Coronation joy for Rizeena
The Clive Brittain-trained Rizeena (11/2) bounced back to her best form as she triumphed in the Group One Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot under Ryan Moore.
The daughter of Iffraaj enjoyed a very successful juvenile career last season but could only manage seventh place when well-fancied for the 1000 Guineas upon her return.
Sent off an 11/2 shot to return to winning ways, she raced just behind the leaders in this mile contest as they dawdled along in the early stages.
J Wonder eventually put some pace into the race but Rizeena eased past her and into a clear lead just inside the two-furlong mark.
French raider Lesstalk In Paris (15/2) finished with a flourish down the outside but Rizeena stuck to her task well and held on by three-parts of a length, giving popular trainer Brittain his 18th winner at the Royal meeting.
Euro Charline (16/1) kept on nicely down the far rail to finish third, just ahead of John Oxx's My Titania (7/2) who ran a solid race to be fourth on her first outing of the season.
American raider Rosalind unseated Kieren Fallon as she came out of the stalls and rider Kieren Fallon was stood down for the rest of the day.
It was a third winner of the week for Moore, who said: \"She was the best filly last year, when she won the Queen Mary (at this meeting).
\"It's good for her to come back, I'm delighted for everyone.
"There was no pace, it was a crawl, and it was ridiculous really. We went quicker to the start than we did for the first quarter-mile.
"She doesn't want to be in front that early, but my hand was kind of forced.
"It was a long way that last furlong, but she was the fastest horse in the race and she's just done enough."
Brittain is still training big-race winners at the age of 80 and he said: \"I've still got the vibes. If you get up at 3.30am every morning, you've got to have the vibes.
"I wasn't worried about the slow pace. They could have walked and she still would have won, they could have trotted and she still would have won, but they galloped and she still won. We covered every angle!
"I think we'll come back here for the big meeting (Champions Day). The QEII, why not?"
Jean-Claude Rouget trains runner-up Lesstalk In Paris and said: \"I like my horses to run well and this was a good recovery for her today, as we were so disappointed after the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (only 12th when favourite).
"Today we are reassured about her. I think we will stick to our garden and run her in Deauville next, in the Prix Rothschild."
Marco Botti trains the third, Euro Charline, who is owned by the American-based Team Valor syndicate.
Botti said: "The owners are aiming to run her at Saratoga in July, so obviously I will lose her.
"I was very pleased with her today. She was probably a bit unlucky, she had to squeeze through. Andrea (Atzeni, jockey) said she just lost her momentum and it probably cost her second place.\"
Oxx said of fourth-place finisher My Titania: \"She ran a good race. Declan (McDonogh, jockey) said the ground wasn't fast enough for her.
"When she finally got her balance, she finished well over the last 100 metres. It was a good first run of the year.
"The Matron Stakes would be a long-term major target for her."
The flop was 5/2 favourite and dual Guineas runner-up Lightning Thunder, who was ninth.