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Article 31st May 2024 Epsom Downs

Friday 31st May

Luxembourg (9-4) benefitted from a superb Ryan Moore to make every yard a winning one in today’s Group One Holland Cooper Coronation Cup. It was a record-extending ninth victory in the mile and a half contest for trainer Aidan O’Brien.

The five-year-old Camelot horse was always at the head of affairs, with his jockey dictating the pace of the race to perfection. He faced a challenge from Hamish (4-1) entering the final furlongs but never looked in any real of being beaten and held on to win cosily by a length.

Today’s victory was a fourth at Group One level for Luxembourg, who now won over £2.5 million.

Aidan O’Brien said: “It's a difficult race to win and we are delighted for him. We ran him a little bit short over the winter and a mile and a half is probably the trip he loves, although he has very good form at a mile and a quarter. The better the ground the better he'll be, and we think he'll hopefully be a King George horse.


“Ryan gave him a brilliant ride. He had him in a lovely and relaxed rhythm early on, and when he started to quicken his fractions were brilliant. A horse like that in front, the way Ryan was riding him, was always going to be difficult to deal with if you were following him.

“Tactically, he's brilliant. He's riding in big races all of the time and he has so much experience he knows 99 percent of the other horses. He's always a massive advantage to us."

Ryan Moore said: “He’s been a great horse. He’s been a very persistent horse his whole life, really - he’s a Group One winner at two, three, four and five. Not many horses can do that. He’s a straightforward, honest horse. This is the first time he’s won at a mile and a half and we always felt that was in him, so I’m glad he’s done it today. They’ve done a good job to bring him back for today.”

Maureen Haggas, assistant trainer to her husband, said of the second Hamish: “I'm absolutely thrilled to bits with him. We could have done with more rain, and Ryan's ridden a brilliant race on the winner. Hamish is a stayer, so I couldn't be more thrilled with him. I said to William this morning 'do you think we are doing the right thing?' and he said it might not rain for three months so you've got to go.

“The problem with him is that every time he runs you are just terrified it's going to be his last run, in case he breaks down again. It's pathetic, but he's just like my pet. He's a bloody star, it's all you can say. I'll be very happy if it rains all summer, but nobody else will be!”

Tom Marquand, rider of runner-up Hamish, said: “He’s a star. It’s obviously annoying getting beaten in a Group One like that, but Ryan [Moore] did what Ryan does and rode a very clever race from the front, and it kind of tied our hands, because this horse needs a bit of cover and we were at the mercy of what was happening at the front. It was a shame that the winner and Ryan used the track so well, coming down that last part of the hill, and then caught us a bit flat, but he’s run a massive race.

“What a thrill for Maureen [Haggas] to have ridden him the whole way through and done such a super job on him. Seeing the progression in horses; the progression in his temperament as well, it’s satisfying when Maureen and the team have figured him out and he’s reaching his full potential in races like this, and he’s a hell of a lot of fun.”

John Gosden, trainer of the 7-4 Favourite Emily Upjohn, who finished fourth, said: "I've been telling people she'll come on for the run. She's been very laid back in her work and it was a steady pace and then a bit of a sprint. She went for her girths a furlong and a half out and she'll come on a bundle for it.

"She could go to Royal Ascot for something like the Hardwicke. We need to get her on the racetrack."

The Holland Cooper Coronation Cup is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.


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