Horses too old for the Derby and Oaks at Epsom still have a chance to impress on the big stage thanks to the Coronation Cup. Run over the same distance as the two Classics, this fine event is only open to horses four years old and above.
Doing a double is something very rarely seen though, the last horse to manage that being Time Charter (1982 and 1984). St Nicholas Abbey famously won this race on three successive occasions, an achievement no horse has been able to match.
Next Race: Friday, 4th June 2021
The next race is scheduled to run on 4th June 2021. The race info, trends and tips shown below will be updated for the next renewal once the final declarations have been made.
Last Run: 5th June 2020
- Winner: Ghaiyyath
- SP: 11/10
- Trainer: Charlie Appleby
- Jockey: William Buick
1m4f is the trip for this Group 1 event which this year offers £110,000 in guaranteed prize money. The ground at the track is currently described as good to firm, and with only minimal rain forecast, is expected to still be riding on the quick side on race day.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Good to Firm||1m4f||Group 1||£110,000||7 Runners||1/4 1-2|
Coronation Cup Betting Tips
Note: The following tips are from 2020. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.
We have a unique renewal of this prestigious contest in store in 2020, with this year representing the first time the race will be held away from its traditional home of Epsom Downs. Usually a key feature of the Derby meeting, the race will instead act as an appetiser ahead of the other Classics of the 2000 and 1000 Guineas this year.
Irish supremo Aidan O’Brien boasts the all-time lead in the race amongst trainers, with an impressive eight successes to his name. As ever, he heads into a big race with a strong hand. He sends 2019 Derby first and fourth, Anthony Van Dyck and Broome, into battle this time around.
This race has been an excellent event for favourite backers in recent years, with no fewer than eight of the past 10 market leaders coming home in front – returning a level stakes profit of a shade over 5 points. Very healthy indeed but this time around we feel the best value is just a little lower down the betting.
|Ghaiyyath||11/8||126||Charlie Appleby||William Buick|
|Defoe||3/1||118||Roger Varian||Andrea Atzeni|
|Stradivarius||7/2||122||John Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|Anthony Van Dyck||6/1||118||Aidan O'Brien||Ryan Moore|
The runner likely to be carrying the cash of the jolly-backers this time around is the Godolphin representative Ghaiyyath. By Dubawi and out of a Galileo mare, this five year old from the Charlie Appleby operation could scarcely look better on paper, and on a number of occasions has lived up to that potential where it really matters, at the track.
Beginning last season with a big career best when routing the field to the tune of 14 lengths in a German Group 1, he then disappointed when beating only two home in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, but likely didn’t appreciate the very soft ground that day. Brought back to the track at Meydan in February, he then bounced back to form with an effortless success from a decent Group 3 field. The quick ground ought to suit, and the fact he is proven on the back of a break is a big factor in his favour.
Next in the betting comes the defending champion – Defoe from the yard of Roger Varian. Now six years old, this son of Dalakhani caused something of a shock in last year’s race when seeing off Kew Gardens, Lah Ti Dar and others to score in impressive style.
The question is, can he repeat the trick one year on? Overall the age stats are against him, but St. Nicholas Abbey did win this as a six year old, and Cirrus Des Aigles was eight when coming out on top in 2014, so it is by no means impossible, particularly as his trainer reports him to be in excellent form.
The switch from Epsom to Newmarket needn’t be too much cause for concern either, as he does boast a previous course and distance win to his name, having landed the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes here in 2018. Last sighted just failing to reel in the winner over this trip out in Meydan in March, this likeable grey is hard to rule out.
It seems unlikely given the current ground conditions, but should this turn into a real stamina test at the distance, then the horse they all have to beat is undoubtedly John Gosden’s superstar stayer, Stradivarius. A two-time winner of the £1million Stayer’s bonus, and successful in a hugely impressive 10 of his past 11 starts overall, he is a five-time Group 1 winner and well worth his place in the field.
For a horse who has won at up to 2m4f though, the huge question here is of course the trip. This will be the first time Stradivarius has tackled so short a distance since back in 2017, when beaten in a Chester Handicap off a mark of just 90. He is a much-improved performer these days, but may need the others to go hard from a long way out if he is to prevail. A fascinating contender nonetheless.
Anthony Van Dyck (6/1)
It has been a long time since the previous year’s Derby winner has followed up in this race – not since Roberto achieved the feat way back in 1973 in fact – but bidding to break that trend in 2020 is Aidan O’Brien’s Anthony Van Dyck.
A repeat of that Epsom performance would of course give him every chance, as would his effort when a very unlucky third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita. Consistency however is not this one’s strong point, as witnessed when completely blowing up in the King George and again when running no sort of race in the Hong Kong Vase.
