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EPSOM ANTE-POST PREVIEW | The Coronation Cup

18 runners remain in the first Group 1 contest at the Derby Meeting on the Epsom Downs

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Epsom Racecourse General

The opening Group 1 contest on the Epsom Downs gets underway next Friday with 18 entries potentially making their way to Surrey to compete in the Coronation Cup.

The race kicks off at 3:10 and the Oaks follows an hour later at 4.30, with a 1m2f Class 2 Handicap sandwiched between the two Grouped contests.

AL AASY (1/1) holds favouritism for the contest after two convincing victories in Group 3 company this season for William Haggas.

WATCH: AL AASY WINS THE AL RAAYAN STAKES FOR WILLIAM HAGGAS [CREDIT: RACING TV]

The four-year-old made easy work of his opponents in the John Porter Stakes at Newbury and he followed that up a month later with another comfortable victory in the Al Rayyan Stakes.

The son of Sea The Stars is the one to beat in this contest and is a deserved favourite on the back of his form.

William Haggas
William Haggas will be hoping for a first career hat-trick from Al Aasy

However, Al Aasy will have to face the wrath of the Ballydoyle Armada as Aidan O’Brien possesses half the field, with NINE contenders potentially lining up in the contest for him.

Last season’s Oaks winner LOVE (4/1) and the previous Derby victor SERPENTINE (20/1) both have obvious course form, while JAPAN (3/1), ARMORY (12/1) and BROOME (12/1) have already claimed success in Grouped competition this season.

Aidan O'Brien Epsom
Aidan O’Brien holds a staggering nine entries in the Coronation Cup

MOGUL (10/1) has landed both of his Group 1 victory abroad in France and Hong Kong, while SANTIAGO (25/1) and TIGER MOTH (25/1) are yet to build on the promise they showed as three-year-olds.

AMHRAN NA BHFIANN (50/1) rounds off the nine-strong unit and he will be aiming to build on his third-place finish in the Derby last season here.

PYLEDRIVER (8/1), who finished second in the Group 3 Classic Trial Stakes at Kempton last season, returns to Epsom after finishing 11th in Derby last season while Listed Daisy Warwick Fillies’ Stakes winner ALPINISTA (20/1) returns to top-class company after finishing second in the Yorkshire Oaks last year.

Owen Burrows’ HUKUM (14/1), who won a novice stakes at Kempton, will be looking to follow up his Tapster Stakes success with victory on the Downs, while IN SWOOP (12/1) makes his debut on British soil for Francis-Henri Graffard.

David Meniusier holds an interesting runner in Wonderful Tonight

Dual Group 1 winner WONDERFUL TONIGHT (20/1) could be a seriously undetected threat in this contest if there’s a bit of cut in the ground under David Meniusier and Mark Johnston’s THUNDEROUS (33/1) will need to find four lengths on the favourite after finishing second in the Al Rayyan Stakes.

Paul & Oliver Cole’s HIGHLAND CHIEF (50/1) and Andrew Slattery’s SUNCHART (66/1) complete the 18 runner field for the contest.

It could well be an interesting cast that line-up for the Coronation Cup on the Epsom Down next week.

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