Outstanding Entry for Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup
Recent Dubai World Cup night Group One winners Cirrus Des Aigles and Monterosso feature among 30 entries for this year’s £300,000 Group One Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup (Sponsored By Investec) at Epsom Downs on Saturday, June 2.
The historic mile and a half contest is this year run on Investec Derby Day and renamed in honour of Her Majesty the Queen, who will be in attendance and may be represented in the race by the filly Set To Music, a Group Two runner-up for trainer Michael Bell.
Cirrus Des Aigles ended last season as the world’s joint-top middle-distance performance following a progressive campaign that culminated with victory in the Group One QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot in October.
Corinne Barande-Barbe’s charge warmed up for what promises to be another highly successful European campaign this term with victory in the Group One Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan on March 31.
Monterosso also announced himself as a major contender for top middle-distance honours on the same card with a stunning three-length success for trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni in the Group One Dubai World Cup.
Leading owner Khalid Abdulla has seen his colours carried to glory in the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup (Sponsored By Investec) by Rainbow Quest and Sunshack and he could bid for a third success with Sea Moon and World Domination.
Sea Moon, whose trainer Sir Michael Stoute has saddled five previous winners of the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup (Sponsored By Investec), was an impressive winner of the Group Two Great Voltigeur Stakes at York in August prior to taking third in the Group One St Leger at Doncaster the following month.
He subsequently posted a career-best effort when coming home second behind the 2011 Coronation Cup hero St Nicholas Abbey in the Grade One Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs in November.
Fellow four-year-old World Domination, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, was a ready debut winner at Newbury in April, 2011, but failed to build on such a bright start in the Dante Stakes at York the following month and on his latest appearance in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Abdulla, revealed today: "The Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup is on the radar for both Sea Moon and World Domination.
“Obviously, in the case of Sea Moon he is a proven Group One level horse so, although he hasn't run yet this year, you would like to think a race like that would be very much on his radar.
“Sir Michael has been very happy with how Sea Moon has done over the winter. We have always rated him very highly so his progress towards the end of last season didn't surprise us.
“He was a nice two-year-old and obviously took a while to come to himself last year, but he was very impressive in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York. He probably didn't get the best of runs through in the Ladbrokes St Leger, but he then ran very well in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
“I would imagine Sir Michael will want to give him a prep run beforehand, but I am yet to sit down and talk to him about that. Sea Moon was impressive over a mile and a half - whether he will come back in trip or go a bit further remains to be seen, but I think a mile and a half seems to be the right trip for him.
“World Domination hasn't run since Royal Ascot last year. He was always highly-rated, but obviously he has got to jump up to prove he's that level before he goes to Epsom.
“He has done very well over the winter. He was a very immature horse last year, but he has grown into a really nice-looking horse now and he showed glimpses of good ability last year. His tendency to pull in his races could have been down to a number of things but he is certainly more relaxed now.
“The plan is for him to run in the Sir Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown (April 28), when he will have to show himself as potentially Group One calibre but I don't think he would be rushed.
“Obviously, he is a four-year-old now so the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup would be an option as time is relatively limited, but we will have to play him by how he goes and what he does. However, we hope he can prove himself a legitimate contender.”
Aidan O’Brien has been successful in the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup (Sponsored By Investec) on five occasions and a total of nine entries from Ireland’s champion trainer include Fame And Glory, who took the spoils in 2010, and last year’s winner St Nicholas Abbey who finished a neck behind Cirrus Des Aigles in Dubai.
A formidable potential challenge from O’Brien also features So You Think, whose eight Group One wins include a pair of Cox Plates and last season’s Coral-Eclipse, plus Treasure Beach, who was beaten a head by Pour Moi in the Investec Derby last year.
O’Brien may also be represented by emphatic Group Two Hardwicke Stakes victor Await The Dawn, last year’s Investec Derby fourth Memphis Tennessee, Justification, Robin Hood and Windsor Palace.
John Gosden has entered a pair of Classic winners, Arctic Cosmos and Masked Marvel, who have taken the last two renewals of the Group One .St Leger
Top French trainer Andre Fabre could bid for a seventh Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup (Sponsored By Investec) with Meandre, who captured the Group One Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp in July prior to coming home sixth at the same course in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
In addition to Monterosso, the seven Godolphin entries include the Mahmood Al Zarooni-trained trio of Group One Prix Royal-Oak heroine Be Fabulous, Gold Cup runner-up Opinion Poll and progressive Sadeek’s Song.
Saeed bin Suroor, who sent out Daylami (1999) and Mutafaweq (2001) to glory in the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup (Sponsored By Investec) is responsible for the other Godolphin entries Songcraft, Prince Bishop and Group One winner Cavalryman.
Red Cadeaux came within a whisker of winning the Group One Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington, Australia, in November and his trainer Ed Dunlop could also be represented by Testosterone, a Group Two winner for her previous handler Pascal Bary.
Jukebox Jury dead-heated in the Group One Irish St Leger in September for Mark Johnston, while the Marco Botti-trained Jakkalberry and Beaten Up, from the stable of William Haggas, finished third and sixth respectively in behind Cirrus Des Aigles in Dubai.
The entry is completed by Quest For Peace, a Group Three winner at Ascot for Luca Cumani in October, and the Tom Dascombe-trained Junoob, a Listed scorer at Lingfield in February.