Coronation Cup Betting Tips & Predictions – Epsom, Friday 31st May 2019

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. There are no former champs in the running this year, so we will see a new king crowned, with our money going on it being a winner for the boys in blue of Godolphin.

Top Tips

Old Persian to win @ 11/4

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

Race Info

This left-handed course provides an incredible challenge of agility, balance and endurance as the runners take on the dips, bends and cambers across this middle-distance race. With the ground forecast to be riding on the quick side of good, speed also seems likely to be at the fore this year.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good 1m4f Group 1 £444,750 9 Runners 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

The bookies have done a fine job calling this race recently, as only one of the last nine renewals hasn’t been won by the favourite.

In this time only one winner set off with an official rating lower than 122. Interestingly only the Godolphin runner, Old Persian, ticks that box this year.

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

Analysis: Persian The Coronation King

Six of the past seven renewals of this have seen an odds-on favourite dominate the betting market – and win on all bar one occasion – but that’s not the case this year, with the 2019 edition having a far more open look to it.

The race doesn’t look to lack anything in quality though, with a host of regally bred sorts from the top yards set to go to post, including two from the Aidan O’Brien operation which has claimed top honours here five times since 2010.

Front Of The Kew?

It is one of those O’Brien runners who heads the market, in the shape of 2018 St Leger winner, Kew Gardens. Clearly stamina won’t be an issue for this one, and whilst that 1m6½f trip of the Leger may prove to be his optimum, he is also a Group 1 winner at this trip having landed the Grand Prix de Paris, and wasn’t beaten far at all in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Whilst he was well beaten on his return at Chester last time out, he also took a while to come to the boil last season and it seems reasonable to expect a significant step forward here. His run in last season’s Derby over this course and distance is however a little concerning. He may well have done too much in front that day, but was still beaten fully 27 lengths on what remains his only previous run at the track.

In With The Old

For those looking to follow the ratings trend in the race it is Old Persian who is the first – and only – port of call. Boasting form figure of 16111 at this 1m4f trip, including a win in the Group 1 Sheema Classic over in Meydan last time out, he seems to be really improving with age and heads into the race seeking a hat-trick. The negative against the Charlie Appleby runner is that he does have around 10 lengths to make up with both Kew Gardens and Lah Ti Dar from the St Leger, but he simply looked a non-stayer at that distance, and it’s a little debatable as to how much relevance that form has over this shorter trip. With the Appleby yard continuing in flying form, he looks a must for the short list.

Music To Gosden’s Ears

John Gosden broke his duck in this race 12 months ago when Cracksman got up in the shadow of the post to reel in Salouen, and looks to have solid claims of going back to back this year. It is the Andrew Lloyd Webber owned filly Lah Ti Dar who is Gosden’s sole representative, and she makes plenty of appeal in the hands of last year’s winning rider Frankie Dettori. Beaten 2¼l by Kew Gardens in the St Leger, her two previous runs at this trip have resulted in a ten length romp in Listed company, and a third on Champions Day when tackling ground which was likely far softer than idea. Fit and well having got up close home to bag the Middleton Stakes at York last time out, 1m4f on quick ground looks likely to suit ideally, and receiving weight from the boys she looks sure to go well.

Final Verdict: Old Persian to win

Kew Gardens is a horse we like, but that previous flop around here, in combination with his underwhelming run last time, out are just enough to put us off. Lah Ti Dar makes more appeal, but is zero from two in top company and doesn’t look to offer any great value.

Old Persian was something of a slow burner last season, but really looks to have found his feet now as a four year old. A sound stayer – at this distance at least – and in possession of a good turn of foot, he is taken to prevail in what may well be a thriller.


Grandstands at Epsom Racecourse
Graham C99, flickr

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.

Chart Showing the Coronation Cups Most Successful Jockeys

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 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.

Chart Showing the Most Successful Coronation Cup Trainers

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

Horse Trainer Jockey(s) Wins Years
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

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