Royal Ascot 2022

Inspiral and Dettori sparkle with sensational Coronation Stakes victory

Inspiral took her career record to five wins from five starts with a spectacular four-and-three-quarter-length success in the G1 Coronation Stakes under Frankie Dettori.

Last year’s champion two-year-old filly was forced to miss the 1,000 Guineas after being slow to come to hand and had not raced since annexing the G1 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket in October.

Ridden with stacks of confidence by Dettori despite his luckless week so far, Inspiral took off when angled out in the straight, quickening clear to mark herself down as an outstanding filly.

US challenger Spendarella grabbed the runner-up spot for Graham Motion, a short-head in front of Discoveries, who just pipped fellow Irish raider Tenebrism for third place.

It was the first winner of what has been a frustrating week for John and Thady Gosden’s Clarehaven Stables, and John Gosden said: “There was an element of relief at the furlong pole and surprise at the line.

“I asked Frankie coming in. I like the jockey’s first reaction before they have time to think on what they feel, and I think you could go a mile and a quarter with her. This is a stiff mile here.

“Frankie didn’t over complicate, which he did yesterday. A jockey must never be tied down to instructions. It is like a blank canvas. If something happens in a race, just ride the way you feel. Our hero overcomplicated it yesterday. It’s over, it’s the past and we move on.

“You have races like the Nassau at Goodwood or you could go for the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville. You have those sort of races. We have a nice series of races. Remember, you will meet the older horses now, but she does get weight from them which helps.”

Dettori said: “”You have to put it [yesterday] behind you. This morning I was still thinking about it, but then I opened the Racing Post and I thought it is time to concentrate. You have to cancel it out, you can’t read too much into it, things people are saying, it is gone now.

“It took a long time for Inspiral to come to hand. John gave her the time she needed and, in her last couple of works, she told us she was good to go. It was a question mark if she trained on. She had pleased us, but we were still unsure.

“It has been a very difficult week; it did not work out on Lord North, things did not go right for Stradivarius, we were touched off in the Britannia and the colt [Reach For The Moon] after was odds-on. It was tough.

“When Inspiral fell out of the stalls, I thought ‘here we go again’. Then the big outsider was in front of me, so I was trying to avoid her. Then I took the chance with the split. But you need the horse to do that, and she really took off, to the point that I was able to enjoy the last 50yds for once! She has put some good fillies to bed in great style.

“We have had a tough week, everyone at Clarehaven has been a bit down, but racing is like that. It is good for the team to get one on the board.”

Richard Thompson of winning owner/breeder Cheveley Park Stud said: “Inspiral has been off the track since last October. We missed the English and Irish Guineas, but patience is a virtue and we have got to see her win like that!

“She won the Fillies’ Mile and has won the Coronation Stakes here in the style of a true champion. The Guineas is a long time ago now, but the Coronation Stakes is here and we have won it!

“For Cheveley Park Stud to win a Group 1 like this today is marvellous; she can go over a mile or a bit further, she is unbeaten, she is by Frankel, and she has won us two Group 1 races. It doesn’t get much better.

“Coming out of the stalls, I thought she is not going to get the right position and is going to be a bit far behind coming around the bend, but goodness me!”

Spendarella’s trainer Graham Motion said: “She ran great – I could not be more proud of her. William [Buick] had her in the perfect spot; she was very brave to hang on for second, I thought. The winner’s very good.

“I think Spendarella is a Grade 1 filly and she proved that today. She’ll go back to the States now. I don’t come over here just for the hell of it. I have to feel good about it to come. We’ve run second a couple of times now [in this race], so I feel like I know what it takes. We don’t have many opportunities in the States, which is kind of why this race made sense, this early in the season, and I think she’s really a miler, so we didn’t miss out on much in the States.”

Jessica Harrington said of the third: “I am absolutely thrilled with Discoveries. She reversed the form from the 1,000 Guineas and ran a great race. The winner is obviously a very special filly, but I am delighted with our filly.”


4.20pm Coronation Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series)

1 Inspiral (Cheveley Park Stud) John & Thady Gosden 3-9-02 Frankie Dettori 15/8F

2 Spendarella (Gainesway Farm) Graham Motion USA 3-9-02 William Buick 10/1

3 Discoveries (Flaxman Stables Ireland Ltd) Jessica Harrington IRE 3-9-02 Shane Foley

12 ran

John & Thady Gosden – 5th Royal Ascot winner in partnership

*John Gosden trained 55 Royal Ascot winners in his own name

Frankie Dettori – 77th Royal Ascot winner