Homeracing

Sergei Prokofiev, Calyx Square Off in Coventry Stakes

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

June 17th, 2018

It’s not every day that horse racing fans can enjoy top-notch stakes races on a Tuesday, but then again, that’s part of what makes the meeting in England so special.

The prestigious five-day race meet at Ascot gets underway on June 19th, and while most of the attention will be on the three Group 1 stakes races, racing fans with an eye on the future will be excited to watch the Group 2 Coventry Stakes for two-year-olds.

Held at six furlongs over the straight course, the Coventry has been won by some very good horses over the last decade, including Canford Cliffs, Dawn Approach, and Caravaggio. An impressive 24 lightly-raced colts have been entered in this year’s Coventry, with most of the pre-race attention being focused on Sergei Prokofiev and Calyx. The former, a son of Scat Daddy trained by , was narrowly beaten in his April debut at Dundalk but came right back to win two races at Navan and Naas by the combined margin of 11 ½ lengths. O’Brien’s go-to jockey will be in the saddle as Sergei Prokofiev attempts to give O’Brien his fourth Coventry win since 2011.

But Calyx is no slouch himself, having cruised to a five-length win in his debut at Newmarket on June 9th, an authoritative victory that suggests he has a very bright future. The son of top miler Kingman races for the high-profile connections of Juddmonte Farmes, trainer John Gosden, and jockey Frankie Dettori, and while the 98 Racing Post Rating that Calyx received for his debut is not the highest in the field, it does stand alone as the highest debut number achieved by any of the Coventry starters.

Cosmic Law, a two-time winner from the barn of Richard Fahey, prevailed by six lengths in a race at Epsom on June 1st and is considered the narrow third choice in the wagering over The Irish Rover, an O’Brien runner who broke his maiden at Newbury one month ago. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor will send out the recent maiden winners Burj and Dubai Legacy for Godolphin Racing, while Advertise and Indigo Balance are both 1-for-1 with maiden wins at Newbury and the Curragh, respectively.

The remainder of the starters are expected to be longshots in the wagering, through Fahey will send out Ninetythreetwenty (who is 2-for-2 thus far) and Vange (a recent maiden winner at Chester), two colts that have posted respectable 90 Racing Post Ratings, making them somewhat intriguing contenders at large prices.

The Conventry Stakes is the second race of the day at Royal Ascot, with a post time of 9:05 a.m. Eastern.
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