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Elmalka will seek Royal Ascot Coronation

Elmalka will seek Royal Ascot Coronation Jun 5, 2024

By Duane Fonseca - 

Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s 1000 Guineas heroine Elmalka has been handed a Royal Ascot assignment and is expected to represent his bright yellow silks in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes on June 21 according to trainer Roger Varian.

The Kingman filly showed great reserves of energy when continuing to find more all the way to the finish in the Classic at Newmarket on May 5, a win gained in the final strides from Porta Fortuna, who went down by a neck and reopposes here alongside numerous other top names, including beaten favourite Ylang Ylang, who joins her Aidan O’Brien stable companion Opera Singer in the stalls.

Having analysed her performance at Newmarket, Varian is quietly confident of a good showing during the royal meeting in 10 days’ time after reporting her to have ‘done everything right since the Guineas’.

Speaking to Sky Sport’s Racing, Varian said: “She’s in great form and has had no problems, she's done everything right since the Guineas and did a lovely bit of work last week. 

“We're very much thinking of the Coronation Stakes. Since she won at Newmarket, we were never going to Ireland. I think that was only her third start, so she looks like she’s getting the hang of it now and hopefully we'll see a strong performance at Ascot.

“That was really the only way we could ride her at Newmarket when we were drawn 16 of 16. She's so inexperienced, we couldn't really go forward from that draw and race on a wide wing with no cover.

“So, we said beforehand, we're just going to have to suck up the draw and ride her to run well – and as it turned out, everything worked for her. But she's very straightforward. She's been slow to get the hang of things, but she's looking like she knows her job now, so I'm sure she'll be a very straightforward ride at Ascot.”

Carlburg Stables-based Varian believes vital lessons were learned by Elmalka during her Guineas outing and though he feels she can step up in trip, he is content with running her at a mile, the trip of the Coronation Stakes.

“She shaped that way at Newmarket, but I'd say she has sharpened up, because she was still a bit green in the Guineas and as I say, it was only her third run,” he added.

“You can make a mistake sometimes in thinking they need further when they are kind of learning on the job, and I think it would be a mistake to go 10 furlongs now.

“But we'll see how we get on at Ascot and I'm sure we'll put her in races like the Nassau later on. That's not to say she'll run there, she might stay at a mile all year, but I think we're still learning about her and hopefully we get a good result at Ascot.”