Ervedya swooped late under Christophe Soumillon to win the Coronation Stakes for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget on Friday at Royal Ascot.
Aidan O’Brien’s favourite Found led going into the closing stages but the Aga Khan’s filly passed her to give Rouget a first Royal Ascot triumph by a neck with the fast-finishing Lucida a half-length further back.
Rouget won the Queen Anne with Valixir in 2005 when the Royal meeting moved to York in 2005, but he was delighted to register his first Ascot success.
He said: “For quite a few years now, I have come here with nice horses. I was second in this race last year with Lesstalk In Paris and it was a deep dream to come and win a Group One here.
“After she won the Guineas, this was my target of the year. I had only this race in mind, I wanted to win a Group One at Ascot and now it’s done. This and Literato’s Champion Stakes are two races that stand out for me.
“I love this place, I worked in Britain with Ian Balding and Paul Cole, and this is very important for me.
“She is the best because she is the best mentally. She has the class and, mentally, she is fantastic. I was not anxious because I knew that she could do the best.. I’m not sure what we’ll do next but I expect she’ll run in something at Deauville.”
Soumillon said: “For me this is great, it’s a great meeting but unfortunately I don’t have the horses to come here with every year. If you’re not riding for Aidan O’Brien, Sir Michael Stoute or the late Sir Henry Cecil then it’s hard to make it here. But I’ve had success at Ascot in the King George and on Champions’ Day.
“I was lucky to find the gap in the middle. I knew that she maybe didn’t handle the trip so I didn’t want to make the outside in the turn. I knew that Aidan O’Brien’s filly today was on top of her form and she beat us last year at the Marcel Boussac in Longchamp.
“The special thing is the track – it is not easy to handle and we didn’t really know if she would handle the mile here.. Today, we know she does.
“She will go in any ground, any distance, straight course or turns – she is perfect and has a great temperament, which is why we can travel over here and do great things.
“Her sire Siyouni has put a lot of speed into her pedigree and after she won the French Guineas I felt that a mile was as far as she wanted to go.”
Found will step up distance now with O’Brien saying: “She has run a stormer today and she’s a classy filly who belongs at this level. Obviously, we are delighted with her run – she did everything right and I would say that she would keep progressing.
“The plan was always to have the three runs, then maybe a little rest. And after her break I should think she’ll be going up in distance in the autumn.”
Jim Bolger’s Lucida took the long way round to finish third after occupying the runner-up berth in the 1000 Guineas, Godolphin’s John Ferguson said; “A mile is her distance and the form is there to see, and she’ll have her day.”
American raider Miss Temple City finished a creditable fourth. Her trainer Graham Motion said: “We were pleased with her but there is a slight disappointment that she wasn’t closer. She stumbled slightly leaving the gate and that lit her up a little.
“If she’d settled better she might have been closer. But it’s a big thing to ask to make the journey over. She’ll go back to the States now and prepare for the big targets in the fall.
Rory Jiwani 19/06/15
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