06/22/2006 11:00PM

Nannina tops in Coronation

Edward Whitaker / Racing Post
Nannina, ridden by Jimmy Fortune, hit the wire two lengths in front in the $495,000 Coronation on Friday.

ASCOT, England- Nannina made mincemeat of 1000 Guineas form on Friday as she stormed to a clear-cut victory in the $495,000 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, where she beat five classic mile winners into submission.

The result was not completely unexpected as Nannina - the John Gosden-trained daughter of Medicean - had shown great promise in her juvenile finale when she won the Group 1 Fillies Mile at the expense of this month's English Oaks winner Alexandrova. A dull 12th behind Speciosa in the 1000 Guineas on May 7, Nannina redeemed herself under a brave ride by Jimmy Fortune, who was content to sit on the rail, seventh of 15 entering the 2 1/2-furlong stretch.

As she had done in the English Guineas, Speciosa cut out the early fractions despite having broken widest of all. Nannina was soon on her heels when Fortune angled her out. They brushed Frankie Dettori and Silca's Sister aside, and assumed command at the three-sixteenth pole. The 6-1 co-favorite, Nannina crossed the line two lengths in front of Flashy Wings with Nasheej third. The time for the mile on good to firm ground was 1:39.14.

Hard to believe, but the five Guineas winners were shut out of the first six places. UAE Guineas winner Vague was seventh. Disqualified French Guineas winner and co-favorite Price Tag was eighth after lagging behind early. Speciosa faded to ninth, and German Guineas champ Lolita was 11th. Irish Guineas winner Nightime, uncomfortable on the fast ground, finished last, 22 1/2 lengths behind the winner.

For Gosden, who hinted that Goodwood's Sussex Stakes would be next for Nannina, the Coronation victory came as a relief; he had been second three times previously in the race, beaten by Maid's Causeway with Karen's Caper, by Sophisticat with Zenda, and by Banks Hill with Crystal Music. For owners Cheveley Park Stud, Nannina is its third Coronation winner, Exclusive and Russian Rhythm being the first two.

* Papal Blue lived up to his 5-2 favoritism, landing the Group 2, $397,000 King Edward VII Stakes. Tenth in the Epsom Derby after a troubled trip, Papal Blue defeated Red Rocks by a neck under a cool ride from Kieren Fallon. The win gave owner Susan Magnier her third group race win at the meet, along with victories by Ad Valorem and Yeats. Papal Bull stopped the clock in a quick 2:28.02 for 1 1/2 miles, and is a possibility for the St. Leger Stakes.