Dolniya Destined For Coronation Crown
The “Derby” for older horses takes place an hour before the big one itself, which comes in the shape of the Group 1 Coronation Cup (3.10).
A race that has been won by either the French or Aidan O’Brien in nine of the last 10 years, there is every chance that record may continue via a strong contingent coming across the English Channel.
French Look Strong
Indeed, having won the race back in 2006, Andre Fabre comes back for another crack with his 5yo, Flintshire (7/4), who was beaten only 2l in this race by the classy Cirrus Des Aigles 12 months ago. Flintshire looks sure to go well again considering he handles the conditions, but will have to pull out a bit more if getting past the 4/5 favourite, Dolniya.
Alain De Royer-Dupre’s 4yo filly is improving fast and served notice that she was destined for the top when an excellent 4l fifth behind Treve in October’s Arc, staying on strongly to the line. She then beat Flintshire a short neck on her return in March (1m1f), a race that was used as a warm up for the Dubai Sheema Classic three weeks later.
The decision to use that as a prep worked the oracle, as Dolniya extended her winning distance in beating Flintshire over 2l in Dubai (1m4f, good), recording a career best in the process.
Currently 5-8 in her career with Christophe Soumillon aboard for each victory – who rides on Saturday – it will take a good one to stop Dolniya, who is joint-top officially rated in the race with Flintshire on 121 – a good sign judged on past renewals of this historic event…
Of the last 10 Coronation Cup winners…
10 returned 10/1 or shorter
10 were officially rated 119+ or had no rating (Irish/French)
9 made the top two last time
8 were non-British bred
There haven’t been many shocks in the Coronation Cup down the years, but there may be some each-way interest in Richard Hannon’s Pether’s Moon at 20/1. This consistent sort usually runs his race, and could be delivered late if there is a good pace.
Also at a big price is the 25/1 shot, Romsdal, a Listed winner on the all-weather back in March (1m2f), having shown his stamina when runner-up in last season’s St Leger (1m6f, good). Having finished third behind Australia in last year’s Derby over C&D, Romsdal will handle the conditions if on song (disappointed when last seen at York).
An absolute cracking renewal in store, featuring two superb French raiders who lock horns once more, but preference goes to Dolniya, whose 3lb weight allowance for fillies could make all the difference.