15:45 Royal Ascot: Sky Lantern to defy Just The Judge again


The Coronation Stakes is set up to be a duel between the English and Irish 1000 Guineas winners Sky Lantern (5/1) and Just The Judge (7/2) and the market seems to be favouring the latter, but there’s plenty of cause to suspect that the former can prove the early money wrong.

A glance at Just The Judge’s past form marks her out as a top-drawer filly, with just one defeat in her five-race career and that coming by just half a length in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket which she took in without a prep race.

Slamming the Irish Guineas field by five lengths in the Irish equivalent on her very next start, she seemed to have stepped up well on her silver medal run at HQ.

It’s perhaps this train of thought that suggests she should get the better of Sky Lantern when the pair clash for the second time.

However, despite having won just half her career outings to date, Sky Lantern was all class when gunning down her Charles Hills-trained rival at Newmarket.

Whilst she had the benefit of a prep run over Just The Judge that day – no doubt a reason that many suspect the latter will turn the tables at Ascot – her trainer Richard Hannon told reporters after the race that the filly had yet to come into her coat for the season.

If there’s a potential third wheel along for the ride on this date with fate it’s the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Pavlosk (11/2).

She coasted home in a Listed race on just her second career start last time and her owner Khalid Abdullah made the decision last week to stump up the £25,000 to supplement her for the Coronation Stakes – a fair vote of confidence in her chances.

Just twice-raced, there’s so much scope for improvement with the daughter of Arch, that the fact that the second that day went on to finish just a distant third in the German 1000 Guineas next time shouldn’t be at all off putting.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.