Coronation Cup comeback an option for Emily Upjohn

Sun 2 Apr 2023

Epsom’s Coronation Cup has been highlighted as a potential starting point for Emily Upjohn, Thady Gosden told Racing TV viewers on Sunday.

Narrowly denied when sent off the 6-4 favourite for the Oaks at the Surrey venue last year, the daughter of Sea The Stars then blotted her copy book in the King George at Ascot before returning to Berkshire following an 84-day break to put the record straight on British Champions Day in the Fillies & Mares Stakes.

With the decision to stay in training at four made after that taking three-length success, Emily Upjohn was pointed towards a trip to Meydan for the Dubai Sheema Classic in the early part of 2023.

However, having not come to hand as quickly as liked, she missed the opportunity to test her mettle against Japanese superstar Equinox and could now return to Epsom on Oaks Day looking to right last year’s wrong.

“She ran a huge race in the Oaks when just beaten there and had a nice swansong (at Ascot) at the end of last year,” said Gosden – who trains in partnership with his father John – on Racing TV’s Luck On Sunday.

“She was heading towards Dubai but with the cold weather in the spring, it didn’t quite work out. Obviously she would have been taking on Equinox which would have been an interesting one.

“The Coronation Cup would be a nice early one to start with if she’s ready in time, but we’ll see how she is and she’ll tell us.”

Emily Upjohn, here ridden by jockey Frankie Dettori when narrowly denied in the 2022 Cazoo Oaks
Emily Upjohn, here ridden by jockey Frankie Dettori when narrowly denied in the 2022 Cazoo Oaks

Another star filly from the Gosden string staying in training at four is Inspiral, who could head to Newbury on May 20 for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, with all the top mile races on her radar this term.

“She’s wintered well and is in good order, enjoying her training and looks great,” continued Gosden. “She is obviously a top-class miler and all these mile races will be the ones for her.

“She is certainly an independently-minded filly. She has plenty of character but is exceptionally talented.”

A return to Royal Ascot could be on the cards for recent World Cup night winner Lord North.

The seven-year-old won the Dubai Turf for the third year in a row last month and could now bid to repeat his Prince of Wales’s Stakes success of 2020 when running on home soil this summer.

Inspiral ridden by Frankie Dettori on their way to winning the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot
Inspiral ridden by Frankie Dettori on their way to winning the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot

Gosden continued: “He had a slightly curtailed one last year and it was fantastic to get him back for the Dubai Turf – it was a good team effort there.

“He won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes two years ago and he is a horse you could look towards that with.”

The young handler also identified Arrest as the horse most likely to provide the Clarehaven operation with Classic success in 2023.

He added: “He was proven at Group One level last year when just beaten at Saint-Cloud. He is a talented horse and always looked like a three-year-old. He has plenty of size, scope and class about him.

Laurel heading to Kempton

Sun Chariot runner-up Laurel is to make her return to action in the Racing TV Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes at Kempton on Easter Monday.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, the Juddmonte-owned four-year-old made giant strides last season having not made her debut until the end of July.

She won that day at Kempton and returned there in September to defy a penalty before stepping straight into Group One company at Newmarket, beating all bar Fonteyn.

“Laurel is a lovely filly and looks great at the moment. She’s going to start off at Kempton in the Snowdrop on Monday week,” said Juddmonte’s Barry Mahon.

“She’s in good form and hopefully she’ll have a good year. She’ll have no penalty at Kempton, she handles the all-weather having won there twice and we’ll try to get her season up and going.

“She’s not a stakes winner yet, so the aim will be to make her a stakes winner and then progress throughout the year.”

Another lightly-raced Juddmonte filly who made giant strides last season was Ralph Beckett’s Haskoy.

She was another to win her first two outings, the second a Listed race at York, before being stepped up in distance and class for the St Leger in which she crossed the line second before being placed fourth due to causing interference.

Haskoy (right) just got the better of fellow Juddmonte-owned filly Time Lock at York
Haskoy (right) just got the better of fellow Juddmonte-owned filly Time Lock at York

“She’s in great form, I saw her on Wednesday at Ralph’s. She had a nice break during the winter when she came back to the farm,” said Mahon.

“We probably threw her in at the deep end a little bit going for a St Leger on just her third start, so we gave her a good break and she went back to Ralph in January.

“She’s probably a little way off a run, I’d say you wouldn’t see her for six or seven weeks yet but she’s done well and she’s a filly we’re looking forward to this year.

“I think we’ll be starting her over a mile and a half. She won the Galtres over that trip at York so we know she’s effective at that distance.

“We’ve got Westover for the Coronation Cup I suppose but she’s a nice filly, we know she stays but I don’t know she needs to be going over any further than a mile and six (furlongs), the weakest part of her race in the Leger was probably the last 50 yards.

“She’s definitely an exciting filly though, her and the filly that was second at York, Time Lock. They are two good four-year-olds to go to war with.”

“He will start off in a trial and we will go from there. Possibly Sandown, but we will see how he is.”

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