By Jon Lees
Star US filly Newspaperofrecord, favourite for the Coronation Stakes, has been earmarked for another race on home soil next month following the shock defeat that put a question mark over her Royal Ascot participation.
On her first start since posting a spectacular victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf, Newspaperofrecord was sent off a 1-5 favourite to extend her winning streak to four in the Grade Three Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby meeting.
But after establishing a customary lead, Chad Brown’s filly began to labour at the furlong pole and was caught and passed by Concrete Rose.
The Edgewood was supposed to be Newspaperofrecord’s prep race for the Coronation Stakes at Ascot on June 21, but her trainer has admitted she was not fit enough to win on her return to action.
He is therefore looking to run her next in the Grade Three Wonder Again Stakes at Belmont Park on June 6, which will be broadcast on Sky Sports Racing and falls 15 days before the Coronation.
“She’s continuing to do well out of that race,” said Brown.
“We’ll take a look at the Wonder Again as a possible next start.”
The Wonder Again is a recognised warm-up race for the Grade One Belmont Oaks in July – which is the first leg of the Turf Tiara, a new 2.25 million US dollar three-race series introduced this year.
Brown, who has an outstanding record with turf horses in the US, has not sent a runner to Royal Ascot since a fruitless visit in 2012.
But the performances of Newspaperofrecord, bred by Wigan businessman Allan Belshaw, have made her a high-priority international target for this year’s meeting.
The trainer has blamed himself for the filly’s comeback performance, in which she was beaten by three and three quarter lengths, and expects a stronger run next time.
Brown added: “She just got tired. I didn’t have her fit enough to do that. She should be good now.
“I don’t think she needs the lead. Given the pace scenario and her post position, we decided to just go out there (in front).
“In hindsight, I just didn’t have her ready to set such demanding fractions and still finish against a really good filly that beat her. I’ll make the proper adjustments for her next start.”