Coronation Cup racing tips – Varian’s star can defend Epsom crown in rearranged Group One feature

Defoe is our Coronation Cup tipDefoe is our Coronation Cup tip

Get our top Coronation Cup racing tips at Newmarket on Friday!

Despite its’ best efforts, the Covid-19 pandemic has served only to delay the UK horse racing season and this Friday sees the first Group One of the campaign going to post at Newmarket as the Coronation Cup stages its’ latest renewal. A cracking three-days’ racing at Newmarket will also feature the Guineas Classics races on Saturday and Sunday before attention switches to Royal Ascot in a couple of weeks’ time.

Essentially a Derby race for older horses, this valuable prize is usually run at Epsom as a part of the Epsom Derby Festival meeting; but it pitches up this season at Flat HQ and the Rowley Mile course will play host to some top-class performers each vying form a first-prize purse in excess of £60,000.

A field of seven runners will enter the stalls for the day’s showcase race which will also be shown live on ITV Racing and Brian Healy has looked over the final big-race field to give his Coronation Cup racing tips for the main event on Friday.

3.35 NEWMARKET – Hurworth Bloodstock Coronation Cup Stakes (Group 1) (Class 1) (4yo+)



Won two of his first three starts as a juvenile including the Group Three Autumn Stakes over this course but suffered an injury the following season following an impressive win in France.

The Dubawi entire looked as good as ever when making a winning reappearance in the Group Two Prix d’Harcourt prior to finishing third to subsequent Prix de l’Arc De Triomphe winner Waldgeist in the Prix Ganay although he later regained winning ways with an impressive runaway success in the Grosser Preis von Baden in September.

Possibly bogged down by the ground when finishing down the field in the Prix de l’Arc De Triomphe he sauntered to victory when last seen at Meydan in a Group Three contest and he ought to make his presence felt here although he looks plenty short enough in the betting given his exploits and he could be worth taking on.

Charlie Appleby saddles Ghaiyyath

Charlie Appleby saddles Ghaiyyath


High-class performer who has taken his form to a new level since being gelded which includes winning this race twelve months ago when it was held at it’s usual home of Epsom.

Roger Varian’s charge had finished a close runner-up behind Communique in the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes and he followed up his success by taking the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot althouigh he disappointed back there in July when beating only two rivals home in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Not beaten far on his latest return at Meydan in March when finding only Loxley too strong in the Dubai City Of Gold he can go close if building on that run and he rates a major player. He carries our Coronation Cup racing tips hopes and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him firmly in the mix on his return to Newmarket where he can successfully defend the crown he won last campaign.


Top-class stayer who saw his ten-win streak ended by the narrowest of margins in the British Champions Long Distance Cup by Kew Gardens on his final outing last campaign.

John Gosden’s crack Sea The Stars entire is perhaps surprisingly rated 4lbs inferior to Ghaiyyath despite an impressive haul of top-level victories which includes last season’s Ascot Gold Cup and the Goodwood Cup and he’s sure to prove a tough nut to crack again on his reappearance having won all three of his seasonal reappearances.

There is a slight concern over the drop in trip for his return to action and he was beaten on his only previous try at this distance although that defeat did come at Chester back in May 2017 and he drops back to this distance for the first time since.

He’s a tough and game sort however and it would be unwise to rule him out of calculations, especially if there’s a decent pace to the contest which would bring his stamina to the fore. All ground conditions come alike, but he’s particularly effective on good ground so a big performance wouldn’t come as a surprise if the shorter trip doesn’t catch him out and he’ll rate many peoples’ best Coronation Cup tip.

Stradivarius sets the form standard but might be undone by the trip.

Stradivarius sets the form standard but might be undone by the trip.


Last season’s Epsom Derby winner, gamely holding off Madhmoon to land Classic success but winless since although the Galileo colt looks the strongest of the Aidan O’Brien-trained contingent which could go to post.

Subsequently well adrift of the enterprisingly-ridden Sovereign in the Irish Derby, he beat only one home in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes although the headgear applied that day might have been a factor and cheekpieces were quickly dispensed with for his next couple of starts in the Irish Champion Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Turf respectively.

He finished third on both occasions which prompted a tilt at the Hong Kong Vase although blinkers on that occasion failed to spark him and he crossed the line with only two rivals behind him in a disappointing outing.

He’s probably a bit better than he was able to show on that occasion and headgear is absent again on his reappearance. A winner first-time up last term when taking the Lingfield Derby Trial he should make his presence felt although he takes on some strong rivals in opposition and he likely needs to improve again.


Won his first two starts last term at Group Three level prior to posting a very good fourth in the Epsom Derby despite not looking entirely at ease on the undulating track and playing up at the start of the race.

Nevertheless, he crossed the line only a half-length behind the winner and better was expected when he contested the Irish Derby at the Curragh although backers knew their fate early after the Australia colt missed the break and Donnacha O’Brien was never able to get him into a position to challenge.

He hasn’t been seen out since which is a slight concern although he did win first time up last campaign. Despite his Derby exploits however he probably needs to find a bit more to feature in a strong renewal of this Grade One prize and stablemate Anthony Van Dyck looks the pick of the intended O’Brien trio.


Classy globetrotter who finished third behind Communique here last July prior to embarking on a four-win spree that included the Canadian International where he beat the reopposing Alounak by a half-length.

David Simcock’s charge may just have needed the run following four months off when readily beaten behind Ghaiyyath at Meydan in February and he was better than the bare result when last seen finishing sixth to Loxley in the Dubai City Of Gold.

He started slowly that day and was never seen to best effect in the race; but he finished off well and all things considered it was a creditable effort. This is a much tougher test on his first start for three months however and there’s a suspicion he falls short of being a bonafide Group One contender given he has a bit to find on recent runs against a few of these.

David Simcock saddles Desert Encounter in Friday's Coronation Cup feature.

David Simcock saddles Desert Encounter in Friday’s Coronation Cup feature.


The Camelot entire proved a smart sort in Germany when trained by Waldemar Hicks, winning a Group Three at Baden Baden as well as posting solid efforts in defeat in Group One company.

Having travelled to Woodbine he was beaten just a half-length by David Simcock’s rival in the Canadian International and he threw his hat into the ring for the Breeders’ Cup Turf where he finished a creditable fifth to Bricks And Mortar with Anthony Van Dyck in third.

He makes his first start here for Andrew Balding but looks up against it with a fair bit to find on form having already come off worst behind a couple of these.


A strong renewal of this Group One prize where Stradivarius sets the standard although the dual-Gold Cup winner may just find the trip on the sharp side on his return; while Ghaiyyath has a very progressive profile and was impressive when last seen winning at Meydan.

The ground may prove too quick for hat-trick seeking Technician, and Anthony Van Dyck has perhaps seen his progress stall somewhat since his Epsom Derby success twelve months ago. It could be worth siding with DEFOE then who has taken his form up a level since being gelded and Roger Varian’s charge can go close.

Winner of this race at Epsom twelve months ago, he followed up in good style in the Hardwicke Stakes although he might have been amiss in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes when beating only two home behind Enable.

Runner-up to Loxley at Meydan three months ago in the Dubai City Of Gold he can step up on that effort with trip and ground both ideal and the course and distance winner can post a big effort to get back to winning ways.

*Odds correct at time of posting and are subject to change.