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Emily Upjohn dominates with tremendous Coronation Cup success

Memories of last year’s Oaks reverse consigned to the past.

EMILY UPJOHN CRUISED to victory under Frankie Dettori in the Dahlbury Coronation Cup.

Agonisingly beaten a short head in the Oaks on her last visit to Epsom 12 months ago – when her cause was compromised by a stumble on leaving the stalls – this time the filly was peerless as she left a quality field behind her.

An 11-4 chance for John and Thady Gosden, the daughter of Sea The Stars was biding her time in the early stages and only threw down a challenge in the home straight.

She then displayed a fantastic turn of foot to sweep past her rivals, and while Westover closed towards home Emily Upjohn had a comfortable length and three-quarters in hand at the line.

Gosden senior said: “She did it beautifully. We had planned Dubai (Sheema Classic), but she didn’t come to herself in the spring, so we waited. She’s only just come ready to run, actually, only just now.

“She probably hit the front too soon and she’s having a really good blow so she should come on for that.

“She ended up in front because of the way she quickened, she’s a hugely talented filly.

“The Oaks went wrong last year, but that’s history. She showed that speed early last year and then again in the autumn on soft ground, this is quickening all the time, it’s genuine good to firm and she’s shown a lot of talent over a mile-and-a-half.

“It’s nice to bring her back here and win, and Westover had a rough trip here last year in the Derby but take nothing from either winner of the Oaks or the Derby, they were very good.

“She’s in the Hardwicke at Ascot or you could have a look at a race like the Eclipse. It’s one or the other and we’ll have a think.

“She’d have no trouble coming back to 10 furlongs at Sandown, so I slightly favour the Eclipse at this stage, 10 furlongs, uphill finish.”

Coral make Emily Upjohn 5-1 from 8s for the Eclipse, and 7-1 from 10-1 for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Dettori said: “She’s a big girl so I got her ready at the top of the hill and gosh did she quicken, wow.

“The change of pace she showed and she kept going right to the line. Myself and Rob (Hornby, on Westover) pulled a long way clear of the third.

“She feels better this year, she feels stronger, but more importantly she’s better in her mind. She was fighting stuff last year, but she’s ready to relax a bit this year.

“She’s better in the mornings now but we just let her be, if she wants to have a look she can have a look!”

He added: “I must say when I was in the stalls I was thinking, ‘Please don’t slip today’ after what happened in the Oaks and then everything went wrong in the King George, she didn’t breathe.

“We kept the hood on her today after a long discussion and she relaxed beautifully.”

Westover’s trainer Ralph Beckett felt his charge had just been beaten by a better horse on the day

He said: “I thought it was a really good effort.

“He’s been beaten by a filly who has come here at the top of her game. She’s a very, very good mare, and well done them. He just didn’t have the pace that she did, but it was a good effort.

“We’ll think about where we go next. He gets every yard of that trip and we might think about going a bit further. There are lots of things we can do.”

Aidan O’Brien was content with Point Lonsdale’s effort in coming home third, beaten a total of nine and a quarter lengths.

The trainer said: “We are very happy with the run, though he might have preferred someone to carry him a bit longer up the straight.

“He’s inexperienced and we’re still learning about him. There are plenty of options, including the Hardwicke and the King George.”

Press Association
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