Dubai: Trainer Charlie Appleby’s globetrotting stayer Ghaiyyath will bid to maintain Godolphin’s winning momentum on Friday when he lines up to contest the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Newmarket racecourse in England.
Traditionally run at Epsom Racecourse on the day before the Derby, the prestigious 2,400 metre contest will be run at Newmarket as part of the Guineas Festival, due to the BHA’s rescheduling of races as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Coronation Cup is the centrepiece of a 10-race card that kicks-off what promises to be a memorable weekend at British racing’s headquarters that also featured the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas (G1).
A classy field of seven horses will contest the Coronation Cup, which was established in 1902 to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII, among them John Gosden’s outstanding stayer Stradivarius, the Roger Varian trained Defoe and the Irish raiders Anthony Van Dyck and Broome.
Alounak and Desert Encounter complete the field.
Godolphin are seeking a third victory in the race and first since 2001 when Mutafaweq won the contest, two years after the great Daylami gave the Dubai-owned stable a first success.
Appleby and his Godolphin teammate Saeed Bin Surour are relishing the prospect of challenging for some of British racing’s most prestigious prizes over the weekend.
“This year, Ghaiyyath comes to his season in Europe physically stronger, with a winter behind him in Dubai, where he won the Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes at Meydan,” Appleby told the Godolphin website.
“Ghaiyyath puts so much effort into his races, he was taking a long time to get over his earlier runs. But we have seen a change in him, particularly of late.
“When he won the Dubai Millennium at Meydan in February, he took it much better than his previous races. His post-race condition was much better than before.
“He is now the finished article. He can be a flagship for Godolphin in the top middle-distance races this year.”
Stradivarius represents the biggest threat to Ghaiyyath. A dominant stayer who has been beaten only once in his last 11 starts, he will be dropping back in distance for the first time since lone defeat at Chester over Friday’s trip, in May 2017.
Hurworth Bloodstock was revealed as the sponsor of the Coronation Cup and its representative Sam Haggas said in the Racing Post: “It’s an honour to have the opportunity to sponsor such a prestigious and historic race as the Coronation Cup.
“Racing has been my life so far and it’s thrilling to play a small part in the resumption of the sport. Moreover, looking at the entries, this year’s renewal of the Coronation Cup has the potential to be a fantastic race.”
Coronation Cup Odds
11/8 Ghaiyyath, 7/2 Defoe, Stradivarius, 6/1 Anthony Van Dyck, 11/1 Broome, 33/1 Alounak, Desert Encounter
Feature races at Newmarket
(All times UAE. live on Dubai Racing Channel)
5.25pm Abernant Stakes (Group 3) 6f
6.35pm Coronation Cup (Group 1) 1m4f
4.50pm Palace House Stakes (Group 3) 5f
5.25pm Dahlia Fillies’ Stakes (Group 2) 1m2f
6.35pm 2000 Guineas (Group 1) 1m
4.50pm Buckhounds Stakes (Listed Race) 1m4f
6pm Pretty Polly Fillies’ Stakes (Listed Race) 1m2f
6.35pm 1000 Guineas (Group 1) 1m