French star Cirrus des Aigles
, the highest-rated European horse in training, will bid for a third successive top-level victory this season in the Investec Coronation Cup (In Commemoration of St Nicholas Abbey, Eng-I) at Epsom Downs June 7.
Cirrus des Aigles defeated St Nicholas Abbey by a neck in the thrilling edition of the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) in 2012.
An 8-year-old Even Top
gelding, Cirrus des Aigles comes in having defeated a pair of leading lights in Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner Treve
in the Prix Ganay (Fr-I) April 27 and 2014 JLT Lockinge Stakes (Eng-I) victor Olympic Glory
in the Prix d'Ispahan (Fr-I) May 25, both at Longchamp.
Cirrus des Aigles has had 57 career starts, including nine on all-weather surfaces, compiling a 20-20-6 record that includes five group I races and earnings of more than $8.9 million. He is the 4-5 favorite with most bookmakers.
Trainer Ralph Beckett will send out Talent, a New Approach filly seeking her first win since capturing the 2013 Investec Epsom Oaks (Eng-I). She was the runner-up in the St. Leger (Eng-I) in September at Doncaster and third in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes (Eng-I) in October at Ascot to cap the season and makes her first start of the year in the Coronation Cup.
French trainer Andre Fabre has won the Coronation Cup six times and will send out Khalid Abdullah's Flintshire
(7-2), a son of Dansili
who notched his biggest victory in the 2013 Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-I).
Two other group I winners are entered. Trainer Roger Varien has Ambivalent
(14-1), an Authorized
mare who won last season's Pretty Polly Stakes; and trainer Ed Dunlop has globetrotting Joshua Tree
(25-1, by Montjeu), successful three times in the Pattison Canadian International (Can-I) at Woodbine
German-based trainer Peter Schiergen won the 2002 Coronation Cup with Boreal
and is set to run Empoli
(10-1, by Halling
), who most recently was fourth in the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) at Meydan in March.
The field is complete by Battalion (25-1), a stakes-placed son of Authorized trained by William Haggas, and Beacon Lady (66-1), a 5-year-old Haafhd mare who has two wins over the course and distance, including in the Great Metropolitan Handicap April 23, for trainer W. J. Knight.
Coronation Cup (In Commemoration of St. Nicholas Abbey, Eng-I), 4yo & Up, 1 1/2 miles, turf
No. PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. 2. Battalion, S. Sousa, 126, W. Haggas
2. 7. Cirrus des Aigles, C. Soumillon, 126, C. Barande-Barbe
3. 1. Empoli, A. De Vries, 126, P. Schiergen
4. 5. Flintshire, M. Guyon, 126, A. Fabre
5. 4. Joshua Tree, Ryan Moore, 126, E. Dunlop
6. 6. Ambivalent, A. Atzeni, 123, R. Varian
7. 3. Beacon Lady, O. Murphy, 123, W. J. Knight
8. 8. Talent, J. Crowley, 123, R. Beckett