Kew Gardens and Lah Ti Dar will renew rivalry at Epsom on Friday as they feature among 10 runners declared for the Investec Coronation Cup.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has saddled a record eight winners of the mile-and-a-half Group One – first striking gold with Yeats in 2005 and since adding to his tally with the likes of Fame And Glory (2010), three-times winner St Nicholas Abbey (2011-2013) and Highland Reel (2017).
The Ballydoyle maestro is double-handed in this year’s renewal, with Kew Gardens very much the stable’s chief hope over Cypress Creek.
Kew Gardens won the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot and the Grand Prix de Paris last summer before claiming Classic glory with victory over the John Gosden-trained Lah Ti Dar in the St Leger at Doncaster.
The Galileo colt was a well-beaten second behind on his seasonal reappearance at Chester three weeks ago, but will be expected to improve considerably ahead of his latest big-race assignment.
Lah Ti Dar similarly blew any cobwebs with a comeback victory in the Middleton Stakes at York earlier this month. She is joined by stable companion Coronet as Gosden bids for back-to-back Coronation Cup wins following the triumph of Cracksman 12 months ago.
Godolphin’s hopes rest on Old Persian, who could only finish fifth behind Kew Gardens and Lah Ti Dar in the St Leger last September, but is two from two this year having won the Dubai City of Gold and the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan.
Andrew Balding’s Morando bids to prove his eight-length verdict over Kew Gardens at Chester was no fluke, while Hughie Morrison is represented by Marmelo on the eve of his bid for Derby glory with Telecaster.
Roger Varian’s Defoe, Mark Johnston’s Communique and the Sylvester Kirk-trained Salouen – who came close to causing a huge upset against Cracksman in last year’s renewal – complete the quality field.