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 Going Ran Winner Draw Age Weight OR Form Last run Trainer (Distance) Jockey SP Time
2017 Good to Soft 25 Supasundae 7 11 4 148 7-48124 24 days Mrs J Harrington R M Power 16/1 5:04.10
2016 Good 26 Diamond King 8 11 3 149 17P-421 67 days G Elliott D N Russell 12/1 5:02.80
2015 Good 25 Aux Ptits Soins 5 10 7 139 1-31 181 days P Nicholls (69 miles) S Twiston-Davies 9/1 5:07.20
2014 Good 28 Whisper 6 11 11 153 41-3312 39 days N Henderson (51 miles) N De Boinville 14/1 4:58.80
2013 Good to Soft 28 Medinas 6 11 10 148 16-2241 39 days A King (44 miles) W Hutchinson 33/1 5:11.10
2012 Good 28 Son Of Flicka 8 10 6 135 2F-9090 60 days D McCain (62 miles) J Maguire 16/1 5:00.30
2011 Good 22 Carlito Brigante 5 10 12 140 42-2102 46 days G Elliott D N Russell 16/1 5:09.40
2010 Good 28 Spirit River 5 11 2 141 051-510 32 days N Henderson (51 miles) B J Geraghty 14/1 5:04.80
2009 Good to Soft 27 Ninetieth Minute 6 10 3 140 30-4511 80 days T J Taaffe P W Flood 14/1 5:13.50
2008 Good to Soft 24 Naiad du Misselot 7 10 13 130 312-71 83 days F Murphy (227 miles) D N Russell 7/1 5:05.00