Mark Wallis will equal Brian Clemenson’s long standing record of four wins in the Category One Coral Coronation Cup, if his prodigious Antigua Sugar takes the spoils on Friday night at Romford. Wallis’ white and black bitch will arrive at tomorrow’s 575m final in outstanding form. Her unbeaten run was extended to seven races last week, when she won her semi-final in convincing style.
Wallis’ previous successes in the competition came in 2014, 2017,and 2020. In 2014, he trained the first four home in an incredibly tight finish. Reel Trickyone won the ‘battle of the kennel’ on that occasion.
In 2017, Wallis’ brilliant black dog, Roswell Romanov, conquered Memphis Mafia (K R Hutton) by 2 1/2 lengths in an impressive 35.10 secs. The 4/5 favourite seized the initiative out of the traps and led into the first bend. He railed superbly to lead all the way to the finish.
As the UK prepared to go into lockdown, Wallis’ Antigua Rum won a scrappy final despite being bumped and crowded in the early stages. Scooping the prize at 8/1, ahead of the 11/8 fav Sparta Master (S L Thompson), this might go down as the most rewarding of Wallis’ Coronation Cup wins.
This year’s renewal will involve two of Mark Wallis’ string. Aayamza Magic goes in Trap 2. The blue jacket will have his work cut out based on the semi-final performance which saw him play second fiddle to Antigua Sugar by 4 1/2 lengths.
Victory for Antigua Sugar tomorrow is no sure thing. To prevail, she will need to overcome a tricky trap 4 draw. She likes to run wide, so clearing Peejays Forever (Trap 5) and Butdarewasfour (Trap 6) into the first bend may prove pivotal to her chances. That said, if she does get an clear run, she should have this all her own way. Who knows, perhaps the 24.81 secs Coronation Cup Final record, set by Millwards Master (P Young) in 2016, could be broken?