Scottish Daily Mail


Brittain is right again to seal another Coronation


RIZEENA proved Clive Brittain right as she made him the oldest Royal Ascot -winning trainer in living memory by bouncing back to form to win the Group One Coronation Stakes.

Seventh place behind Miss France in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket last month had been a bitter reverse f or Brittain but he insisted that the run was all wrong.

There was added frustratio­n when a minor problem meant Rizeena had to miss the Irish 1,000 Guineas and a first chance of redemption.

But the filly, successful at this meeting 12 months ago in the Queen Mary Stakes, was as good as Brittain’s word as she hit the front a furlong out and held off the late charge of French challenger Lesstalk In Paris to give j ockey Ryan Moore his third winner of the meeting.

Vast experience enables a sense of perspectiv­e to be brought to situations and no-one is more equipped than Brittain to analyse and evaluate a horse race.

The 80- year- old spent 23 years working for Newmarket great Sir Noel Murless before embarking on a career which has including training three great fillies: Pebbles, Sayyedati and User Friendly.

It is 40 years since he saddled his first royal meeting winner — Averof in the 1974 St James’s Palace Stakes — and Rizeena, his second in the Coronation Stakes after Crimplene in 2000, was his 18th at the meeting.

Rizeena has now won five of her 10 races but lost all four of her runs at Newmarket and Brittain now blames a failure to act on the undulation­s at her local course for the Guineas reverse when ridden by Richard Hughes

The trainer said: ‘ Richard had her in the perfect position but she just did not fire. It was 10lb to a stone below her best.

‘We have not been having a great time but I have got two stand-out three-year-olds.

‘Brazos, who was beaten by the ground in the Jersey Stakes so don’t forget him, and this filly. They are reasons to get up in the morning.’

If Rizeena hates Newmarket, she has now proven a love for Ascot and her season is likely to i nclude a return to the Berkshire venue.

Brittain added: ‘I think we will come back here for the big meeting in October and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.’

An even quicker trip back to the track could be on the agenda f or John Gosden’s Eagle Top, most impressive winner of day four with his three- and- a- quarter length dismissal of Aidan O’Brien’s Adelaide in the King Edward VII Stakes.

When Gosden won the race in 2011 with Nathaniel, he then successful­ly supplement­ed the colt to the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and that route will be considered again with a son of Pivotal clearly held in very high regard. Gosden, a neighbour of Brittain in Newmarket, said: ‘We have supplement­ed a King Edward winner before so I would not be frightened to do it again. If this horse is right it will be considered.’

The Lady Bamford- owned colt would probably have headed to Epsom f or the Investec Derby had he not disappoint­ed at Leicester when blood t ests subsequent­ly proved he was off-colour.

Added to his St James’s Palace Stakes winner Kingman and his Prince of Wales’s Stakes heroine The Fugue, Gosden has assembled a squad of horses which give him a good chance of holding on to his lead in his pursuit of a second trainers’ championsh­ip.

Gosden reckons Eagle Top has too much pace to be c onsidered a Ladbrokes St Leger contender — his two hopes for the race are Derby third Romsdal and Doncaster maiden winner Forever Now.

They could clash in the final classic with Hartnell, who survived a stewards’ enquiry to give trainer Mark Johnston his seventh win in the Queen’s Vase to earn 14-1 quotes for the St Leger.

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