John Gosden's stars Cracksman and Enable lead Coronation Cup contenders

 Apr 12 2018

The John Gosden-trained pair were the two star middle-distance performers in Europe last season and have been given the option of returning to Epsom on June 1.

Cracksman was a narrowly beaten third when favourite for last year's Investec Derby. The Frankel colt went on to win the Great Voltigeur at York and the Prix Niel at Chantilly before his brilliant display in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October.

Enable won the Investec Oaks on this card last June, a victory which ignited a run of five straight Group One triumphs which ended with her claiming Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe glory.

Aidan O'Brien has won the Coronation Cup on a record eight occasions and his six-strong entry for this year's renewal includes last year's Irish Derby and St Leger winner Capri and top-class stayer Order Of St George.

The Godolphin team includes Frontiersman and recent Dubai Sheema Classic victor Hawkbill, who were second and third behind Highland Reel in the 2017 Coronation Cup.

Sir Michael Stoute's Poet's Word was second to Hawkbill in Dubai and is another possible runner.

Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Suhail, said "The Coronation Cup is an obvious race for Poet's Word.

"He has the Jockey Club Stakes (Newmarket, May 5) as a potential starting point in Europe for the season, although he has just come back from Dubai and sometimes it can take a bit out of a horse.

"He is a very progressive horse for a five-year-old and we feel that he can improve on his run out in Dubai."

Andre Fabre, who has won the prize six times, has three contenders in Talismanic, Cloth Of Stars and Waldgeist.

Other hopefuls include Windstoss, a dual Group One winner in Germany for trainer Markus Klug last season, and Hardwicke Stakes runner-up Barsanti, who represents the same owner-trainer combination of Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum and Roger Varian who won the 2016 Investec Coronation Cup with Postponed.



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