'Soldier' Marches to Coronation Cup Win

'Soldier' Marches to Coronation Cup Win
Photo: Trevor Jones
Soldier of Fortune and Johnny Murtagh take the Coronation Cup over Youmzain.
Soldier of Fortune benefited from a masterful ride by Johnny Murtagh to defeat a top class field in the Juddmonte Coronation Cup (Eng-I) at Epsom June 6.

Aidan O’Brien sent forth a trio of older horses from his stable to contest the group I, and it was Song of Hiawatha who went immediately to the front under Colm O’Donoghue.  He soon opened a clear lead over stablemate Macarthur, who in turn had a six-length advantage over the remainder of the field.

The Andre Fabre-trained Getaway, who went off the 5-4 favorite in the field of 11, came next in third, with John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) victor Red Rocks right off his flank in fourth.  Murtagh kept Soldier of Fortune in fifth, content to let his stablemates lead the field.

As the field rounded Tattenham Corner, Macarthur had disposed of his stablemate and set sail for home with a healthy six to seven length advantage.  Stephane Pasquier went to work aboard Getaway, as Soldier of Fortune also began to make his move.

Both Getaway and Soldier of Fortune quickly cut into the lead that Macarthur had created, and it appeared that a fight to the finish was developing.  In a canny move by Murtagh, though, Getaway and Pasquier got boxed in on the rail behind a tiring Macarthur.  Murtagh kept the pocket closed just long enough for Getaway to lose his momentum. 

Pasquier had to pull Getaway to the outside to free his mount from the pocket, by which time Soldier of Fortune had found another gear and began to pull away.  Getaway was unable to muster a second wind, and ran on at one pace.

Youmzain had wrangled himself free from the pack and came flying at the finish, but Soldier of Fortune had plenty to hold him off by three-quarters of a length.  Macarthur held on well for third, another 1 1/2-lengths further back.  Getaway finished a disappointing fifth.

Final time for the 12 furlongs was 2:36.83.

Soldier of Fortune, who captured the 2007 Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I), is by Galileo out of Affianced, by Erins Isle.  He was bred in Ireland by Jim Bolger and races for Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith.

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