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Fairytale finish in fillies’ trial

Attraction, winner of the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas, completed a magical hattrick at Ascot today when she scored a tremendous win in the Coronation Stakes, proving her true might and maintaining her unbeaten record.

The Duke of Roxburghe’s heroine was just 0.03 seconds off the course record (set by Russian Rhythm last year). She led from start to finish, powering away from her nearest rivals in the final furlong to dispel any doubts about her true fibre.

Few believed that the filly could achieve the feat of three consecutive Group 1 wins, which amounts to a Triple Crown, and has required her to peak three times in a row. There was, however, a widely held belief that should she get away from the pack in the early stages of the race, she could prove, as she did, uncatchable.

Trainer Mark Johnston had never been in any doubt about Attraction’s star-quality, and he attacked those who had doubted her ability.

“Ye of little faith” he said. “They said that she would not stay the stiff mile in the Irish Guineas and she proved them wrong; they said that she is not as good as the colts; they said that she would not confirm Newmarket form with Red Bloom, and they said that she wouldn’t come round a bend.

“I knew that provided she was 100% she would win, but the pressure has been intense. Nothing less than victory would have been good enough, but luckily she was as bright as a button, and she has produced a performance out of the top drawer,” he added.

The horse who everyone though could beat her was Red Bloom, especially with the benefit of freshness – she hadn’t raced since her defeat by Attraction at Newmarket – and was predicted to vindicate that 2 ¼ length deficit today. But Kieren Fallon was having to niggle her along early on, and the pace proved just too quick: she finished eventually in third behind Majestic Desert.

Frankie Dettori made firmer his hold on the position of leading jockey at the meeting in the two mile Queen’s Vase. The Godolphin colt Duke of Venice flew home underneath him, delighting all concerned. It has been Godolphin’s week at Ascot, and they have already five wins to their name.

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