Trainer Mark Casse looks to invade and score at Royal Ascot again this year with John Oxley's multiple graded stakes winner La Coronel in the one-mile Coronation Stakes (G1).
Leading up to the June 23 test, the 3-year-old Colonel John filly will follow a similar training pattern as two-time champion Tepin did last year before her triumph in the Queen Anne (G1). Florent Geroux, who guided the filly to her last two wins, will ride.
"We just think she's a really good horse," Casse said. "Of course we enjoyed our experience there last year. The Oxleys, like (Tepin's owners) the Mastersons, are sporting. They've won the (Kentucky) Derby, they've won the (Kentucky) Oaks, but they've never been to Royal Ascot. It takes a special horse to go over, and we think she is.
"One of the reasons we're taking her is that she doesn't mind a little give to the ground," he added of the filly who last won the Edgewood Stakes Presented by Forcht Bank (G3T) over a rain-soaked Churchill Downs turf course May 5.
Casse said he plans to work La Coronel on the Keeneland turf before she leaves for England, where she will likely stay at David Lanigan's yard in Lambourn, Berkshire, where Tepin was housed before her victory. Unlike Tepin, who raced on a straight away in the Queen Anne, La Coronel will have to make a right turn.
"She is going to have to make a right-hand turn, unlike Tepin," Casse said. "I think either they can do it or they can't do it."
Bred by Kim Nardelli, Rodney Nardelli, Susan Bunning, A. Jaffreys, and B. Jaffreys, La Coronel has four wins from eight starts, with earnings of $345,175.