Dominant victory for Ghaiyyath in G1 Coronation Cup
Ghaiyyath produced another blistering front-running display to comprehensively beat a very strong field in the 12-furlong G1 Coronation Cup at Newmarket, UK, on Friday, 5 June.
The Dubawi entire, a 14-length winner of the G1 Grosser Preis von Baden over the same distance in September, was immediately sent to the front of the seven runners by William Buick and soon established a four-length lead.
Ghaiyyath had doubled his advantage by the halfway stage and found plenty in front after kicking on passing the three-furlong pole.
Last season’s G1 Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck and top stayer Stradivarius stayed on in the closing stages but the Charlie Appleby-trained five-year-old was always in command, scoring by an easy two and a half lengths in a new course record of 2m 25.89s.
Charlie Appleby said: “You couldn’t be confident coming up against that calibre of horse, but we felt that we had Ghaiyyath in great order. He is very similar to Blue Point last year – going into his five-year-old season, we felt that we had the finished article.
“When Ghaiyyath won the Dubai Millennium Stakes earlier this year, we were more impressed with how he took it post-race. We will see over the next day or two if he can show the same characteristics as he showed out there and maintain his weight. In the past, he has always had to have that gap between his races because he puts so much into them that it is hard to get his tank filled up again.
“He looked a million dollars today and full credit to Godolphin and the team, and most importantly His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, who has followed this horse right from the start of his career.
“Ghaiyyath’s victory in Germany last year was emphatic, which threw us into the Arc. Conditions and the style of racing didn’t suit him at Longchamp that day – it was a tough race on the front-end. I thought that he would be a horse who would love a bit of ease in the ground but we clearly know now that his best performances have come on fast ground.
“I would like to think that we could work back from the Arc again. We have always felt as though coming back to 10 furlongs is never going to worry us when you have that natural pace. Potentially, we might look at the 10-furlong options during the summer and then hopefully work back from the Arc. The concern will be what the ground could be like at that time of year because he is clearly a better horse on fast ground.”
William Buick added: “It was a very impressive performance from Ghaiyyath, and he has done that before. He is a very explosive horse, who can also sustain a gallop. It was a deep field today – Stradivarius was coming back in trip but he is still a very, very, good stayer with a turn of foot, Anthony Van Dyck is a Derby winner and Defoe won this race last year. It was a good race and a very good performance.
“He has phenomenal mid-race pace, a fantastic cruising speed, which I think is very rare to see in a horse that stays as well as he does. I don’t think I have ridden many horses that have as high a cruising speed as him. Coming back to a mile and a quarter wouldn’t pose any question to him at all.
“Ghaiyyath is one of our flagship horses in the stable. He had a bit of an up-and-down season last year and is a horse that we have been looking forward to for a long time. It’s great to get the domestic season off to a good start with him.”