On the plus side, his very best efforts have come on a quick surface – which he will get here, and he did win in good style first time out last year, so early in the season may well be the time to catch him. He does have work to do with Ghaiyyath on the ratings, but with improvement from three to four highly likely, and going for a trainer who has won this more than any other, he will do for us at the generous prices.
Coronation Cup Winners
|2020||Ghaiyyath*||11/10||Charlie Appleby||William Buick|
|2019||Defoe||11/1||Roger Varian||Andrea Atzeni|
|2018||Cracksman||2/7||John Gosden||Frankie Dettori|
|2017||Highland Reel||9/4||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
|2016||Postponed||8/11||Roger Varian||Andrea Atzeni|
|2015||Pether’s Moon||11/1||Richard Hannon||Pat Dobbs|
|2014||Cirrus Des Aigles||10/11||Corine Barande-Barbe||Christophe Soumillon|
|2013||St Nicholas Abbey||3/10||Aidan O'Brien||Joseph O'Brien|
|2012||St Nicholas Abbey||8/11||Aidan O'Brien||Joseph O'Brien|
|2011||St Nicholas Abbey||Evens||Aidan O'Brien||Ryan Moore|
*2020 race run at Newmarket during Guineas Festival.
About the Coronation Cup
The Derby Meeting at Epsom Downs each year in June is undoubtedly one of the big highlights of the whole flat season. Headlined of course by the world’s most famous Classic on the Saturday, the Derby; that jewel in Epsom’s crown is just one of a number of high class contests to take place over the two days of the meeting.
With the middle distance three year old colts catered for in the Derby, and the Classic generation of fillies having the Oaks to aim at, it is only fair that the top-notch older performers in training also have a valuable prize to target. That prize is the Coronation Cup.
Taking place on the opening Friday of the meeting and held over the same 1m4f course and distance of the two classic contests, this is effectively the “Derby” for runners aged four and over, and is open to both fillies and colts.
LESTER LEADS THE WAY
Introduced way back in 1902 to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII, this contest now has well over 100 years of history behind it. Having been around for so long it is no surprise to see a number of the all-time greatest jockeys featuring on the roll of honour here, from the great Sir Gordon Richards, through to Frankie Dettori in more modern times.
No one has fared quite so well though as the great Lester Piggott. Beginning with the success of Zucchero in 1953 and ending with Be My Native’s triumph 30 years later in 1983, the “Long fellow” racked up a record setting nine wins in the race, putting him four clear of his nearest challengers Frankie Dettori and Pat Eddery.
AIDAN O’BRIEN THE CORONATION KING
The place atop the training tree in this race is occupied by an Irishman who is still going strong but has already forged his place in racing legend. No one readies one quite so well for a Group 1 challenge as Aidan O’Brien. True he has a lot of ammunition at his disposal, but his record in these top tier events since the turn of the century is still nothing short of sensational. That Group 1 success includes a record setting eight wins in this event, with the likes of stayer supreme Yeats (2005), globetrotting great Highland Reel (2017) and Irish Derby winner Fame And Glory (2010) featuring amongst his winners.
Emphasising the often international appeal of this race, it is multiple French Champion Trainer André Fabre who lies second on the list with six wins in all, with In The Wings (1990) and Swain (1996) amongst those to carry the prize back across the Channel.
NICHOLAS OUT ON HIS OWN
Being open to all runners aged four and older, it is quite possible for previous winners to return to Epsom in an effort to defend their crown. With new four year olds emerging on the scene year after year, to do so is no mean feat. But we do have a number of multiple winners featuring on the list of previous winner here. Petite Etoile, Pretty Polly, The White Knight, Triptych and Warrsan were all double winners of the race.
Out on his own in front though as the only horse to win the race on three separate occasions is one of Montjeu’s most famous sons, St Nicholas Abbey. Hailing form the yard of Aidan O’Brien (who else?), this horse, who landed close to £5 million in total prize money during his career, was a six time Group 1 winner, including this race in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
MULTIPLE CORONATION CUP WINNING HORSES: 1902 – 2020
|St Nicholas Abbey||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore, Joseph O’Brien (2)||3||2011, 2012, 2013|
|Warrsan||Clive Brittain||Philip Robinson, Darryll Holland||2||2003, 2004|
|Triptych||Patrick Biancone||Tony Cruz, Steve Cauthen||2||1987, 1988|
|Petite Etoile||Noel Murless||Lester Piggott||2||1960, 1961|
|The White Knight||Harry Sadler||William Halsey||2||1907, 1908|
|Pretty Polly||Peter Gilpin||Otto Madden, Bernard Dillon||2||1905, 1906|