The 11 2021 Coronation Cup entries made for the 1m 4f Group 1 for older horses at Newmarket on 5 June include dual champion stayer Stradivarius.
One of local trainer John Gosden’s stable stars, it is understood that connections are keen to have a run with the six-year-old before his bid for a hat-trick in the Ascot Gold Cup.
Normally run on Epsom Downs during the Derby Festival, the Coronation Cup switches venues just for this season. Stradivarius isn’t the only staying type entered either.
Prix Royal-Oak hero Technician could also drop back in trip for the race. Whether Martyn Meade’s dual French winner from last autumn meets Stradivarius here or in the Gold Cup remains to be seen.
Also among Coronation Cup entries is last year’s winner Defoe. Trained by Roger Varian, the six-year-old grey gelding followed-up at Royal Ascot with victory in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes.
Defoe is one of four potential runners with a run this season. Among the others are elder statesman Desert Encounter and Godolphin owned international winner Ghaiyyath.
Irish champion trainer makes three Coronation Stakes entries as promised – headed by Epsom Derby scorer Anthony Van Dyck.
Broome and Sir Dragonet are Ballydoyle’s other possible runners. O’Brien may run all three with Sir Dragonet the final horse with a race under his belt.
Mark Johnston and Richard Hannon have Coronation Cup entries in Communique and Floating Artist. The former has a superb record at Newmarket.
New King Power Racing recruit Alounak could make his debut for Andrew Balding’s stable here. The five-year-old raced in Germany and North America last season.
Analysis: Fascinating Coronation Cup entries adds to excitement
Jamie Clark, Horsebetting.com Editor
Arc flop Ghaiyyath is favourite with bookmakers for the first Group 1 of the shortened British Flat season. Big things are expected from Godolphin and retained trainer Charlie Appleby at the extended Guineas Weekend.
Defoe is next in the market, but also disappointed in the King George at Ascot last summer. Sheikh Mohammed Obaid’s horse has never been entirely straightforward, but is a talent.
Stradivarius is third best, according to the bookies, but Royal Ascot must be the target. There has been talk of an Arc tilt for Bjorn Nielsen’s son of Sea The Stars, yet he’s the best stayer of his generation.
Good ground should see Anthony Van Dyck to best effect, and he is shortest of the O’Brien trio at 13/2. The Coolmore set could well be triple-handed here.
It is 14/1 bar those six, and Communique looks the best value of the outsiders. He was fourth in the race last year, but has three wins over the trip at Newmarket.
These Coronation Cup entries mean horse racing in the UK returns with a real bang. You’ll find coverage of all Group races from Guineas Weekend on this site.