Coronation Cup Betting

Held in June at Epsom Downs in Surry, the Coronation Cup is the first featured race of Ladies Day, opening day of the annual Investec Derby Festival. It is a Group 1 flat horse race for qualifying Thoroughbreds aged four years or older. The distance covered is one mile, four furlongs and 10 yards on the left-handed turf of the famed track used for the Epsom Derby and the Epsom Oaks.

Runners in the Coronation Cup carry nine stone, with allowances of three pounds for fillies and mares. There are no penalty weights for prior wins, and many of the entrants seen here have fared well in the Derby or Oaks in preceding years. For example, the 2010 winner, Fame and Glory, was the runner-up in the Oaks in 2009.

As its name implies, the Coronation Cup was launched in 1902 to celebrate the ascension of the new British monarch, King Edward VII. The inaugural winner was a horse named Osbach, and it was not long after that a parade of wonderful champions began, led by Pretty Polly, who completed the back-to-back victories here in 1904-05. The race’s roll of honour includes four other double winners: The White Knight in 1907-08, Petite Etoile in 1960-61, Triptych in 1987-88 and most recently Warrsan in 2003-04.

Among successful jockeys here, Lester Piggott leads them all with nine victories, including both wins aboard Petite Etoile. His first triumph came in 1953 on Zucchero and his last was on Be My Native in 1983. During the three decades in between, he also found first place on Nagami in 1959, Park Top in 1969, Roberto in 1973, Quiet Fling in 1976, and Sea Chimes in 1980.

Since Piggott’s last victory, the jockeys who have fared best are Patrick Eddery and the indefatigable Frankie Dettori with four wins apiece. Steve Cauthen and Kieren Fallon each have three victories, while Johnny Murtagh has claimed two of the three most recent wins.

The trainer with the most winners at the Coronation Cup is André Fabre. His six top-place finishers include Saint Estephe in 1986, In the Wings in 1990, Apple Tree in 1994, Sunshack in 1995, Swain in 1996, and Shirocco in 2006. Those looking for future winners might keep a close eye on horses trained by Aiden O’Brien, who has delivered four the last six since 2005.

International specialist bank and asset manager Investec are the current sponsor not only of the Derby Festival but also the Coronation Cup race itself since 2009. From 1988, Hanson held the title spot, followed by Ever Ready in 1993, Vodaphone in 1995, and Juddmonte in 2008. The current prize purse is worth £225,000, of which slightly more than half is awarded to the race winner.

No horse has prevailed here at double-digit odds since Sunshack did it in 1995, paying 10/1. Several favourites have proved the oddsmakers correct since then, including the most recent winner, Fame and Glory. Horses older than six have had no luck in the Coronation Cup, although Warrsan was seven when trying for the hat-trick in 2005 and finishing fourth. The 2009 winner Ask was six, but since 1988 the four- and five-year-olds have truly dominated this event.

Betting exchanges such as betfair provide the earliest opportunity to make an ante-post wager on the outcome of the Coronation Cup, up to several months before post time. The past year’s winner always draws attention, but the chances of a repeat are so slim that smart money typically waits until the entrants are firmly known.

Another smart bet is to take advantage of the many promotional offers available online. Prior to the 2011 edition, betfair were offering a £25 free bet. Other opportunities include a £zero deposit match at bet365.

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