Racing: Older generation runs gauntlet: The Coronation field can respond in style to Erhaab's challenge. Richard Edmondson reports

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The Independent Online
THERE MAY be further traffic problems and obstacles to avoid at Epsom today when perhaps the greatest field ever assembled for the Coronation Cup winds its way around the Derby course. For out on the track is the gauntlet thrown down by Erhaab.

In isolation, today's Group One race for older horses is a feast. Five of the first six from last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, plus travelling heavyweights such as Monsun, the German champion, Royal Ballerina and Apple Tree seem certain to produce a contest to log in the memory. And as they try to outdo the feats of Wednesday, there is an even more delectable treat to look forward to: the day when the two forces meet and the Classic generation led by Erhaab meets the proven performers.

The Derby winner was fit and well as he emerged from just another day yesterday, but bulletins about Broadway Flyer, the second favourite who finished 21st, and Willie Ryan, who was unseated from Foyer in the race, were less favourable, however.

John Hills's colt was found to be suffering from a respiratory infection when he returned to his stable. 'When we got Broadway Flyer home he gave a big snort and a load of mucus came out,' the Lambourn trainer reported.

Hills will now scope his leading Oaks fancy, Wind In Her Hair, to see if she too has been captured by the ailment.

While Ryan still carried the signs of his accident, in which he broke three ribs, the jockey bore no malice as he replayed his fall to earth. 'The Flying Phantom was coming back through the field and he got in the way of Michael Kinane, on King's Theatre,' the jockey said yesterday. 'He had to switch (in front of me). It was very rough but it was no one's fault, I just ran out of room. Call it general bunching.'

The Jockeys' Association is to discuss safety and the number and quality of horses that run in the Derby, but the Jockey Club will not comment on the Classic's safety limit of 33 horses until the inquiry into Wednesday's race is reconvened, probably at Royal Ascot.

The only horse to beat Erhaab this season, Henry Cecil's Cicerao, was, as expected, supplemented for Sunday's Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) yesterday. Late, expensive entries were also made on behalf of Alriffa and Hawker's News, who join other British raiders Strategic Choice and Shanghai Venture in the 16-strong field.

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