Main Edition proves the star attraction in Albany Stakes

Mark Johnston’s filly sees them all off

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Main Edition maintained her unbeaten record with victory in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Mark Johnston’s filly followed up her debut win at Windsor with a runaway success at Goodwood three weeks ago and she was a 7-1 shot stepped up to Group Three level in Berkshire.

Wesley Ward’s American raider Stillwater Cove blazed a trail for a long way before fading, which left Fairyland leading the group that raced on the far side of the track.

However, it was clear as the post loomed that Main Edition and Le Pelosa were narrowly ahead down the centre of the track and it was Main Edition and James Doyle who claimed top honours by a neck.

La Pelosa narrowly beat Fairyland to the runner-up spot, but Just Wonderful, the 2-1 favourite, was disappointing.

Johnston said: “We came here knowing that she was pretty useful after two runs and two wins.

“We think our team of two-year-old fillies this year is very strong and this was one of the leading bunch. It’s great for her and it says a lot for all the others as well.”

Paddy Power introduced the winner at 16-1 for next year’s 1000 Guineas, with RaceBets going 14-1.

Johnston said: “I think it’s very early days to talk about that, although we were joking with the owner that we’d be back here next year for the Coronation Stakes after she’s won the Guineas!

“The media and the bookies will all start talking about it now, but there’s a lot of big two-year-old races before we come round to that.

“Let’s get this year out of the way and see where she stands.”

Johnston also has high hopes for Natalie’s Joy, who takes on the boys in the Chesham Stakes on Saturday.

He added:”Main Edition wasn’t qualified for the Chesham, so it was quite an easy decision for me as I wanted to keep her and Natalie’s Joy apart. The owners of Natalie’s Joy had to be satisfied that the Chesham was the best place for her and I think it was.

“James said he was confident she (Main Edition) would go to the line. She has kept sticking her neck out.

“We will wait and see what we do. My first thought is to work back from Cheveley Park Stakes, but James said that seven furlongs would be well within her compass, so we will go back and think about it.”

There was a slight sting in the tail for Doyle, who received a two-day whip ban for his winning ride, being found to have used his stick over the permitted level inside the final furlong and a half.

Charlie Appleby was pleased with the performance of La Pelosa.

He said: “Obviously it’s the second start of her career. Take nothing away from the winner, it was a great performance, but we lost nothing in defeat.

“She is a filly that will step up in trip and eke out more improvement. That’s where we’re going.”

Aidan O’Brien said of Fairyland and the vanquished Just Wonderful: “We’re very happy with both. Ryan’s (Moore) filly (Just Wonderful) was a bit green, but Fairyland ran a great race.

“There’s more to come from both of them, hopefully.”

Main Edition proves the star attraction in Albany Stakes
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