Brilliant mare Enable stars among 26 entries for the £425,000 Investec Coronation Cup, one of two G1 contests at Epsom Downs on Friday, May 31, Investec Ladies’ Day.
Now a five-year-old, Nathaniel mare Enable (trained by John Gosden) has been successful on 10 of her 11 starts, with seven of her successes coming at G1 level. Her G1 victories include a stunning course and distance success in the 2017 Investec Oaks, when she came home five lengths in front.
After a delayed start to her 2018 season, the Khalid Abdullah-owned and bred Enable finished the year off in spectacular style by winning a second G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe followed by the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs, USA. She has been installed as the 2/1 favourite by Unibet, official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival.
Her Newmarket-based trainer John Gosden landed the Investec Coronation Cup last year with Cracksman, who was announced as the world’s best racehorse in the Longines World’s Best Racehorse rankings for 2018.
In addition to Enable, Gosden has also entered last year’s champion stayer Stradivarius (20/1 with Unibet), Wissahickon (20/1), who has been a class above all his rivals on the All-Weather over the winter, dual G2-winning mare Coronet (6/1) and Lah Ti Dar (11/2), runner-up in last year’s G1 St Leger.
Ireland’s 20-time champion Flat trainer Aidan O’Brien is the most successful handler in the history of the Investec Coronation Cup with eight victories, including St Nicholas Abbey – the only triple winner of the historic contest (2011, 2012 and 2013).
The seven Ballydoyle entries in 2019 include the last two winners of the St Leger - Capri and Kew Gardens (9/4), plus 2018 Irish St Leger victor Flag Of Honour (25/1) and the filly Magical (7/1), who landed the G1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot last season before only finding Enable three-quarters of a length too strong in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
O’Brien said of Kew Gardens: “He is in good form. The Coronation Cup is a race we are looking to aim him towards. I think the plan would be to start over a mile and a half somewhere, then take in the Coronation Cup before going for the King George. He stays very and has plenty of options over a longer trip if we want to do that.”
O’Brien’s son Joseph, who partnered St Nicholas Abbey to two of his three Investec Coronation Cup wins (2012 & 2013), has two entries headed by last year’s Irish Derby winner Latrobe (16/1).
Another trainer with a fine Investec Coronation Cup record is Andre Fabre. The ace French handler has won the G1 race six times and has two entries this year. They are dual G1 scorer Waldgeist(6/1) and the unexposed Folamour (33/1), a winner on his comeback at Saint-Cloud in March.
Also among the Investec Coronation Cup entries are the 2018 Investec Derby runner-up Dee Ex Bee (20/1) and the lightly-raced Mildenberger (25/1), who are both trained by Mark Johnston in Yorkshire and owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.
Mildenberger has not raced since finishing second to Roaring Lion in the G2 Dante Stakes at York in May, having had Kew Gardens in behind when winning the Listed Feilden Stakes at Newmarket the previous month.
Johnston remarked: “The Coronation Cup is a race Mildenberger could hopefully run in. We will look to run him somewhere else beforehand, but those big 12-furlong races are the target. He hasn’t been seen since finishing second in the Dante at York, but he fractured his knee at that point. We have been happy with him over the winter and he is an exciting horse for the year ahead.
“Dee Ex Bee was a good second in the Derby last year, but we are going to step him up in trip and he will start in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot."
Salouen (Sylvester Kirk, 25/1) is another entry with good form at Epsom Downs, having gone down by a head to Cracksman in last year’s Investec Coronation Cup.
William Haggas has made an entry for the progressive Young Rascal (14/1), owned by Investec’s former managing director Bernard Kantor. After a disappointing seventh in the Investec Derby, the Intello colt rounded off 2018 in excellent form with two G3 victories at Newbury and has a progressive profile.
The Investec Coronation Cup takes place on Investec Ladies' Day, Friday 31st May 2019.
Investec Coronation Cup, betting from Unibet, official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival: 2/1 Enable; 9/4 Kew Gardens; 11/2 Lah Ti Dar; 6/1 Coronet, Waldgeist; 7/1 Magical; 14/ Young Rascal, Morando; 16/1 Latrobe, Capri; 20/1 Dee Ex Bee, Defoe, Red Verdon, Wissahickon, Stradivarius; 25/1 Salouen, Mildenberger, Southern France, Flag of Honour, Laraaib; 33/1 Cimeara, Cypress Creek, Folamour, Hunting Horn, Marmelo, 50/1 Communique.
About The Investec Coronation Cup:
Group 1, £425,000 total prize fund. 1m 4f, Epsom Downs, Friday, May 31. For four-year-olds and upwards; Weights: colts and geldings 9st, fillies 8st 11lb. Horses will only be eligible to run provided they have attained a BHA rating of 80 or higher. Horses who do not qualify for a rating may also be eligible providing the BHA Handicapper is satisfied that the horse’s racecourse performances up to and including the day before confirmation merit a provisional assessment of 80 or more. Horses who have not run will not be eligible. Entries closed April 9, entries revealed April 10 (26 entries), scratchings deadline May 14, six-day confirmations & £25,000 supplementary stage May 25, final declarations 10am May 29. The G1 race is part of the QIPCO British Champion Stakes.
Breakdown of entries in the Investec Coronation Cup by trainer (with past successes):
Aidan O’Brien IRE (2005 Yeats, 2007 Scorpion, 2008 Soldier Of Fortune, 2010 Fame And Glory, 2011, 2012 & 2013 St Nicholas Abbey, 2017 Highland Reel) – Capri, Cypress Creek, Flag Of Honour, Hunting Horn, Kew Gardens, Magical, Southern France
John Gosden (2018 Cracksman) – Coronet, Enable, Lah Ti Dar, Stradivarius, Wissahickon
Mark Johnston – Communique, Dee Ex Bee, Mildenberger
Andre Fabre FR (1986 Saint Estephe, 1990 In The Wings, 1994 Apple Tree, 1995 Sunshack, 1996 Swain, 2006 Shirocco) – Folamor, Waldgeist
Joseph O’Brien IRE – Cimeara, Latrobe
Andrew Balding – Morando
Owen Burrows – Laraaib
Ed Dunlop – Red Verdon
William Haggas – Young Rascal
Sylvester Kirk – Salouen
Hughie Morrison – Marmelo
Roger Varian (2016 Postponed) – Defoe