Hermosa looks poised to confirm her star status at Royal Ascot

Marcus Armytage
The Telegraph
Hermosa is fancied to do well at Royal Ascot - PA
Hermosa is fancied to do well at Royal Ascot - PA

It is not unknown for Aidan O’Brien to have a good day at Royal Ascot. With Hermosa and Ten Sovereigns, the Ballydoyle trainer can mop up the two Group Ones on the card tomorrow and, not that he needs much consoling, take the Derby consolation race, the King Edward VII Stakes, with Japan.

In recent years you might have noticed one of Coolmore’s breeding policies has been to snap up any high-class sprinting mare that comes on to the market to put to their super-sire Galileo. The end result, very often, is a high-class miler.

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Hermosa’s dam, Beauty Is Truth, was best at five furlongs. One daughter was Hydrangea, who won a couple of Group Ones and, in the stud’s “Chelsea Flower Show” phase, probably ran her best race when beaten a head by her stable companion Rhododendron in the Prix de l’Opera.

Hermosa may have been pretty busy at two but that experience did her no harm and, though overlooked by Ryan Moore in the 1,000 Guineas, she proved that win, by a length from Lady Kaya, was no fluke when blitzing the field – Pretty Pollyanna was four lengths second – in the Irish equivalent.

On the evidence so far the fillies’ form from the Guineas has been more reliable than the colts’ and she has the opportunity to stamp herself as one of the stars of this week in today’s Coronation Stakes.

If you could extract anything from a messy 2,000 Guineas it was that Ten Sovereigns would have won the race on his side at any point up to seven furlongs. He beat Jash in the Middle Park at two and although Simon Crisford’s colt looks smart he may not be smart enough to reverse the form. 

If there is a fly in Ten Sovereigns’ ointment it might be Hello Youmzain, who showed plenty of speed at Haydock on his return to sprinting and is potentially very good.

Japan was the best looking of O’Brien’s Derby squad and his effort in third very nearly matched his looks. Punters will, no doubt, latch on the Derby form, which has already thrown up the St James’s Palace winner this week. But Bangkok ran too badly to be true that day and a return to a more conventional track may see him back to his best and a danger.

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