Coronation Cup honours go the way of Charlie Appleby and Godolphin's Ghaiyyath
The first Group 1 race of the season has gone the way of Charlie Appleby after Ghaiyyath justified his favouritism to land the Hurworth Bloodstock Coronation Cup Stakes at Newmarket this afternoon.
The showpiece contest is traditionally run at Epsom, but due to the racing calendar being delayed and subsequently impacted by Covid-19, the race was switched to the Rowley Mile.
And it proved to be just the ticket for Godolphin's Ghaiyyath, who lived up to his reputation of being an excellent front-runner under William Buick.
The margin of victory may not have been as big as his impressive 14-length success in the Grosser Preis von Baden last year, but having opened up a lead of four to five lengths early on, it was too much for the likes of Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck and John Gosden's Stradivarius – second and third respectively – to make up the ground.
Victorious jockey Buick, who will be in the saddle of 2,000 Guineas favourite Pinatubo tomorrow, told ITV Racing: "It was a very impressive performance and he has done that before. He is a very explosive horse who can also sustain a gallop.
"It was a deep field today. Obviously Stradivarius was coming back in trip but he is still a very good stayer who has got a turn of foot.
"He has phenomenal mid-race pace which I think is very rare in a horse that stays as good as he does."
Earlier at HQ, jockey Cieren Fallon Jr was victorious in first his ever Group-race appearance as Oxted triumphed in the Group 3 Betway Abernant Stakes for trainer Roger Teal.
Newmarket-based trainer Stuart Williams, who won this race last year thanks to Keystroke, had to settle for second spot on this occasion with Breathtaking Look taking the runner-up spot.