Indian Ink, a filly trained by Richard Hannon, left an indelible impression on Royal Ascot today when she won the Coronation Stakes by six lengths and left the best collection of fillies over a mile in Europe look ordinary.
Behind her were the winners of the English, Irish, French and German Guineas. Finsceal Beo, heroine of two of those Classics, floundered in the rain softened going. Although she moved threateningly into contention two out, she failed to pick up and finished a disappointing eighth. Her trainer Jim Bolger blamed the going.
Richard Hannon has been training for 37 years but until now has never sent out a group One Royal Ascot winner. Likewise the CV of jockey Richard Hughes, Hannons son-in-law, also lacked an Ascot winner of this level.
The ground made a big difference today, said Hannon. To be honest I thought the rain that came might not make a difference but it obviously has. All her best runs last year came on soft ground and Hushesy told me in the paddock beforehand he thought the ground was right for her today. In the Guineas it was all wrong for her.
The filly, owned by divorce lawyer Raymond Tooth, cost just 25,000gns as a yearling. I thought she was cheap, recalled Hannon. I couldnt find anything wrong with her and just think she was one of those that slipped through the net. Shes definitely the best filly Ive ever had.
Otherwise the training honours went to Mick Channon who saddled a double. Nijoom Dubai won the Albany Stakes and Championship Point won Wolferton Handicap. Mark Johnstons Boscobel won the King Edward VII Stakes and he may meet another of yesterdays winners, Aidan OBriens Mahler, in the St Leger at Doncaster in September.
A lengthy stewards inquiry was required to sort out the last winner of the day but in the end the stewards left the result unchanged. Binati was a first Royal winner for small Basingstoke trainer Patrick Chammings.
Keep up to date with all the action from Royal Ascot on horseandhound.co.uk, and don’t miss Horse & Hound’s full report complete with fantastic photos in next Thursday’s magazine (28 June, ’07)