H&H at Royal Ascot: fabulous fillies take centre stage

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  • There was a definite Friday feeling about the Berkshire racecourse on day four of Royal Ascot. For one racegoer this meant consuming her bodyweight in champagne and falling asleep before the first race.

    You can forget your diamond earrings, Chanel suits and owners’ badges — with hefty Ascot bar prices, the symbol of wealth here is someone who can afford to get tipsy.

    For the rest of us the Friday feeling was reflected in some great racing enjoyed by a relaxed crowd who were ready to let their hair down — fascinators and top hats allowing.

    The hot topic of conversation among those whose interest stretched beyond being “papped” in the day’s most outrageous headwear, was the firm going and the number of non-runners this produced. It did nothing to dilute the quality of racing, however.

    It was the fillies’ turn to take centre stage and Jim Bolger’s Musidora winner, Lush Lashes, simply annihilated the opposition under Kevin Manning in the Coronation Stakes. Just two weeks after disappointing in the Oaks, the filly posted a winning time less than a second outside Henrythenavigator’s track record set on Tuesday.

    Just an hour earlier Kevin Manning had opened his Royal account, also for his father-in-law, on the odds-on favourite Cuis Ghaire — which means reason to laugh. Connections will be laughing all the way to Newmarket in May if the bookies are correct — the filly has been quoted at 8-1 for the 1000 guineas.

    The only thing missing from Ascot on the first three days had been a Frankie flying dismount and finally, in the King Edward VIII Stakes, we had lift off. Campanologist gave Dettori his 40th Royal Ascot winner.

    Just before the last race, the black clouds that had been threatening all afternoon finally delivered, but all too soon The Band of the Life Guards was belting out “She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain” and it was time for the champagne-filled ladies to sing “Ai Ai Yippee” on the way home.

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