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Magical among 18 still in the mix for Investec Coronation Cup

15 May 2019

Star filly won the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day in October.

Magical wins the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes. Picture: Steven Cargill/Racingfotos.com

Series star Magical is one of 18 entries going forward for the Investec Coronation Cup, worth £425,000, at Epsom on May 31.

The four-year-old progressed when stepped up to 12 furlongs at the backend of 2018, landing the Group 1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day in October before pushing Enable all the way in the Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs.
Magical, a 5/1 chance with Unibet, official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival, has returned this season with easy victories in the Group 3 Alleged Stakes at Naas on April 13 and Group 2 Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh on May 6, both over 10 furlongs.
Aidan O’Brien, the trainer of Magical,  has landed the Coronation Cup a record eight times and Ireland’s 21-time champion Flat handler accounts for seven of the entries left in.
The septet also includes Unibet’s 5/2 favourite Kew Gardens and Flag Of Honour, respective winners of last year’s English and Irish St Legers, plus 2017 Group 1 Irish Derby and St Leger victor Capri.
Europe’s champion stayer Stradivarius is one of three remaining entries for Newmarket-based handler John Gosden. He has taken out Enable, who may instead make her return in another QIPCO British Champions Series race – the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Gosden’s trio is completed by Coronet and  Lah Ti Dar, who finished second and third to Magical in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes.
Salouen, trained by the in-form Sylvester Kirk in Lambourn, is on course to try and go one better than he did last year, when runner-up to Cracksman, while last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up, Marmelo, is also on course to run after winning the John Porter Stakes at Newbury.
His trainer, Berkshire-based Hughie Morrison, said: “We gave him a couple of easy weeks after the John Porter and now we are revving him up for Epsom.
“We felt it was worth having a go over a mile and a half, just to try something different more than anything, especially now he has fully matured. It might be that he is better over further, but we can always go up in trip later on.
“I always thought the Coronation Cup could present a decent opportunity and we are keen to have a go.
“I have never had a runner in the race and it will be great to be there, provided the ground isn’t too quick.”