06/17/2004 11:00PM

Attraction solidifies status as premier 3-year-old filly


Attraction crowned herself queen of the world's 3-year-old fillies on Friday with a scintillating performance in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Superlatives rang through the winner's enclosure as Attraction, the first winner of both the English and Irish 1000 Guineas, led throughout to take the $438,000 mile by 2 1/2 lengths over Majestic Desert.

"She is definitely the classiest horse I have ever trained," said Mark Johnston, while her rider, Kevin Darley, exclaimed, "You just throw the reins at her and she takes the race by the scruff of the neck."

Attraction remains unbeaten and unbowed through eight races. Getting the one-turn, mostly uphill mile in 1:38.54, she came within .03 seconds of the track record set by Russian Rhythm in last year's Coronation Stakes.

Sent off at rather generous odds of 3-2, Attraction drew clear by three lengths approaching the furlong pole, from which point her 10 rivals stood no chance. Red Bloom made a brief run at her entering the 2 1/2-furlong stretch but flattened out to finish third, a head behind Majestic Desert.

Johnston said that Attraction, a British-bred daughter of the Group 2-winning Formidable sire Efisio, would take on older fillies and mares in the one-mile, Group 1 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket on July 6 before challenging older colts.

Nothing has phased Attraction on the racecourse, despite her being a bit crooked-legged in front and having suffered a series of injuries culminating with a cracked pedal bone in her right hind foot that kept her out of action from last July until her 1000 English Guineas triumph on May 2. Rated Europe's best 2-year-old filly last year, she appears to have an almost insurmountable lead in the race for 3-year-old filly honors.

Earlier, Five Dynasties cruised to victory as the 11-4 choice in a Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes that was diluted by the withdrawal of antepost favorites Rule of Law and African Dream. His winning four-length margin over runner-up Elshadi was not an accurate reflection of his performance, however, as he got the 1 1/2 miles on firm ground in a pedestrian 2:32.26

Only eighth in the French Derby, Five Dynasties is trained by Aidan O'Brien, who said that his Danehill colt would next challenge Epsom Derby winner North Light in the Irish Derby at the Curragh on June 27.