Royal Ascot: Will it be third time lucky for Lightning Thunder?
Second-place finishes in both the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas represents a solid start to the season for Lightning Thunder and connections will be hoping to finally get into the winners’ enclosure in the Coronation Stakes.
The fact she is fancied in the Royal Ascot betting at 7/2 is a promising sign, given that nine of the winners of this in the last decade have been sent off at 8/1 or shorter.
Meanwhile, Lightning Thunder’s chances would further improve if she wins the battle with My Titania to start favourite, given the market leader has obliged in half of the last 10 renewals.
Harry Bentley has ridden the filly on all of her six career starts so far and the shift in jockey to Olivier Peslier has to be regarded as another positive, as he has by far the greater big-race experience.
Where the worse news comes is that Lightning Thunder hasn’t got her head in front at a particularly high level, with her sole victories coming in a debut maiden and a conditions race.
On her three attempts in group company, she has been the bridesmaid on each occasion.
Nine of the last 10 winners of the Coronation Stakes had a Group success on their resume, with half of this number tasting victory at the highest level.
Furthermore, this will be her third race in only a little over six weeks and with the Irish Guineas at the Curragh being run on soft ground, there is a real possibility that Lightning Thunder may not have fully recovered for this Royal Ascot contest.
With My Titania not having run since September, this is a big negative towards her prospects of victory, as no winner in the last decade was making their seasonal reappearance.
Seven of the last 10 victors of this had contested the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier in the same season and the one from that race it could pay to consider is Lucky Kristale.
She didn’t settle and was bumped, which effectively spoilt her chance and should Richard Hughes manager to switch her off at the rear of the field, Lucky Kristale is better than a 20/1 shot.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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