Royal Ascot 2023

Potential Group filly Coppice takes Sandringham Handicap

Juddmonte filly Coppice (6/1JF) continued Frankie Dettori’s fine week with a dominant performance in the Sandringham Handicap.

The daughter of Kingman, a full sister to 2018 Coventry Stakes winner Calyx, holds a G1 Falmouth Stakes entry and was always going to be potentially well treated in a handicap off a mark of 97.  

She made light of that mark by powering home towards the stands’ side to see off runner-up Breege (33/1) by a length. Balalaika defied odds of 66/1 to take third, with Unless (14/1) two lengths further back in fourth.

It was a fourth success of the week for Dettori, who is just one behind Ryan Moore in the race to be crowned leading rider, while it was also a fourth for trainers John & Thady Gosden.

Dettori said: “That was a good effort and the Juddmonte team are here, including His Highness [Prince Saud Abdullah] and all the stud people, so to get a winner for them is amazing. They have been great supporters of me going back to the filly Enable and other good horses.

“At one point we thought Coppice was a Guineas filly, but she didn’t come to hand until too late, so we put her in this race thinking she would be competitive and she was. We do think she will be a Group-race filly.

“I tracked the leaders, I got her settled, I got the splits when I wanted, and she did the rest. It was a very smooth performance and, in these races, you don’t usually get that.

“I love Ascot, I will miss it, but I’m enjoying the moment. I won my first Gold Cup in 1992 and 31 years later I ride another one, my ninth. It’s been a good place for me and I’ve still got tomorrow.”

John Gosden said: “Coppice is a sweet filly. She came unstuck in the soft ground at the Craven Meeting. We went to Newcastle to build her up, she won well. We waited for the better ground, the faster ground – she came here fresh and she has done it well.

He declined a run in the Coronation with the filly, saying: “I didn’t fancy the Coronation… it looked rather an exceptional champion in there!

“This was very much where we wanted to come, we will sit down and work it out. There are various options.”

Jason Hart said of Breege: “I think we bumped into one there! I always thought this filly had a lot of ability. I think dropping her in and riding her cold and getting her to switch off helped her.

“I thought coming to the furlong I thought I was coming with a strong challenge, but the winner pulled out more, credit to the winner.

“I think we have a good filly going forward. She has been highly tried, and I have no doubt she will get black-type, but this was the right race to run in today. All credit to the team.”

5.00pm Sandringham Handicap

1 Coppice (Juddmonte) John & Thady Gosden 3-9-03 Frankie Dettori 6/1JF

2 Breege (Chasemore Farm) John Quinn 3-9-06 Jason Hart 33/1

3 Balalaika (Lady Ogden) Rebecca Menzie 3-8-06 Hayley Turner 66/1

4 Unless (Westerberg, S Magnier, M Tabor, D Smith) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-8-08 Wayne Lordan 14/1

29 ran             6/1JF Jackie Oh (20th)

John & Thady Gosden – 64th Royal Ascot winner, including partnerships

Frankie Dettori – 81st Royal Ascot winner

*John Gosden trained 55 Royal Ascot winners in his own name

Sectional times: