30th April 2015

Last year’s winner Cirrus Des Aigles heads all-star entry for Group One Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom Downs

Thursday, April 16, 2015 – A glittering entry of 24 is revealed today for the Group One Investec Coronation Cup, which takes place at Epsom Downs on day two of the Investec Derby Festival, Saturday, June 6.

Staged over the same mile and a half course as the Investec Derby and Investec Oaks, the Investec Coronation Cup is for horses aged four and over and worth £375,000.

The terrific 2014 renewal of the Investec Coronation Cup saw Cirrus Des Aigles (Corine Barande-Barbe FR) justify favouritism by coming home two lengths clear of Flintshire (Andre Fabre FR). Now a nine-year-old, the remarkable Cirrus Des Aigles has won six Group One races around the world and over £6 million in prize money.

Flintshire, owned by Khalid Abdullah, went on to finish second in the Group One Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp and the Grade One Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita before capping his 2014 campaign by taking the Group One Longines Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin in December.

The five-year-old son of Dansili has two seconds to his name so far this year, finishing runner-up to Dolniya (Alain de Royer-Dupre FR) in the Group One Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan on his latest start on March 28.

Flintshire is one of two entries for Andre Fabre along with the Godolphin-owned Manatee, who was successful on three of his four starts in France last year, culminating with victory in the Group Two Prix du Conseil de Paris over 12 furlongs at Longchamp in October. Fabre is chasing a seventh victory in the Investec Coronation Cup and his first since Shirocco in 2006.

Another French-trained contender for the Investec Coronation Cup isDolniya. The four-year-old filly recorded her first Group One victory in the 12-furlong Dubai Sheema Classic. The daughter of Azamour, owned by the Aga Khan, stayed on well to beat Flintshire by two and a quarter lengths.

Alain de Royer-Dupre said: “Dolniya has come out of Dubai very well.

“She has a few options. She could either run in the Coronation Cup or stay at home for races in France.

“She is entered in the Prix Ganay (Longchamp, May 3) and the other race for her is the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (June 28).

“It will depend on the ground because she does not like the soft. If we have too much rain in France, it is likely she will go to Epsom.

“I think Epsom will be OK for her. She stays well and the long home straight will help.”

A fourth French-trained entry is Pollyana (John Hammond FR), a Group Two scorer at Longchamp in 2013, while there could be a Danish contender lining up on June 6 in Mekong River (Bettina Andersen DEN). Mekong River, formerly trained by Aidan O’Brien, was last seen out when taking the Group Three International Stakes over 10 furlongs at the Curragh in June, 2014.

There are four entries from Ireland, including three from Aidan O’Brien who is the most successful trainer of all-time in the Investec Coronation Cup with seven victories, starting in 2005 with Yeats and including three consecutive successes for St Nicholas Abbey (2011 to 2013).

O’Brien’s trio include last year’s Irish Derby runner-up Kingfisher plus Tapestry, heroine of the 2014 Group One Yorkshire Oaks, and Geoffrey Chaucer.

The other Irish-trained contender is the lightly-raced Free Eagle (Dermot Weld IRE) who made two appearances last year including when third in the Group One QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot in October.

Globetrotting Red Cadeaux (Ed Dunlop) finished runner-up to St Nicholas Abbey in the 2012 Investec Coronation Cup and took his earnings to almost £5 million when runner-up in the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick, Australia on April 11.

Other winners from around the world are also possible starters – Sheikhzayedroad (David Simcock), who captured the Grade One Northern Dancer Stakes at Woodbine, Canada in 2014, and Side Glance (Andrew Balding), who triumphed in the Group One Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington, Australia, in 2013.

Just The Judge (Charlie Hills) was a Classic winner in 2013, taking the Irish 1,000 Guineas, and proved she was also a capable performer over further in 2014 when winning the 10-furlong E P Taylor Stakes at Woodbine.

Secret Gesture (Ralph Beckett) beat all bar her stable companion Talent in the 2013 Investec Oaks and was last seen out when a staying-on fifth in the Grade One Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita, USA, in November.

Trainers Saeed bin Suroor and Sir Michael Stoute have both enjoyed two Investec Coronation Cup victories. Stoute has entered the 2014 St Leger third Snow Sky and promising Arab Spring, while bin Suroor could run Godolphin’s Elite Army and Winter Thunder, who both looked highly-progressive performers in handicap company last season.

There is a scratchings stage for the Investec Coronation Cup on May 19, with the five-day confirmation and £25,000 supplementary entry stage following on June 1.