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    O'Brien nearly made the elite list as Porta Fortuna just denied
O'Brien nearly made the elite list as Porta Fortuna just denied
Porta Fortuna. Source: attheraces.com

O'Brien nearly made the elite list as Porta Fortuna just denied

Donnacha O'Brien, who saw Porta Fortuna come close to giving him his first British Classic in the Qipco 1000 Guineas, would aim for the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The 25-year-old, who twice triumphed in the Rowley Mile 2000 Guineas as a jockey but the fillies equivalent eluded him during his time in the saddle, and it is still absent from his trophy cabinet after witnessing his Cheveley Park Stakes heroine lose by a narrow neck to Tom Marquand.

O'Brien was grounded by a technical issue with his plane, which caused him to miss the race. However, his daughter Caravaggio's engine was fine, dispelling any doubts about her endurance as she ran all the way to the finish line.

A two-year-old winner of the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, she is now eligible for Classic redemption in the Irish 1,000 Guineas. However, her handler is leaning towards going back to the royal meeting in an effort to strike there for a consecutive year.

O’Brien said: “She ran a cracker, she travelled well through the race, Tom gave her a lovely ride and she hit the line pretty well as well, so I’m delighted with her. It was a strongly-run race over a straight mile and I think she got it well. I think once the ground is nice she’ll stay the trip well. We’ll take her back and see how she is, but the options are either go to the Curragh for the Irish Guineas or go straight to Royal Ascot. I’d imagine Ascot is going to be one of the main targets for her, whether we take in the Curragh on the way we’re not sure yet. I think it will be the Coronation Stakes at Ascot, Tom was happy that she got the mile well.”

David Menuisier, whose Tamfana was the unluckiest of losers, finishing fourth by just half a length, is another who might be leaving Newmarket wondering what could have been.

Her big-race pilot Jamie Spencer was forced to switch the 33-1 shot after experiencing running difficulties at an important point. Soldier Hollow's daughter returned home strongly after she saw daylight.

“I have mixed feelings,” said Menuisier.

“She was the unluckiest filly in the race but what can you do? The plan was to always go to the French Oaks after today and she will still go there and she will have a good chance. I don’t really know what to say – you could run the race 100 times and 99 times she would win, but that’s life. I’d like to be happy but I can’t really as we came here to win the race. I can be happy as we know we have a very good filly – everything was right except the result.”

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