Warrsan Holds On to Win Coronation Cup

Veteran Newmarket trainer Clive Brittain landed his first Vodafone Coronation Cup (Eng-I) when 5-year-old Warrsan swooped to a half-length victory from Highest and Black Sam Bellamy Saturday at Epsom Downs.

"He gets himself super-active and part of the secret with him is to remove all excitments from him," said Brittain. "We have to take him out first thing because if he's with the rest of the string he gets himself a little overexcited.

"I know it was a triumph today – I can honestly say that. We treated him with kid gloves for his three-year-old career and into his four-year-old year because this was always going to be his season. He's done well for a one-time 87 handicapper"

Philip Robinson rode the winner for owner Saeed Manana. Warrsan was the 9-2 second choice behind 4-1 favorite Black Sam Bellamy in the nine-horse field.

The Vodafone Coronation, at 12 furlongs, was the first leg of the BHB Summer Triple Crown but Brittain is unlikely to take up the challenge by running in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes, the next stage.

"If I get short of a few quid we might be tempted, but seriously I wouldn't willingly drop him back to a mile and a quarter," he added.

"He won't be short of Group 1 entries - I put him in the Arc at the first stage - and I would think the King George will be his next race."

The final time was 2:35.68 on a good course.

Highest, with Frankie Dettori in the irons, was running for the second time in England since Godolphin bought him at the end of last season. He defeated Black Sam Bellamy and jockey Michael Kinane by a short head. He was driving hard at his old foe Warrsan in the closing stages.

"I thought for a moment or two that he was coming to win it," said racing manager Simon Crisford afterwards, "and even though he has been beaten he has run a cracking race -- a really good effort.

"It was important for us that he showed how wrong his Newmarket run (behind Warrsan in the Sagitta Jockey Club Stakes) had been, and he certainly did that here.