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Royal Ascot Day 4: Other O'Brien Trainer Takes Coronation

Continuing an endless trend, a trainer named O’Brien accepted a Group 1 trophy Friday at Royal Ascot, but for once it wasn’t the all-conquering Aidan. His 25-year-old son Donnacha Aidan O’Brien won the Coronation Stakes with Porta Fortuna, who passed his father’s Opera Singer in the final furlong and won by a length. Ramatuelle, the 8-5 favorite, was third in the mile stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Porta Fortuna

Porta Fortuna wins Coronation Stakes for trainer Donnacha O’Brien

Tom Marquand stalked in third before shaking up Porta Fortuna nearing the furlong marker. Marquand pulled off the rare feat of running down superstar Ryan Moore.

“She’s a joy of a filly to have,” Donnacha O’Brien said. “She’s incredibly sound and incredibly tough.”

American Dean Reeves co-owns Porta Fortuna.

“I thought Tom did a great job,” Reeves said on FanDuel TV. “This ranks up there with winning the [2013] Breeders’ Cup Classic with Mucho Macho Man. This filly comes to play every day, she’s always in the mix.”

The runner-up in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) paid $8.80 for her fifth win in nine starts, with three seconds and a third. She ran a mile in 1:40.48. She’s 2-for-2 at Royal Ascot, where she took last year’s Albany Stakes.

“I don’t know what was better, winning the race or shaking the hand of King Charles,” Reeves said. “I think I’m the only guy from Georgia who’s ever met the king.”

2-1 Inisherin dominates Commonwealth Cup

There were no anxious moments for favorite players as 2-1 Inisherin always looked like a winner in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup Stakes for 3-year-old colts.

Trainer Kevin Ryan’s Irish-bred broke sharply from post 1 for Tom Eaves and stalked the pace from up close. After Eaves pushed the button approaching the furlong marker, Inisherin drew off with plenty left in the tank. The margin over Lake Forest (11-1) was 2¼ lengths and could have been more. Inisherin paid $6 after 6 furlongs on good to firm ground in 1:12.51.

“He’s a machine, very lucky to be on him,” said Eaves, who teamed with Ryan to take the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) on the filly Glass Slippers.

A massive gamble on Givemethebeatboys failed miserably. After being hammered from a 12-1 morning line to 7-2, he burned mounds of pounds, finishing last of 14, 23 lengths behind.

Aidan O’Brien wins Albany; Ward finishes 0-for-4

Two of the week’s strongest storylines continued in the day’s opener. Aidan O’Brien and Moore teamed for their fifth stakes win in the past three days while America’s Wesley Ward finished the meeting 0-for-4 as Burning Pine ran a distant last of 16 in the Group 2 Albany Stakes for 2-year-olds.

Moore overcame serious traffic trouble with 2-1 favorite Fairy Godmother, who halfway through the race was far back. Moore angled her wide toward the stands side and surged past another deep closer, 13-1 Simmering, in deep stretch to win by three-quarters of a length.

“I gave her an impossible task and she got me out of a hole,” Moore told ITV. “There was a wall of horses in front of me and it was incredible that she could win from that position.”

Ward has been blanked at the royal meeting since Campanelle gave him his 12th win there in 2021. Burning Pine led briefly before wandering to the right and running alone on the far side. She backpedaled quickly and plodded home 25 lengths behind.

The rest of the action

Calandagan (5-1) spurted clear in midstretch for Stephane Pasquier and crushed the 1½-mile, Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes by a widening six lengths. Francois-Henri Graffard trained France’s first winner of the meet … The 1½-mile Duke of Edinburgh Stakes was a triumph for the Irish. The father-son team of trainer Gerard Keane and jockey Colin Keane had a $27.80 winner. Irish-bred Crystal Black scored by 2¼ lengths while carrying the green, white and orange colors of Ireland’s flag … 18-year-old Billy Loughnane rode his second winner this week, 18-1 Soprano, in the 30-horse Sandringham Stakes over a mile … 19-1 shot Pilgrim bailed out a few bettors in the day’s finale, the 5-furlong, 28-runner Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes.


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