St Nicholas Abbey The One To Beat in Coronation Cup
A disappointing five runner field will contest the 2011 Coronation Cup, with St Nicholas Abbey, trained by Aidan O’Brien the one to beat as the odds on favourite to give O’Brien his fifth winner in the race, all of which have come since 2005.
© JC Briens
Most pundits believe the race will be a simple two horse affair with the biggest challenge to the favourite coming from the Henry Cecil filly, Midday. This brilliant five year old is a multiple Group One winner who looked very impressive when winning on her seasonal debut in the Group Two Middleton Stakes at York last month. Strangely, should she win, she will provide Cecil with his first winner in this prestigious middle distance runner for older horses.
Midday has ran twice over the Epsom course in the past finishing second both times, the latter of which was in the 2009 Oaks where Sariska proved too good. However, wins in the 2009 Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf, the 2010 Group One Prix Vermeille and the 2010 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood have since proven how classy she is.
Ryan Moore has been booked for the ride on St Nicholas Abbey who looked back to his best last time out when winning the Group Three Ormonde Stakes at Chester in May. The one-time 2010 Derby favourite, won that race by a massive 9 lengths producing a performance that made everyone sit up and take notice. Should he produce that level of form in the Coronation Cup then even the brilliance of Midday should not be enough to stop him winning.
Channel 4 Racing presenter Tom Lee has made St Nicholas Abbey his tip of the day in his horse racing tips column in what he is predicting will be a Group One double for Ballydoyle on the day with Misty For Me taking the Oaks.
Trainer, James Given has entered two in the race Dandino and Indian Days, who were last seen finishing first and third respectively in the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket in April. Neither are thought to be good enough to trouble the market leaders although both have won pattern races in the past. The quintet is made up by the Roger Charlton-trained Clowance, who is the obvious outsider and is currently in foal, something reflected in the quotes as big as 40/1 to win.