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The Investec Coronation Cup

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History

History

The opening middle-distance race in the QIPCO British Champions Series, the Investec Coronation Cup provides the perfect opportunity to see some of the best older horses (four-year-olds and up) contest their first big mile-and-a-half (2,400 metres) race of the season.

This Group 1 event dates back to 1902 when it was established as a commemoration of King Edward VII’s coronation.

Its field regularly includes runners that featured in the Investec Derby or Oaks, run over the same course and distance but for three-year-olds only, in preceding seasons. Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien is clearly a devotee, with a remarkable eight wins in the last 14 renewals, including a 2005 victory with Yeats – the only horse ever to win the Ascot Gold Cup four times in a row.

Fame and Glory, the 2009 Irish Derby winner, came home for O’Brien in 2010 and he won the race with St Nicholas Abbey three years in succession in 2011, 2012 and 2013, a record for the race. The remarkable Cirrus des Aigles was triumphant in 2014, while the brilliant Cracksman snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in 2018.

Leading French trainer, Andre Fabre, has also had remarkable success in the race with six victories – his best record in a British race.

Current leading jockey: Frankie Dettori, 5 wins (1996-7, 1999, 2001, 2018)
Current leading trainers: Aidan O’Brien, 8 wins (2005, 2007-8, 2010-13, 2017)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

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No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds

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Defoe strikes for Varian and Atzeni in Investec Coronation Cup

Roger Varian kept up his superb start to the season as Defoe came home strong to land the Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom.

A field of nine runners went to post for the QIPCO British Champions Series feature, with John Gosden’s high-class mare Lah Ti Dar sent off the narrow favourite ahead of Charlie Appleby’s Sheema Classic hero Old Persian and Kew Gardens, who was bidding to prove Aidan O’Brien with a ninth win in the race.

Having been beaten in five previous outings at the highest level, and coming up short in Group Three and Group Two company already this season, Defoe was an 11-1 shot in the hands of Andrea Atzeni, but produced a career-best performance to emerge victorious.

Supporters of Lah Ti Dar would have been concerned some way from out, as she was shuffled back and came under pressure before the home turn.

Ryan Moore produced Kew Gardens from the rear with what looked like a winning run – but no sooner had he hit the front, Defoe charged alongside and got up to score by half a length.

Salouen – narrowly beaten by Cracksman in last year’s renewal – again ran a fine race, this time in third.

“You dream about results like that,” said Varian, winning the race for the second time after Postponed in 2016.

“We were slow from the gates and didn’t get the handy pitch we were looking for, but maybe that worked in our favour as he had a lovely trip around the inside and of course they fanned out to challenge in the straight and he got a lovely split.

“But still he was good and he quickened up really well.”

He added: “On his day he has looked like a Group 1 horse, but his last three or four runs haven’t measured up to his summer form last year. I said beforehand I didn’t think he had ever been better.

“I’m so happy for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid who is a great supporter and has been very patient, and I’m happy for the team at home who are doing a great job. I’m delighted with the result and it is fully deserved for the horse.”

He added on plans: “He will certainly get an entry (in the King George) and we will see.”

O’Brien will consider options at Royal Ascot for Kew Gardens.

The Ballydoyle trainer said: “He ran a lovely race and I’m delighted with him really. Ryan was delighted and felt like he ran a great race.

“We will see how he is. He has races at Ascot and we can step him up any time, as we know he stays further.”

Results

Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

If it weren’t for the 12th Earl of Derby, perhaps Epsom would be best known for natural mineral water, London commuters or bath salts. That or the fact that Led Zepplin’s Jimmy Page came from the Surrey town. As it is, Epsom stands for horseracing, and the Investec Oaks and the Investec Derby in particular.

The earl invited his friends to race their fillies on the Epsom Downs in 1779 and thus The Oaks was born. A year later and a second race, for colts and fillies, was introduced. A toss of a coin and it became known as The Derby (if the earl’s friend, Sir Charles Bunbury, had called right then flat racing’s Blue Riband event might today be called ‘The Epsom Bunbury’).

The racecourse has witnessed some of the sport’s most glorious moments, with Nijinsky, Mill Reef and Shergar among the horses to enter the winner’s enclosure. It has also seen tragedy, however, when suffragette Emily Davison threw herself in front of King George V’s horse Anmer in 1913 and died of a fractured skull.

Getting there

Epsom Downs
KT18 5LQ

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