Postponed is in a league of his own in the Coronation Cup at Epsom
PICTURE: EdwarEdward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By James Burn 3:24PM 4 JUN 2016
Report: Epsom, Saturday
Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup (sponsored by Investec) (Group 1) 1m4f, 4yo+
POSTPONED, regarded by many as one of the world’s leading middle-distance performers, showed just why with an impressive success in the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Cup at Epsom on Derby day.
In beating classy filly Found and his pacemaking stablemate Roseburg, Postponed was recording his third top-level triumph and the manner of his victory suggests more will be in the pipeline.
Last year’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner, who was brilliant on his last outing in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March, went off the 8-11 favourite for the Coronation Cup, renamed in honour of the Queen in the year of her 90th birthday.
He was settled in third by Andrea Atzeni, who may have found the handsome son of Dubawi a little keen early.
However, the five-year-old, trained in Newmarket by Roger Varian for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, travelled powerfully into the home straight, cruising by Arabian Queen before quickening clear of Roseburg inside the final two furlongs.
Found, who beat last year’s Derby and Arc hero Golden Horn in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, gave chase under Ryan Moore, but the winner was well clear, registering a four-and-a-half-length verdict.
‘The ultimate athlete’
Atzeni said: “He’s just a proper horse. He travelled great, goes on any ground and quickened up fantastically. He’s a great horse to ride and I’m very lucky to ride him.”
Atzeni gets the chance to partner Postponed as he is retained by the owner, who said: “I think the horse has improved for moving to Roger [from Luca Cumani]. I don’t care what anyone says, but he is a credit to Roger and his staff. I’ve already decided that if he is sound he will go back to the Sheema Classic next year.”
Before then another crack at the Qipco-sponsored King George is in the offing.
Varian, whose stable star was cut to 5-4 favourite (from 7-2) by Paddy Power for Britain’s most important all-aged Flat race, added: “Postponed is a remarkably versatile horse. He’s very balanced and just the ultimate athlete. The timing for this is right to go straight to the King George now.”
Royal date for Found?
Ascot could also be on the agenda for Found, whose trainer Aidan O’Brien is considering the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at the royal meeting.
“I am very happy with her – she has run a lovely race,” he said. “Ryan said it was a very slow race but he was pleased with her.
“She wouldn’t have been suited to the slow pace of the race as she always likes a nicely run race and that is when she is at her best. She would have no problem with faster ground but I am very happy with her.”
Ralph Beckett was also ruing the tempo of the £400,000 Group 1 after seeing last year’s St Leger winner Simple Verse finish fourth.
She also has options at Royal Ascot, while another clash with Postponed in the King George could also be on the cards.
Beckett said: “They only raced for seven furlongs. The early pace wasn’t quick enough, which meant Oisin [Murphy] was asking her to go quicker than she was able when it mattered.
“When you take that into consideration she has run a really good race – it certainly wasn’t a bad run. We’ll see how she is and make a decision about her next run, but she hasn’t had a hard race. I wouldn’t rule anything out.”