2016 Coronation Cup tips – Bondi can Beach rivals to land Epsom Group One success
Brian Healy looks ahead to the big supporting race to the Investec Oaks and Investec Derby for older horses, the Group One Investec Coronation Cup.
Sandwiched between the Classic races of the Investec Oaks and Investec Derby, the Group One Investec Coronation Cup goes to post on day two of the Classic Epsom meeting with a scheduled off-time of 3.10pm.
Run over the same course and distance as both Classic events, the race often features past runners in both Classics, as well as high-class performers from France.
The valuable race has a long history, having been established in 1902, and the race boasts an impressive roll-call of winners, including Cirrus des Aigles, three-time winner St Nicholas Abbey, Yeats, and dual-scorer Warrsan in recent years.
This year’s renewal of the top-class contest could be the best in some years given the quality of entries who have thrown their hat into the ring, with the likes of Jack Hobbs, Postponed, Found, Bondi Beach, Eagle Top and Simple Verse all featuring in the ante-post market.
Aidan O’Brien boasts a fantastic record in this race, saddling seven of the last fifteen winners in the valuable Group One contest, which includes the triple-hero St Nicholas Abbey who won the race on three consecutive years from 2011-2013, and the Ballydoyle maestro is likely to hold another strong hand as he bids for another success.
While his Found looks a solid option, given that the Galileo filly defeated Golden Horn to land the Breeder’s Cup Turf on her last outing last term, there could be better value to be had by siding with his BONDI BEACH (12/1, Paddy Power) who was very progressive last term, winning two of his first three starts which included a defeat of subsequent Irish St Leger winner Order Of St George in the Group Three Curragh Cup.
Probably value for more than the official short-head winning margin, given his rider had lost his whip in the final furlong, the Galileo colt followed up with an unlucky runner-up effort behind Storm The Stars in the Great Voltigeur at York, where he had come with a potential race-winning run only to be carried across the track and hampered by the eventual winner.
Luckless again in the St Leger at Doncaster where he might have beaten the possibly re-opposing Simple Verse (12/1, Bet365) had that rival not bumped him twice in the latter part of the race, including near the line, he was later awarded the race in the stewards’ room only to have the win expunged from his record in a subsequent appeal.
Despite all the interference incurred, he was only beaten a head at the line, and the run has to go down as being hugely creditable all things considered.
Never a factor in the Melbourne Cup where he was disappointing in finishing well down the field, that big field and two mile trip might just have unsettled him, and he was put away until returning to action in Listed company at Limerick where he ran out a very comfortable winner over Altesse, showing a good turn of foot to sweep from last to first in the final two furlongs to win going away by the better part of three lengths.
He clearly showed in his three-year old season that he was a very smart staying prospect, and likely to progress on the back of that reappearance run he is likely to continue to prove himself a high class performer in the top staying events this term.
With proven stamina for further, he has the speed to cope with this trip given the way he quickened up to win at Limerick, and he has shown he has the heart for a battle having fought tooth-and-nail to the line in both his runs at York and Doncaster last term; and with ground conditions no issue, with him having won on heavy ground through to good, as well as placing on good-to-firm ground he’ll have no concerns over the underfoot conditions at Epsom come June.
He could well be underestimated by the layers who are perhaps overlooking the Galileo colt in favour of stablemates Found (4/1, Bet365) and Highland Reel (8/1, Sky Bet), but he rates a high class performer in his own right and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him running a big race if he lines up at Epsom for this contest which could also feature the likes of Jack Hobbs (2/1, Sky Bet), Postponed (9/4, Betfair) and Eagle Top (8/1, Paddy Power).
2016 CORONATION CUP SELECTION – BONDI BEACH (12/1, Paddy Power)