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2017 Coronation Cup tips - 25/1 shot could ruffle a few feathers on Oaks day at Epsom

Jonathan Vine in Epsom Tips 12 May 2017
William Buick celebrates as he guides Hawkbill to victory in the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot last season.

Our expert takes a look through the betting for the Coronation Cup and picks out an interesting each-way contender who could challenge for this historic title.

The Coronation Cup has been an important fixture on the British flat racing calendar for well over a century. Not only is this a fantastic contest in its own right - with the winner walking away with the lion’s share of the substantial prize pot after a thrilling, mile-and-a-half sprint - but it’s also the perfect warm-up act to the Epsom Oaks, which follows the culmination of the Coronation Cup on Friday afternoon.

Following his stunning triumph in the Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup day, Jack Hobbs (4/1 SkyBet) shot straight to the head of the betting for this prestigious contest. John Gosden’s charge had only been beaten on two occasions by the great Golden Horn when he arrived at the 2015 Champion Stakes at Ascot as the even-money favourite. He fell to a disappointing defeat that day, a theme which spilt into an injury-hit 2016 campaign, where he was forced to be pulled up at Newmarket on his only appearance before returning to the Champion Stakes at Ascot.

The five-year-old showed a considerable amount of his old, formidable form that day, coming home just three lengths behind Almanzor in third, but he was still largely overlooked on his maiden voyage to Dubai. However, the rain-soaked turf played right into Jack Hobbs’ hands, as he returned to winning form in spectacular fashion, beating Seventh Heaven (7/2 William Hill) to the title by just over two lengths.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge looks set to renew rivalries with Jack Hobbs in the Coronation Cup. The five-year-old was an even less-fancied 8/1 shot in Dubai, but produced an excellent display to follow her Epsom rival home in second. She returned to action this season at Newmarket on 2000 Guineas day, where she showed her class to comfortably see off a decent field in the Jockey Club Stakes by five lengths. Following that impressive outing, she’s risen above Jack Hobbs to the head of the betting and Aidan O’Brien is sure to fancy his filly’s chances of turning the tables on her Sheema Classic conqueror.

Seventh Heaven is just one of four Ballydoyle residents who currently take up most of the top five places in the Coronation Cup betting. 

Highland Reel (5/1 William Hill) was sent on several globe-trotting adventures during the latter stages of last year. Good runner-up finishes at Chantilly and Sha Tin sandwich an excellent victory over Flintshire and Found to the Breeders’ Cup Turf title. There may have been a hint of jet-lag when he finished seventh in the Sheema Classic and after a nice early season break, he is sure to be a big player if he makes the trip to Epsom.

William Buick guiding Jack Hobbs to victory over several potential Epsom rivals in the Sheema Classic.

US Army Ranger (6/1 SkyBet) went into the 2016 Epsom Derby as the 7/2 favourite, before coming home just over a length behind Harzand in second. His form has got steadily worse since that high-profile defeat and a disappointing third on his reappearance in the Group 3 Alleged Stakes at Naas last month will not fill O’Brien with confidence.

Third in last year’s Derby was Idaho (6/1 BetVictor), who ran on really well from a price of 14/1 to finish just a couple of strides behind his stablemate. Victory in the Group 3 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York was the highlight of a decent summer campaign and if he performs well on his scheduled reappearance in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh later this month, his Coronation Cup price is bound to drop.

Andre Fabre landed a hat-trick of Coronation Cup title in the mid-90s, but he’s only managed to get his hands on the trophy once since then, when Shirocco produced an excellent display to take the 2006 title. Cloth Of Stars (10/1 SkyBet) looks to be Fabre’s best chance of regaining the title and he has begun his 2017 campaign with three fantastic victories in Grouped contests over in France. He went to post with the pressure of short-priced favouritism on all three occasions and proved his backers right on every time. However, his only two attempts over this extended trip ended in defeats last season, so there are definite doubts about whether he can last a 14 furlong trip.

Sir Michael Stoute will step Midterm (16/1 bet365) up over the 12 furlong mark for the first time in his short career at Chester’s May Festival, when he tackles a decent field in the Ormonde Stakes. If he proves his stamina over that 13-and-a-half furlong trip, then he could thrust himself firmly into the Coronation Cup picture.

Journey (12/1 bet365) looks likely to make her first outing of the new season at York later this month, when she battles a strong field of females, which could include Seventh Heaven, for the Group 2 Middleton Stakes title. If she comes through that unscathed and puts on a strong display, she could be an excellent each-way bet on her Epsom debut.

My Dream Boat (right) winning his first Group 1 title in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer.

My Dream Boat (20/1 BetVictor) pulled off a huge upset at Royal Ascot last season, when Clive Cox’s charge defied odds of 16/1 to beat Found to the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes Crown. He finished third when trying to defend his Gordon Richards Stakes title on his seasonal reappearance, but he has proven on several occasions he’s capable of holding his own in such illustrious company.

Prize Money (20/1 SkyBet) enjoyed a successful winter racing in Meydan, where he won two of his four outings, including an excellent victory over the recently-retired Postponed in a lucrative Group 2 contest. He came home four-and-a-half lengths behind Jack Hobbs in the Sheema Classic and offers some each-way value on his return to Britain.

Jack Hobbs and Seventh Heaven boast obvious claims for the Coronation Cup title and Cloth Of Stars has to be mentioned in the same breath as the favourites, considering what he has achieved already this season. With it providing so difficult to split some of the favourites at the top of the betting and considering there are certain question marks hovering over most at the top of the market, an each-way chance could be taken on HAWKBILL (25/1 BetVictor) adding to his collection of Grouped titles.

Charlie Appleby’s charge began his 2017 season with a fifth place finish behind Cloth Of Stars in the Group 1 Prix Ganay at Saint-Cloud, but the 26/1 shot ran a good race in France, especially after finding himself stuck on the outside of the pack.

After winning the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on his first two outings in black type races, he spent the remainder of last season running only in the most high-profile races. He travelled to Munich to attempt a mile-and-a-half for the first time in the autumn and finished less than two lengths behind the surprise winner of that Group 1 title.

Although he failed to win on his German debut, he proved that day he could last this 12 furlong trip. It would be a big ask for him to topple the favourites and claim Coronation Cup glory, but he certainly has the quality to be involved in the finish and looks exceptionally overpriced at his current odds.

2/6/20717 3:45pm Epsom Coronation Cup selection – HAWKBILL each-way (25/1 BetVictor)

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2017 Coronation Cup tips - 25/1 shot could ruffle a few feathers on Oaks day at Epsom

Our expert takes a look through the betting for the Coronation Cup and picks out an interesting each-way contender who could challenge for this historic title.

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