Coolangatta Punches Royal Ascot Ticket In Lightning

Coolangatta (Aus) (Written Tycoon {Aus}), who won the G1 Black Caviar Lightning S. at Flemington on Saturday, will be pointed toward a start at Royal Ascot, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, the 3-year-old filly has won five of her eight starts, and started this campaign with a third in the G2 Mitty’s McEwen S. at Moonee Valley in September. She claimed a first Group 1 crown in the Moir S. there on Sept. 23, but could only manage fifth in the G1 Coolmore Stud S. at Flemington on Oct. 29. Given a rest, the Lightning was her first start back.

“From here the dream would be Royal Ascot for everyone involved,” co-trainer Eustace told the paper. “She’s shown she likes the straight and I think everyone in the group would be keen to go there.

“Where she goes next, I’m not sure, but ultimately, we’d love to give that a crack.”

Added jockey Jamie Kah, “I thought she would run second today honestly, I didn’t think she would be able to beat Nature Strip (Aus) (Nicconi {Aus}).

“The race did shape out for her, there was pressure early, but she is half the size of him, and she just does things she shouldn’t do, she is just an amazing horse.”

Last year’s Royal Ascot sprint darling Nature Strip did not deliver his customary burst of finishing power and finished sixth. It was his third straight start without a win since he captured the G1 T J Smith S., G1 King’s Stand S., and G2 Bowermans Shorts in succession in April, June and September.

His jockey, James McDonald, did not offer an excuse and said, “He tried hard.”

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