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Classic queens vie for top spot; Layers at odds in Coronation Stakes.

BOOKMAKERS were yesterday in a quandary over Royal Ascot's clash of the Classic heroines in the Coronation Stakes on Wednesday, writes Jon Lees.

The Group 1 fillies' event, which promises to be one of the highlights of the meeting, yesterday attracted 11 acceptors at the five-day stage, including not just the winners of the English, Irish and French 1,000 Guineas, but also two of the runners-up.

The major firms started betting on the pounds 235,000 event, and two different sets of joint favourites emerged. Wince and Wannabe Grand - one-two in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket - are bracketed by both Ladbrokes and the Tote, who respectively make the pair 7-2 and 4-1.

But Hills and Coral offer Wince and French Guineas winner Valentine Waltz as their 7-2 joint market leaders.

Since winning at Newmarket, Wince has disappointed in Ireland behind Hula Angel - a best-priced 6-1 - and Golden Silca, available at 8-1.

Valentine Waltz, third at Newmarket, went on to win the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, while Wannabe Grand has waited for next week's rematch.

Valentine Waltz's trainer John Gosden has expressed fears that Ascot's mile might stretch his filly but Jeremy Noseda reckons Wannabe Grand will run "a huge race".

Godolphin have two possibles in Pescara and Fairy Queen, while Hawriyah and the unbeaten Presumed, are also on course.

"It should be a cracker," said Mick Channon, Golden Silca's trainer. "I couldn't be more pleased with her."

The unbeaten Presumed, 16-1 with Ladbrokes, was going to be supplemented to run in Ireland but was not guaranteed to get suitable ground.

"She wants good to firm ground," said trainer Peter Makin. "But she is fresh and ready to run."

Meanwhile, Coral yesterday started betting on Tuesday's St James's Palace Stakes. They make Sendawar 11-8 favourite ahead of Aljabr (4-1). Hills cut Sendawar to 2-1 (from 9-4), with Aljabr 9-2 (from 5).
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Lees, Jon
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 12, 1999
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