahmood Al Zarooni, can land the opener through Idiom (2.30).

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