RACE 3 3.10pm
Investec Coronation Cup
THE Investec Coronation Cup is a race that Aidan O’Brien has farmed over the past decade, winning it a record seven times.
Just like last year, however, when Ballydoyle’s 2013 Derby winner Ruler Of The World suffered a setback, the yard’s Tapestry had to be scratched before the final declaration stage, this time due to a small niggle.
That has left a field of just six to go to post and, following Cirrus Des Aigles’ success 12 months ago, the prize looks certain to head back across the English Channel once again.
André Fabre is only one behind O’Brien with six wins in this Group One contest and he relies on last year’s runner-up Flintshire again.
The son of Dansili has only finished out of the first two in three of his 14 starts, yet he has only won four times.
To say he’s untrustworthy is completely unfair, as he was second in last year’s Arc and Breeders’ Cup Turf, before winning the Hong Kong Vase.
But he does struggle to win and has been beaten on his last two starts by today’s rival DOLNIYA, who should be able to make it three on the bounce.
Alain De Royer-Dupre’s daughter of Azamour had a strong three-year-old season, culminating in a fine fifth behind Treve and Flintshire in the Arc.
She’s come back looking even stronger this term and put in a commanding performance to win the Sheema Classic in Dubai back in March after a pipe-opener in Chantilly when she again defeated Flintshire.
Her trainer has said he’s a little worried that she’s quite a big filly for Epsom, yet she’s looked pretty uncomplicated up to now. The 3lb allowance she gets from the field should be enough to see her claim another Group One prize.
She really does seem to be going from strength to strength. It would be no surprise to see her line-up for the Arc in October as a very serious challenger to Treve, and she’s currently no bigger than 12/1.
This does look a match between the front two and it’s highly likely that there won’t be much between them at the line. Dolniya just has the edge for me and she is worth supporting at 4/5 with Betway.
There isn’t much to write home about when it comes to the rest of the field. Romsdal, Pether’s Moon and Sheikhzayedroad are all around 20/1 and they are difficult to split.
Romsdal was second in last year’s St Leger and then comfortably took the Magnolia Stakes at Kempton on his seasonal debut.
He seems to have found his level since then, though, as he was beaten in the Dubai Duty Free at Newbury and then again in the Betway Yorkshire Cup behind Snow Sky.
He just doesn’t look like a Group One colt to me and I suspect William Buick will be riding him to finish third, picking up just over £40,000 for his troubles.
Pether’s Moon is a Group Three colt at best. He’s punching above his weight here really and is another who will be played to pick up some prize money.
At least Sheikhzayedroad has won over course and distance and he did improve last season when he won the Grade One Northern Dancer at Woodbine.
He was firmly put in his place by Dolniya in the Sheema Classic, however, and it would be hard to see him turn that form around. That said, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he finished third.
The outsider of the pack is Ayrad, who was gutsy in a Listed contest at Goodwood last time. But I think he’ll be found wanting in this company.