06/17/2010 11:00PM

Anna Sulai has edge in fast Coronation


Speed or tracking speed has been the order of the day the first two days at Royal Ascot, and there is no reason to believe it will be different Friday, when Anna Salai, Evading Tempete, and Tabassum could have the Group 1, $370,000 Coronation Stakes all to themselves.

A one-mile race for 3-year-old fillies, the Coronation lacks English and French 1000 Guineas winner Special Duty and Irish 1000 winner Bethrah, but it does include Jacqueline Quest. At Newmarket, Jacqueline Quest finished a nose in front of Special Duty, only to be disqualified and placed second. But she was running out of her socks that day at 66-1 and tends to lag behind early.

So, too, does Lillie Langtry. Despite her fifth-place finish in the Irish 1000, she is William Hill's 9-2 favorite, probably because she is trained by Aidan O'Brien.

O'Brien has never been as proficient with fillies as he has with colts.

Godolphin's Anna Salai may be ready to break through at the Group 1 level. Trained by Andre Fabre when she won Longchamp's Group 3 Prix de la Grotte, she was switched to Mahmoud Al Zarooni, for whom she was a head second in the Irish 1000. Possessing tracking speed, Anna Salai will be ridden for the first time by Frankie Dettori and is the selection in a very tight fit.

Evading Tempete is a dangerous French raider who was much the best when she won the Group 3 Premio Regina Elena, or Italian 1000 Guineas. She is perhaps better judged on her previous outing, when she finished second by a half-length to Joanna in the seven-furlong, Group 3 Prix Imprudence. Joanna went on to win the Group 2 Prix de Sandringham by two lengths. Big race specialist Olivier Peslier replaces her regular rider, Jean-Bernard Eyquem, for trainer Francois Rohaut.

Tabassum won her first two races last year on the front end, the second win coming in the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes, and was then third in the seven-furlong, Group 3 Rockfel Stakes. She must overcome an eight-month layoff.

At First Sight nearly stole the Epsom Derby on the front end serving as the Coolmore rabbit, only to lose to Workforce. In the Group 2, $222,000 King Edward VII Stakes, he will attempt to put his speed to good use going 1 1/2 miles, this time with Johnny Murtagh replacing Jamie Heffernan for Aidan O'Brien. Bullet Train, the Group 3 Lingfield Derby Trial winner, hopes to get back on track after finishing 12th in the Epsom classic.

The most dangerous runner could be Green Moon, who won his third in a row last time in the listed 1 1/4-mile Fairway Stakes. As a son of Montjeu, he should stay the added distance.

Ken McPeek will saddle the speedy Tiz My Time in the Group 3, $103,000 Albany Stakes, a six-furlong test for juvenile fillies. A daughter of Sharp Humor, Tiz My Time is coming off a pair of second-place finishes in maidens at Keeneland and Churchill Downs.

Radharcnafarraige is being wheeled back on 11 days' rest after her victory in the Group 3 Coolmore Stud Fillies Sprint Stakes at Naas and would be no surprise as the 6-1 favorite. The 23-horse field, however, is loaded with precocious maiden winners, such as Margot Did, Memory, and Hooray.