Royal Ascot: Porta Fortuna wins Coronation Stakes as Tom Marquand steers Donnacha O’Brien’s charge home | Racing News

Porta Fortuna made it back-to-back victories at Royal Ascot with a determined performance to win the Group One Coronation Stakes.

The Caravaggio filly, who won the Albany Stakes at last year’s meeting and was second in the 1000 Guineas for trainer Donnacha O’Brien, reeled in the pace-setting Opera Singer at the furlong pole under Tom Marquand and pulled clear in the closing stages to prevail by a length at odds of 7/2.

Ramatuelle, the 15/8 favourite, plugged on to claim third place, with 1000 Guineas winner Elmalka back in fourth.

“She made it extremely easy,” Marquand said of the winner who was ridden close to the pace set by Skellet and Opera Singer. “She was fantastic. She jumped beautifully, we had the perfect target in Opera Singer to aim her at and she was electric.

“She is such a cool customer. She had that near miss in the Guineas and didn’t really show much of a turn of foot that day, she looked like a grinder, but on this flatter surface, with something to aim at, she was electric from the two [furlong pole].

“These rides are hard enough to come by, let alone to keep, and I’m very fortunate to be aboard her today.

“It’s so special [for the King to present him with his trophy], obviously I have great memories of Royal Ascot last year (winning on Desert Hero) and we all come to Royal Ascot primarily because of the royal family’s presence.

“It came up on my Facebook memories – Hollie (Doyle) and I were here 11 years ago before I’d even ridden in a race, with my family, and we both looked a bit fresher and baby-faced, but this was the dream. It doesn’t get much better.”

Porta Fortuna ridden by Tom Marquand on their way to winning the Coronation Stakes on day four of Royal Ascot
Marquand celebrates as he crosses the line on Porta Fortuna

Porta Fortuna has not finished out of the first three in nine career starts, having struck Group One gold in last year’s Cheveley Park Stakes and placed on a further three occasions at the highest level as a juvenile.

O’Brien, whose father Aidan trained the runner-up, said: “She’s so uncomplicated, Tom gave her a lovely ride, I was happy the whole way and everything went to plan. It’s not too often you can say that so I’m delighted.

“All along, she hasn’t got the credit she deserves. She’s never missed a beat, she had two runs before Royal Ascot last year and has literally never missed a race since. She’s incredibly sound, incredibly tough. It’s a testament to all the team at home.

“Newmarket is tough, there are a few ridges, they go a hard gallop and there are no hiding places. I think a mile is probably her maximum because she’s got so much speed. On a turning track like this, Tom was able to sit on her and use that turn of foot that she has.

“We all know how tough it is, it’s a lot of pressure and we all put a lot of hard work in every day. When it pays off, no matter who it is, the whole family are happy for you. Obviously Fancy Blue was a very good filly as well but I’d say she’s the best I’ve had.”

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