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Elmalka ‘in great form’ ahead of Coronation tilt

Elmalka ‘in great form’ ahead of Coronation tilt
Elmalka ‘in great form’ ahead of Coronation tilt

Roger Varian reports 1000 Guineas winner Elmalka to be in fine spirits and on course to run in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The daughter of Kingman came from last to first to claim Classic glory in only her third race at Newmarket, edging out Porta Fortuna by a neck.

Varian told Sky Sports Racing: “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.”

A wide draw prompted the hold-up tactics at HQ, but Varian believes his filly is versatile and a different gameplan could be used at the Royal meeting.

He added: “That’s 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.”

Varian is confident that sticking to a mile is the right option for now, but he hasn’t ruled out moving up in distance at a later date after Elmalka stayed on well to get up in the final strides in the Guineas.

“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,” said the trainer.

The QIPCO Guineas Festival – 1000 Guineas Day – Newmarket Racecourse
Elmalka and connections after the 1000 Guineas (David Davies for the Jockey Club).

“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.”

Varian also has high hopes of Group One success for Charyn in the Queen Anne Stakes after the four-year-old followed up wins at Doncaster and Sandown by chasing home surprise Lockinge scorer Audience at Newbury.

The Newmarket handler said: “He’s in great form – I wish it was tomorrow, so hopefully the next two weeks will go smoothly, with no problems.

“He ran great in the Lockinge, he was the only horse to come out of the pack. I thought he ran really well.

“Credit to the winner, who is a very good horse and put in a great performance, but I thought Charyn came a long way away from all the horses he raced with, so it was a great performance and hopefully he can do something similar at Ascot.”

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