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The Coronation Cup

2.00pm Newmarket

MD
Pyledriver wins Coronation Cup
  • Distance 1m 4f 10y
  • Class 1
  • Group 1
  • Prize money £375,000

History

History

The opening middle-distance race in the QIPCO British Champions Series, the Cazoo 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, 2019)
Current leading trainers: Aidan O’Brien, 8 wins (2005, 2007-8, 2010-13, 2017)

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

Entries

Going/Track

Weather

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

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Pyledriver hard as nails as he denies Al Aasy in the Coronation Cup

William Muir's star shows huge heart in pulsating Coral Coronation Cup

It was a battle for the ages in the Coral Coronation Cup which saw underdog Pyledriver and rising star Al Aasy fight it out for Group 1 glory at Epsom Downs.

It was Pyledriver, a horse who couldn’t be sold for £10,000 two years ago, who won the war in the end. Having lost the lead with two furlongs to go, he showed incredible heart to knuckle down and deny Al Aasy. William Haggas’ runner looked to have done enough in the closing stages but was just denied victory.

Things hadn’t gone to plan early doors for Al Aasy having missed the break. He was settled in at the rear and the strong pace helped him find a rhythm.

The eventual winner Pyledriver was happy enough in midfield in the opening stanzas. Rounding the turn the race began to take shape, and it was Martyn Dwyer who seized the initiative down the straight. He opted to send his mount on and had all his rivals beat, bar the closing Al Aasy, at three furlongs out.

Al Aasy made effortless ground coming down the straight, with Jim Crowley’s urgings sparking rapid progress as they came to the two furlong marker. He breezed past Aidan O’Brien’s Japan, and it became a two horse race.

The crowds returning to Epsom for the first time this year were not disappointed. As Al Aasy moved to within a neck of his rival with seemingly plenty to give. He took a narrow lead and this looked for a moment to have settled the race.

However, Pyledriver was in no mood for settling for 2nd and knuckled down in the final stages to get his head back in front in the final strides to claim the Coral Coronation Cup.

Welcome cheers rang around Epsom, and nobody was more delighted than jockey Martyn Dwyer, he said after the race, “I’m so proud of the horse. On a personal level, there’s times when I’ve hated racing. But days like this I can’t describe in words.”

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.

  • Course plan
  • Course Intro

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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View fixtures

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