Moore shines as Luxembourg makes all in Coronation Cup

Aidan O’Brien’s Luxembourg powered home to take the Holland Cooper Coronation Cup under a canny front-running ride from Ryan Moore.

The 9-4 chance was always handily placed in the Group One, which was run at a slow pace in the early stages, as only five lined up for the Epsom showpiece.

Turning for home, the five-year-old was asked to accelerate by his jockey and he was well able to do so, dashing for the line and holding off the chasing Hamish to succeed by a length, as 7-4 favourite Emily Upjohn finished fourth.

O’Brien said: “Ryan controlled everything and at halfway he had everyone where he wanted them. It was an incredible ride.

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“Ryan obviously always makes his own mind up, we always talk about different scenarios but once the gates open, he makes his own mind up. Obviously in the big races, he’s incredible.”

Luxembourg has now claimed Group One triumphs at two, three, four and five, but this was a first victory over a mile and a half at the third attempt.

O’Brien added: “We always thought he was a mile-and-a-half horse. We ran him a bit short through the winter because the races were there, but genuinely he gets a mile and a half well.

“When he ran in the Arc, the ground was very soft and other things didn’t work for him, but I’d say he’s made to be a King George horse.

“This year he’s changed into an older horse physically, we think. We probably ran him too short (in first two races of the year) to be fair to him, we asked him to do things that probably wasn’t fair to him. I think the last day we ran him over nine furlongs. Ryan just said he was a lot better than those runs.

“He gets a mile and a half well and he loves fast ground. I think nice ground will be a help to him, too. He’s a great horse to have, I think he will travel plenty. He’s at that age now and has a great mind on him.”

The Betfred Derby Festival – Ladies Day – Epsom Downs Racecourse
Luxembourg beats Hamish in the Holland Cooper Coronation Cup (Adam Davy/PA).

Connections of Hamish were understandably thrilled with their eight-year-old, who is trained by William Haggas for his father, Brian.

“I’m thrilled to bits with him, we could have just done with more rain,” said Maureen Haggas, assistant to her husband..

“Ryan has ridden a brilliant race on the winner, he did what he did on Candleford last week in Ireland – steady, steady, steady then ‘whoosh’ and that doesn’t really sort of suit Hamish, he’s a stayer.

“The ground is important to him and it wasn’t wet enough. I said to William this morning ‘are we doing the right thing?’, but it might not rain for three months and you have to go. The problem is with him, every time he runs you are just terrified it is going to be his last run and he breaks down again. It’s pathetic but he’s like my pet.

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The Betfred Derby Festival – Ladies Day – Epsom Downs Racecourse
King Charles III and Queen Camilla present the Coronation Cup trophy (John Walton/PA).

“I would be delighted if it rained all summer, he’s in everything, he’s in the King George and he’s in the Hardwicke and the ideal race would probably be the Irish St Leger. We missed York and Chester because of the ground and we missed the Irish St Leger last year because of the ground being too fast. Good to soft is the fastest it can be and ideally softer.

“He’s a bloody star and I’m thrilled to bits with him.”

Of beaten favourite Emily Upjohn, John Gosden said: “Obviously it was a steady pace, she’s a mile-and-a-half filly and wants a good pace.

“We’re happy and I did warn everyone before that this race would bring her on. She’s only run twice in the last year, and at home her work has been somewhat idle and this race will bring her on a bundle.

“We’ll look at something like the Hardwicke at Ascot, but she needs racing now and that will bring her on a lot.”

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