Dubai: French-trained Castle Lady bids to secure a maiden Coronation Stakes (Group 1) trophy for Godolphin when she lines up alongside nine rivals in the feature race on day four at Royal Ascot on Friday.
The unbeaten daughter of Shamardal, who is trained by Henri-Alex Pantall, caught the eye when landing the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1,000 Guineas) at Longchamp, France, in May. It was her third win in as many starts.
Godolphin’s French-based jockey Mickael Barzalona, on board for both of Castle Lady’s Longchamp victories, takes the ride again.
The ante-post market is led by Irish-trained Hermosa, winner of both the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas.
Commenting on Castle Lady’s prospects of ending Godolphin’s wait for Coronation Stakes trophy. Lisa-Jane Graffard of Godolphin told the stable’s website: “Henri-Alex Pantall is very happy with Castle Lady.
“He feels that she has improved since the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and is at her optimum racing weight.
“The ground doesn’t seem to be too much of an issue for her. She won on heavy last time out, but it was good in the Prix de la Grotte,” she added.
“It’s a big test and it will be only be her fourth lifetime start, but she fully deserves to take her chance, having already won a Classic.”
Elsewhere on Friday’s card the Charlie Appleby-trained Silent Wave takes his chance in the 26-runner Group 3 Albany Stakes.
Appleby said: “Silent Wave has a stout pedigree on her dam’s side, but shows a lot of natural pace at home.
“She has definitely come on since Goodwood and a stiff six furlongs should play to her strengths.”
Another interesting Godolphin contender is Appleby’s Secret Advisor, who returns to action in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap over a mile and a half after a long layoff.
The five-year-old son of Dubawi won the Melrose Handicap back in August, 2017, having placed third in the Group 2 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot earlier the same year.
Appleby also saddles four-year-old Lucius Tiberius, who went down by a neck on his latest start at York last month May.
The handler said: “Secret Advisor has had his fair share of setbacks, but we have enjoyed a good preparation with him — he looks to be in good nick and has been training well.
“He had a progressive profile as a three-year-old and is fit enough if he is good enough. Lucius Tiberius has been competitive over shorter so far this year and we are hoping that the step up to a mile and a half will bring some more improvement from him.”