Investec Coronation Cup Preview
Aidan O’Brien has dominated the Coronation Cup in recent years, winning six of the last eight runnings. The last two of those victories came courtesy of St Nicholas Abbey and there seems little to prevent him from making it three this year.
His victory in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March showed him to be as good as ever. That was his fifth Group One success including a Breeders’ Cup win back in 2011. Different tactics were employed at Meydan and he was sent on early in the straight by Joseph O’Brien rather than held up for his finishing kick. It will be a major surprise if he is beaten here.
His main market rival is Melbourne and Caulfield Cup winner Dunaden who was nearly five lengths away in fourth in the Classic. He was staying on well that day and it is obviously going to be in his interests to make sure it is a thorough stamina test.
Chapter Seven is in to set the pace for Dunaden but Jamie Spencer will have to kick on quite early if he is to draw the sting out of St Nicholas Abbey. Dunaden’s best performances have been when he has come with a late run himself so it is going to be an interesting tactical affair.
The globetrotting Joshua Tree started life with Aidan O’Brien but is now with his fourth trainer, Ed Dunlop. He made an inconspicuous start for his new trainer when well beaten in the Yorkshire Cup but has shown top class form in the past. He won the Grade 1 International Stakes at Woodbine last year and also finished a good third behind Orfevre in the Prix Foy. If he returns to his best he could give the market leaders something to think about.
The field is completed by Chamonix. The son of Galileo was well beaten in listed company at the Curragh last season and looks another that is likely to try and force the pace.