Edited from a release
A total of 22 top-class middle-distance horses from Britain, France, and Ireland go forward for the 2004 Vodafone Coronation Cup (Eng-I) at Epsom Downs on June 4 from today's forfeit stage.
Aidan O'Brien has yet to add the Coronation Cup to his resume but looks to hold a strong hand this year with four entries still engaged, headed by last season's St Leger (Eng-I) winner Brian Boru. Ballydoyle's other three representatives are the unexposed Excalibur, winner of his only start to date at the Curragh last year, Ice Dancer, and Powerscourt.
The other powerhouse of European racing, the Maktoum family's Godolphin operation, is also well represented in the £250,000 contest with five entries to choose from at this stage. The best of these would appear to be Sulamani, the 2002 French Derby (Fr-I) hero who won two grade I races in the USA last season. Last year's Vodafone Coronation Cup runner-up Highest, Doyen, Leadership and Papineau add further strength to the Godolphin hand.
Last year's Vodafone Coronation Cup was landed by Warrsan and Clive Brittain's tough performer is a possible once again this year along with Highest, the fourth Bandari and sixth Polish Summer, from the leading French yard of Andre Fabre and a subsequent winner of the Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) at Nad Al Sheba in March.
Bandari is trained by Mark Johnston who also has three other entries to choose from including Darasim, recent group III Ormonde Stakes victor Systematic and Scott's View, who has finished third in two group I contests already this season in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Nad Al Sheba and the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin, Hong Kong.
Further French interest comes in the form of the Elie Lellouche-trained Vallee Enchantee, victorious in the Hong Kong Vase (HK-I) at Sha Tin last December, when Polish Summer was second and Warrsan third.
Of the remaining entries, the best include High Accolade, triumphant in the King Edward VII (Eng-II) Stakes at Royal Ascot last season, Magistretti, last seen out when finishing second to Falbrav in the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) at York in August, and Mick Channon's tough campaigner Imperial Dancer, who gained a group I success last season in the Premio Roma at Capannelle.
"It is very pleasing to see many top older horses staying in training this year, which bodes well for a fantastic renewal of the Vodafone Coronation Cup" said Stephen Wallis, managing director of Epsom Downs.
Today also marked a forfeit stage for the two early closing sprint races at the Vodafone Derby meeting with 16 horses still engaged in the Vodafone Temple Stakes (Eng-II) and 40 horses going forward for the Vodafone "Dash" Stakes.The Vodafone Coronation Cup
Class A, group I, £250,000 Total Prize Fund, Epsom Downs, Friday, June 4, 2004. For 4-year-olds & upwards. One mile, four furlongs and about ten yards. Entries closed April 9, entries revealed April 7 (48 entries), forfeit stage May 18 (22 remain), £20,000 supplementary entry stage May 29, five-day-confirmation stage May 29, final declaration stage 10.00am, June 2. Form, Horse, Age, Owner, Trainer
13/4442-011 Bandari (IRE), 5, Hamdan Al Maktoum, Mark Johnston,
04213-15 Brian Boru, 4, Sue Magnier, Aidan O'Brien
131130-6 Darasim (IRE), 6, Markus Graff, Mark Johnston,
5/11124- Doyen (IRE), 4, Godolphin, Saeed bin Suroor
105D3-14 Dubai Success, 4, Maktoum Al Maktoum, Barry Hills
006-(0)2005 Dutch Gold (USA), 4, Sheikh Marwan Al Maktoum, Clive Brittain
1-, Excalibur (IRE), 4, Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor, Aidan O'Brien
626212- High Accolade, 4, Lady Tennant, Marcus Tregoning
2/10325-0 Highest (IRE), 5, Godolphin, Saeed bin Suroor
0051/01/- Ice Dancer (IRE), 6, Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien
164110-36 Imperial Dancer, 6, Peter Taplin Mick Channon
312/110- Leadership, 5, Godolphin, Saeed bin Suroor
5/11022- Magistretti (USA), 4, Michael Tabor, Neville Callaghan
2115-, Papineau, 4, Godolphin, Saeed bin Suroor
2512-115 Polish Summer, 7, Khalid Abdullah, Andre Fabre
12/6113- Powerscourt, 4, Sue Magnier, Aidan O'Brien
4101313 Scott's View, 5, Great Escape Partnership, Mark Johnston
142115- Sulamani (IRE), 5, Godolphin, Saeed bin Suroor
0/2500(0)- Sunny Glenn, 6, Helen Mahr, Nerys Dutfield
11/255-321 Systematic, 5, Maktoum Al Maktoum, Mark Johnston
301411-4 Vallee Enchantee (IRE), 4, Ecurie Wildenstein, Elie Lellouche
26333-53 Warrsan (IRE), 6, Saeed Manana, Clive Brittain