The Coronation Cup was inaugurated in 1985 to
commemorate the installation of AzIan Shah as the Sultan of Perak.
The inaugural winner was aptly named BIG CHIEF, ridden by American jockey Declan Murphy. Big Chief was
trained by Ivan Allan.
One of the most memorable winners of the Cup
was HE'S DEWAN. In 1987, he rose from Restricted Terms to
capture the Cup. The Malcolm Thwaites-trained He’s Dawan earned
a crack at the Hong Kong Invitation Cup two months later but
failed to make any impact.
The following year, HE'S DEWAN made a clean
sweep of Agong Gold Cup, the Penang Sprint Trophy and the Sultan
Gold Vase, run on the same afternoon as the Coronation Cup.
Drama unfold in 1989 when Malcolm Thwaites-trained WORLD COURT (P K Yeap) upset a huge betting plunge by the
connections of WAR PLAN who had switched jockey David Ow
Yang for Tan Soo Beng at the eleventh hour.
Only once, in 1997, was the weight-for-age race
not run over 1,600m. That was when the Ipoh long course was closed
for repairs and it was staged over 1,800m instead. The winner was
FIRE PHOENIX II, trained by W K Seow who has won the race as a
jockey astride HE'S DEWAN.
Three Coronation Cup winners have gone to become
‘equine millionaires’. The Francis Nathan-trained CONFIDENCE V
won the Cup in 1996 and went on to win the Yang Di Pertua
Negeri Gold Cup.
Tan Soo Beng-trained BALLISTIC emulated
the feat in 2000. In winning the 2000 Coronation Cup, Catherine
Treymane became the first woman jockey to win the "mile"
CONFLUENCE became the first horse to win
the Cup twice when she triumphed in 2002 and 2003. GOLDEN ACE
emulated the feat in 2005 and 2006.
The stakes was raised to RM700,000 in 2007. SPEED BABY became the
third horse to the Cup twice, in 2010 and 2012, having the year in
between campaigning in Singapore.