06/17/2011 11:43AM

Royal Ascot: Immortal Verse passes them all in Coronation Stakes


The French invader Immortal Verse rallied from last in a field of 12 to win the first Group 1 race of her career in Friday’s Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, the meeting’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies.

The American runner More Than Real, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Churchill Downs last November, finished 11th in her first start of 2011. Owned by Bobby Flay and trained by Todd Pletcher, More Than Real dropped out of contention after racing in midpack for the first half of the one-mile race.

Immortal Verse (8-1) is trained by Robert Collet, whose son Rod trains runner-up Nova Hawk, who finished 2 1/4 lengths behind the winner. Barefoot Lady (16-1) finished third, with Together, the 7-2 favorite, finishing fifth.

Immortal Verse was given a patient ride from jockey Gerard Mosse, who kept the Irish-bred filly by Pivotal at the back of the field early. With a wide move through the uphill finish, Immortal Verse ran past the field to score an impressive win.

Owned by Robert Strauss, Immortal Verse had mixed form earlier in the spring in England and France. She was withdrawn at the start of the English 1000 Guineas on May 1, and was 11th in the French 1000 Guineas at Longchamp on May 15 before rebounding to win the Group 2 Prix de Sandringham at Chantilly on June 5.

Nathaniel takes King Edward

The lightly raced Nathaniel scored a convincing win in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes over 1 1/2 miles for 3-year-olds, solidifying his status as the future-book favorite for the Group 1 St. Leger Stakes over about 1 34 miles at Doncaster on Sept. 10.

Nathaniel, sent off as the 11-4 favorite, won the Kind Edward VII Stakes by five lengths over 5-1 Fiorentine. Jockey William Buick had Nathaniel near the leaders throughout and they took the lead with three furlongs remaining, quickly drawing away.

Trained by John Gosden, Nathaniel has never been worse than second in five starts and won his first stakes in the King Edward VII Stakes.

In the Group 3 Albany Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, the maiden Samitar closed from the back of the 13-horse field to pull a 16-1 upset.

Ridden by Jamie Spencer for trainer Mick Channon, Samitar, a Rock of Gibraltar filly, finished three-quarters of a length in front of Inetrobil, who was always near the front and led in the final furlong. Judy the Beauty, trained by American Wesley Ward, did not start after rain left the course rated good to soft.