Aidan O’Brien trio set to face Cracksman in Group 1 Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom on Friday

The now-retired Highland Reel, winner of last year's Investec Coronation Cup

Europe’s highest-rated horse, John Gosden’s Cracksman, who ended 2017 with a rating of 130 and was the best three-year-old in the world, could face up to seven opponents in the £420,000 Group 1 Investec Coronation Cup over a mile and a half next Friday.

The seven-length winner of last season’s Group 1 QIPCO Champion Stakes made a highly impressive return to action when easily winning the Group 1 Prix Ganay over 10 furlongs at ParisLongchamp on 29th April last.

Godolphin’s Hawkbill, trained by Charlie Appleby, third in last year’s Investec Coronation Cup, has also returned in 2018 in great style, with two victories at Meydan in March including a decisive win in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic.

Idaho may bid to emulate his full-brother Highland Reel, who won this race 12 months ago. Idaho’s trainer Aidan O’Brien has won the Investec Coronation Cup a record eight times and the Ballydoyle handler has also left Cliffs Of Moher, runner-up in last year’s Investec Derby, and Yucatan, in the race.

Germany is set to be represented in the 1 mile 4 furlong contest by two-time Group 1 scorer Windstoss. The Markus Klug-trained four-year-old proved himself the best of his generation in Germany with a length victory in the Group 1 Deutsches Derby at Hamburg in July.

Recent Ascot Listed winner Barsanti, from the Roger Varian yard and Group 1 runner-up Salouen, trained by Sylvester Kirk, still remain in next Friday’s field.


Horse Age Owner Trainer
BARSANTI (IRE) 6 Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum Roger Varian
CLIFFS OF MOHER (IRE) 4 Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien
CRACKSMAN 4 Anthony Oppenheimer John Gosden
HAWKBILL (USA) 5 Godolphin Charlie Appleby
IDAHO (IRE) 5 Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien
SALOUEN (IRE) 4 H Balasuriya Sylvester Kirk
WINDSTOSS (GER) 4 Gestut Rottgen Markus Klug
YUCATAN (IRE) 4 Flaxman Stables/Sue Magnier/Tabor/Smith Aidan O’Brien


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