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2019 Coronation Cup tips – 4/1 and 20/1 tips for this famous Group One on Oaks day at Epsom

Jonathan Vine 30 May 2019
A wonderful view of Epsom as Cracksman sneaks past Salouen to win the Coronation Cup.

Our expert takes a look through the betting for this historic Group One and provides readers with his tips for Epsom on Friday 31st May.


The Oaks may be the most prestigious race on Friday at Epsom, but the Coronation Cup boasts a long and storied history of it’s own. First staged at Epsom Downs in 1902, some of the greatest horses to ever step foot on turf have triumphed in this Group One. Pretty Polly was the first to secure back-to-back victories in the Coronation Cup and she has since been followed into the winners’ enclosure by greats like Mill Reef, Yeats and the only three-time winner, Sir Nicholas Abbey.

It seems for all money that Epsom’s attendees will bear witness to a seismic rematch between the first two in last year’s St Leger in this Group One. Behind the top two in the market, there is little in the way of star quality, so you’d be disappointed if the victor didn’t come from one of the two.

Kew Gardens (15/8 Paddy Power) improved with practically every run during 2018. Aidan O’Brien’s colt built on victories at Royal Ascot and Longchamp with a maiden Classic triumph at Doncaster, timing his challenge perfectly to snatch a deserved victory in the St Leger. O’Brien’s colt made an encouraging return to action at Chester’s May Festival, finishing second to Morando (10/1 bet365) in the Ormonde Stakes on soft ground he really didn’t enjoy.


Lah Ti Dar
(4/1 William Hill) made very hard work of what should have been a simple reappearance, grinding out a narrow victory in the Middleton Stakes. Following a stunning triumph in a Listed contest at York, John Gosden’s filly was the unknown quantity heading into the St Leger. Frankie Dettori had to get to work on his mount a long way from home, but Lah Ti Dar responded brilliantly, enforcing her star quality with a brave, battling second.

Godolphin has decided to stump up the supplementary fee for Old Persian (7/2 Paddy Power), who comfortably won the Sheema Classic out in Dubai at the start of the year. Charlie Appleby's charge has an excellent record over this distance and enters Epsom as the highest-rated horse in the field. His results in England, however, leave a little to be desired and Old Persian finished a long way adrift of his market rivals in the St Leger. Granted, William Buick's mount didn't stay that extended trip and will be much more comfortable over 12 furlongs, but I still feel Kew Gardens and Lah Ti Dar have a little more class than he.

Kew Gardens has some strong form over this trip to his name, winning the Grand Prix de Paris and a mere four-length defeat behind Enable in the Arc. Yet, I still feel this trip may be a little sharp for O’Brien’s colt and he didn’t seem to enjoy the track undulating at Epsom when finishing ninth in last year’s Derby.

LAH TI DAR may have been underwhelming on her reappearance, but Gosden only had her tuned up to 80% that day and ten furlongs is a trip too short for her abilities. Dettori’s mount has only been defeated once on a left-handed track, she’s bound to have improved for that run at York and 12 furlongs could turn out to be her optimum trip. At 4/1, she offers plenty of value.


While the Coronation Cup often cuts up into a small-field affair, I’d be amazed if there weren’t three paid placed available, meaning there will be some scope for an optimistic, each-way wager.

Salouen (6/1 bet365) almost caused the shock of all shocks at Epsom 12 months ago, where he looked to have held Cracksman at bay, only for Gosden’s colt to sneak home down the inside rail. Sylvester Kirk’s stalwart ended a long barren run with a simple victory in a weak Listed race on his reappearance and returns to Epsom in good heart, but his current price of 6/1 looks decidedly short.

Communique (16/1 Paddy Power) continued his remarkable progression by claiming victory in the Jockey Club Stakes, making all to defeat Defoe (16/1 bet365), Mildenberger (25/1 William Hill) and Coronet (14/1 William Hill) in convincing fashion. Despite that Grade Two triumph, you’d be surprised if Communique was able to recreate that run at the highest-level and none of the trio who finished behind Mark Johnston’s colt that day are of particular interest.

Morando comfortably dispatched Kew Gardens when they met at Chester. While that was an impressive display on his first start over such a trip, Andrew Balding’s colt had everything his own way on the front-end and was gaining four pounds on his rival at the weights. Morando will only appear at Epsom if the ground comes up soft, which seems unlikely, if you believe the long-term weather forecast.
Of those sitting at double-figure prices, the only one who really whets my appetite is MARMELO (20/1 Paddy Power). The Melbourne Cup runner-up may have reached the ripe-old age of six, but there’s plenty to suggest Hughie Morrison’s flag-bearer is at the peak of his powers at the moment and, with his stable in flying form, it’s worth taking a punt on Marmelo at 20/1.

After kicking off 2018 with a very narrow defeat to Vazirabad over at Longchamp, Marmelo held off Weekender to win the Grand Cup Stakes at York and returned to France to claim victory in the Group Two Prix Maurice du Nieull. Another narrow loss to the highly-capable Holdthasigreen in the Prix Kergorlay followed, before Marmelo made another trip down-under to take part in his second Melbourne Cup.



Winx’s regular partner, Hugh Bowman gave Morrison’s charge an excellent ride that day and looked to have timed his charge from the rear to absolute perfection, only for Cross Counter to pounce late on and spoil the party. Marmelo bounced back from that agonising defeat on his reappearance at Newbury, cruising home to beat Aspetar and Young Rascal (25/1 bet365) in convincing fashion.

A little ease in the ground would be welcome, but whatever the ground conditions on Oaks day at Epsom, Marmelo is a horse who should not be overlooked too lightly.

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2019 Coronation Cup tips – 4/1 and 20/1 tips for this famous Group One on Oaks day at Epsom

Our expert takes a look through the betting for this historic Group One and provides readers with his tips for Epsom on Friday 31st May

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