Favourite Ghaiyyath wins Group One Coronation Cup at Newmarket

William Buick and Ghaiyyath win the Coronation Cup
Ghaiyyath held on to win by two-and-a-half lengths, having led for much of the race

Favourite Ghaiyyath captured the first British Group One of the season with victory in the Coronation Cup in blustery conditions at Newmarket.

Charlie Appleby's 11-10 five-year-old opened an early lead on good to firm ground and held on over the 12 furlongs to win by two-and-a-half lengths.

Derby winner Anthony van Dyck, trained by Aidan O'Brien, finished second.

Stradivarius, ridden by Frankie Dettori and bidding for a Gold Cup hat-trick at Royal Ascot this month, was third.

Roger Varian's Defoe, who won the race last year, was fifth, 15-and-three-quarter lengths adrift.

After a 14-length win in a German Group One last year, Ghaiyyath finished 10th of 12 runners and 33 lengths behind winner Waldgeist at Longchamp last time out in October.

However, jockey William Buick ensured a sizeable early advantage that the field was not able to overhaul.

Dettori's mount Stradivarius, whose 10-race winning run was ended against Kew Gardens by a nose on his last outing over a mile and seven-and-a-half furlongs at Ascot in October, produced an encouraging challenge before closing five lengths back.

Usually run at Epsom since its inception in 1902, the race was held behind closed doors at Newmarket because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Newmarket also staged the race during both world wars.

Meanwhile, in the Derby trial at Lingfield Park, English King finished superbly to beat fellow 9-4 joint favourite Berkshire Rocco by two-and-a-half lengths over 11 furlongs on good to firm ground.

The Ed Walker-trained three-year-old is now as low as 6-1 joint favourite for the Derby on 4 July.

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