Cheltenham - At The Races

14:50 Cheltenham 14 Mar 2018

Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (Class 1) (4YO plus)

Winner £56,950 - 26 ran


2m 5f 26y

Soft (Heavy in places)

View Course Guide

Weighed In

Last year’s race

  • Winner: Supasundae
  • Jockey: R M Power
  • Trainer: Mrs J Harrington
  • Owner: Ann & Alan Potts Partnership
  • Age: 7 Weight: 11st 4lb
  • Starting Price: 16/1
  • Season Form Figures: 8124
  • Previous Best: 1st – Hurdle race, Punchestown (Dec 2016)

For a long time, it was hard to win or even place in the Coral Cup if a horse was rated 147+ but last season’s 1-2-3-4 were rated between 146-148 underlining the emerging class factor in the race.

Anyone combining second-season hurdlers and last-time-out winners would have collected on six occasions in the last 15 years. Looking at those two angles independently, ten second-season hurdlers have won in the last 13 runnings and 13 of the 24 winners won last time out. Only five winners had not won at some point earlier in the campaign. Only two of the last 17 winners had won more than one handicap.

The Irish have a very good record having won on nine occasions with Gordon Elliott responsible for two of those in the last seven years. This is an excellent return given that they would fall some way short of 33% representation and they have supplied two win or placed horses in each of the last four runnings. Five of Ireland’s last seven winners had not run since early January with two of those not seen for over three months and another for over four months.

Ten second-season hurdlers have won in the last 13 runnings and 13 of the 24 winners won last time out.

The last nine winners had run no more than four times earlier in the season (and six winners in total had run no more than just twice) so we don’t really want to be looking to a horse that has been particularly busy. With four of the last 12 winners not having run during the same calendar year, this is an angle I could not put punters off trying to exploit.

Interesting that three of the five races to have had most impact over the last 15 years took place over two miles so winners had the potential to improve beyond their handicap rating for an increase in trip. The Betfair Hurdle at Newbury has featured three winners and two runners-up from the last 13 occasions when it has beaten the weather and the Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle at Ascot has weighed in with a couple of winners since 2004 despite being abandoned twice. The leading Irish guide has been the Hurdle at Leopardstown in February highlighting three winners stretching back to 1994 though none since Xenophon 15 years ago. He was trained by Charles Byrnes who could aim this year’s winner, Off You Go, at the Coral Cup.

Nicky Henderson has won two of the last eight runnings and Philip Hobbs has also won it twice in addition to posting five other top-six finishers from 23 runners.

A couple of ten-year-olds returning to hurdles placed last season but there has been no winner aged older than nine since 1995 and only one winner older than eight since 1996.

At a glance summary

Second-season hurdlers
No more than three runs earlier in the season
A last-time-out winner
Won no more than one handicap
Irish-trained (notably Gordon Elliott)
Contested a major 2m handicap hurdle earlier in the season
Aged 9+
Failed to win earlier in the season

Previous Winners

Year Winner Trainer Jockey Age/Wt SP
2017SupasundaeMrs J HarringtonR M Power7 11-416/1
2016Diamond KingG ElliottD N Russell8 11-312/1
2015Aux Ptits SoinsP F NichollsSam Twiston-Davies5 10-79/1
2014WhisperN J HendersonNico de Boinville (5)6 11-614/1
2013MedinasA KingW Hutchinson6 11-1033/1
2012Son of FlickaD McCain JnrJ M Maguire8 10-616/1
2011Carlito BriganteG ElliottD N Russell5 10-1216/1
2010 Spirit River N J Henderson B J Geraghty 5 11-2 14/1
2009 Ninetieth Minute T J Taaffe P W Flood 6 10-3 14/1
2008 Naiad Du Misselot F Murphy D Russell 7 10-13 7/1
2007 Burntoakboy Dr R P Newland S Jones (5) 9 9-12 10-1
2006 Sky's The Limit E J O'Grady B Geraghty 5 11-12 11-1
2005 Idole First Miss V Williams A O'Keefe 6 10-10 33-1
2004 Monkerhostin P J Hobbs R Johnson 7 10-8 13-2
2003 Xenophon A J Martin M Fitzgerald 7 11-0 4-1f
2002 Ilnamar M C Pipe R J Greene 6 10-5 25-1
2001 No Race
2000 What's Up Boys P J Hobbs P Flynn (3) 6 10-3 33-1
1999 Khayrawani C Roche F M Berry 7 11-3 16-1
1998 Top Cees Mrs J R Ramsden B Fenton 8 10-0 11-1
1997 Big Strand M C Pipe J Evans 8 10-0 16-1