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 Coral.ie 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