Connections of Papineau today admitted that the Gold Cup hero has not had an ideal preparation in his build-up to tomorrow’s Vodafone Coronation Cup at Epsom.
The impressive winner of last year’s stayers’ showpiece at Royal Ascot has been suffering from a bruised foot ahead of his drop back to 12 furlongs for the Group One contest.
“Papineau has been working very well and is in good form, but he recently suffered a bruised foot and missed two days’ training,” trainer Saeed Bin Suroor told www.godolphin.com. “He is back in training now.”
In addition to his Ascot victory, Papineau also landed last year’s Henry II Stakes and scored over tomorrow’s distance in a conditions race at Goodwood.
Godolphin are looking for their third Coronation Cup victory following Daylami in 1999 and Mutafaweq in 2001.
A total of eight will got to post for the race, worth £145,000 (€215,000) to the winner, after German raider Shirocco was taken out.
Warrsan is bidding for a hat-trick, having won in 2003 and 2004.
Trainer Clive Brittain feels the seven-year-old will strip fitter for his seasonal debut when fourth to Alkaased, who reopposes tomorrow, in last month’s Jockey Club Stakes.
“He needed the race at Newmarket and has definitely benefited from it. He has to reverse Jockey Club Stakes form, but he did have a 5lb penalty there,” said the veteran trainer.
“We are really looking forward to it and he’s certainly in very good form. The ground should be perfect for him and he must go there with as good a chance as any, and all the signs are there that he’s up for this.
“He has an ideal draw (five) for the way we want to ride it. It would be tremendous to achieve a third win – not just for us but for the horse himself, as he has been such a solid performer.”
One-time Derby favourite Yeats will represent Aidan O’Brien after the four-year-old made an encouraging comeback when runner-up on heavy ground in the Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh last month.
Alkaadhem is Marcus Tregoning’s runner, while Jockey Club Stakes third Bandari, who finished fourth to Warrsan in the 2003 contest, will again take his chance.
The field is completed by French challengers Reefscape and Pride, who were last seen when runner-up and sixth respectively to Bago in the Prix Ganay.