Cracksman heads international field for the Coronation Cup

Centre of attention: Cracksman and Frankie Dettori are led back by owner Anthony Oppenheimer (brown hat) after winning the G1 Prix Ganay at Longchamp on Sunday. Photo: John Gilmore

Europe's highest-rated horse Cracksman (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori, drawn 6), who ended 2017 as the best three-year-old in the world with a rating of 130, faces five rivals in the £420,000 G1 Investec Coronation Cup (3.10pm), also over a mile and a half.

The seven-length winner of last season's G1 QIPCO Champion Stakes and 2017 Investec Derby third made a sizzling return to action in the G1 Prix Ganay over an extended 10 furlongs at Longchamp, France, on April 29, and is the red-hot 1/3 favourite with Unibet to gain a third consecutive G1 success.

Godolphin's Hawkbill (Charlie Appleby/William Buick, 6/1, 3), third in last year's Investec Coronation Cup, has also returned in 2018 in great style, with two victories at Meydan, UAE, in March including a decisive win in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic on March 31.

Idaho (Ryan Moore, 6/1, 2) bids to emulate his full-brother Highland Reel, successful in this race 12 months ago. Idaho's trainer Aidan O'Brien, who has won the Investec Coronation Cup a record eight times, also runs G1 runner-up Yucatan (Donnacha O'Brien, 25/1, 5).

Germany is represented by two-time G1 scorer Windstoss (Markus Klug GER/Adrie de Vries, 25/1, 1), the first of two runners at this year's Investec Derby Festival for trainer Markus Klug and owner/breeder Gestut Rottgen.

Windstoss proved himself well at home over 12 furlongs on testing ground last season, winning both the G1 Deutsches Derby at Hamburg and G1 Preis Von Europa at Cologne on going officially described as soft.

The four-year-old finished a close third on his reappearance in the G2 Gerling-Preis at Cologne on May 6.

Stable companion Diaphora steps up in class for the G3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By Investec) over an extended mile on Investec Derby Day, Saturday, June 2.

The four-year-old is lightly-raced, having had just three starts, and comes into the race on the back of a Listed success at Hannover on May 1.

Klug, who has yet to have a runner at Epsom Downs, said today: "Windstoss has been good since his first start of the year.
"In Cologne, he was not 100 per cent and he was carrying more weight than the two horses that beat him. He was only a length behind the winner and it was OK for his first run.

"The Investec Coronation Cup will be a very difficult race. If Windstoss can be placed, we will be very happy.

"Soft ground is good for our horse. He won the German Derby and Preis Von Europa last season on soft ground. I think he is a better horse on soft ground.

"Diaphora goes for the Princess Elizabeth Stakes. She won a Listed race very well at Hannover earlier this month.

"She had a problems as a two-year-old, which is why she didn't run, and she only had two starts last year. But this year, she is very sound. Like Windstoss, it will be difficult for her, but she has a chance to be placed." 

G1 runner-up Salouen (Sylvester Kirk/Silvestre de Sousa, 50/1, 4) completes the runners for the Investec Coronation Cup.

Investec Coronation Cup - Unibet prices:

1/3 Cracksman; 6/1 Hawkbill, Idaho; 25/1 Yucatan, Windstoss; 50/1 Salouen

Each-way 1/4 odds, 1-2

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