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Coronation Cup: Sixties Icon looks best now
by Handicappers (handicappers@globeform.com) / Globeform (http://www.globeform.com)
Last update: 2007-06-02 07:41:11 (First published: 2007-05-31 04:01:40 )


Epsom 1 June: Twelve months ago, Sir Percy came with a strong, rail skimming run to steal the Vodafone Derby (G1) in the very last stride. It was a well deserved win but the form looked nothing special.


Back in seventh place was the little known colt Sixties Icon. He has become a great deal better since and, after a smooth win at Newmarket last month, he looks set to gain revenge on Sir Percy as they meet again in the Coronation Cup (G1) on Friday.


GLOBEFORM RATINGS
VODAFONE CORONATION CUP (G1)

Epsom Downs 1 June 2007 – 1 ½ miles turf

Horses presented with best
Globeform ratings, sires, riders.

A ‘+’ after horse indicates improvement expected.

120 – SIXTIES ICON (Galileo) + / L Dettori
118 – SIR PERCY (Mark Of Esteem) + / M Dwyer
117 – SEPTIMUS (Sadler’s Wells) + / J Murtagh
117 – MARAAHEL (Alzao) / R Hills
115 – SCORPION (Sadler’s Wells) / M Kinane
110 – RISING CROSS (Cape Cross) / T Durcan

Rising Cross gets a 3lb sex allowance – add three pounds to rating for comparison with males.


SIXTIES ICON made a most encouraging come back at Newmarket last month. He took the Jockey Club Stakes (G2) by 3 easy lengths from Admiral’s Cruise, who had been beaten 3 lengths also when fifth to Maraahel in the John Porter Stakes (G3) at Newbury on his previous start.

His most likely rival at Newmarket, Papal Bull, was clearly not himself (very much on edge in the paddock) and ran way below his best. This made the Noseda trained colt’s task much easier of course, but Sixties Icon won with great authority – and he has a good chance of following up here. Any rain is in his favour.

The son of Galileo won the St. Leger (G1) last year, beating the ‘fluke’ horse The Last Drop and Red Rocks, who went on to take the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) on his next start. Sixties Icon went for the Arc, where he was well beaten but that was an off day and a run to forget. He is much better than that running would suggest. In fact, he appears on his way to become one of the best turf runners in the world. He was seventh to Sir Percy in last year’s Derby, though that was very early in his career, he was lacking experience, and he improved with virtually every run since.


SIR PERCY returns to the downs, where he was a narrow winner of the Derby (G1) last year. Things have not been smooth since, however, and the premier classic was not top class in 2006. He ran a respectable race in Dubai in March, when fourth to Vengeance Of Rain in the Sheema Classic (G1). That was a slowly run race, and should be treated more like a ten-furlong contest when assessing future events, and it did not at all suit Sir Percy. He showed us that he has trained on, and he must be respected still. He goes well fresh.

He had not raced since last year’s Champion Stakes (G1) at Newmarket, where he was well below his best and unplaced behind Pride. That was his first start since winning the Vodafone Derby (G1), and he was thus coming off a four-month layoff. It is hard to believe that the break was the reason for his poor performance in the Champion though, as he won the Dewhurst Stakes (G1) off a similar break as a juvenile, and ran a solid second in the 2000 Guineas (G1) first time out last year. There must have been another reason for that flop.

He was good in the Dewhurst Stakes (G1) on Champions Day 2005, when winning from Horatio Nelson, and he again in the 2000 Guineas (G1), when beaten by George Washington (and by the distance). That run set him up for the Derby (G1) at Epsom, where Sir Percy needed every yard of the 1 ½ miles to get up for a very narrow - but extremely game – win over Dragon Dancer and Dylan Thomas.

His Derby form is nothing special. In fact, his Globeform 118+ achieved is low for a classic winner – but the way he did it was quite impressive, as he made up an unusual amount of ground in the last furlong – to just get up in a blanket finish. Has the form worked out? Yes and no. Runner-up Dragon Dancer is still a maiden, the third placed Dylan Thomas went on to win the Irish Derby (G1) and Irish Champion Stakes (G1), the fourth placed Hala Bek has been sidelined by injury, the fifth placed Visindar has also been sidelined, the sixth placed Best Alibi has won a weak Group 2 and the seventh placed Sixties Icon has won the St. Leger (G1) – see more on him above.


GLOBEFORM SELECTIONS

A: 6 SIXTIES ICON
B: 5 SIR PERCY







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