Coral Cup

The Coral Cup takes place on Day 2 (Wednesday) of the Cheltenham Festival and is one of the most competitive betting heats of the meeting.

The race will be broadcast on ITV Racing and Racing TV (RTV) and has been won by talented performers such as Whisper and Supasundae in recent seasons.

Length of race – The race is run over 2m5f.
Where to watch – ITV and RTV.
When to watch – Wednesday, March 13 at 2.50pm.
Prize money – Last year’s race was worth £100,000.
Course – The race is run on the Old course.
Race type – The Coral Cup Hurdle is a Grade 3 handicap for four-year-olds and older.
Weights – As the race is a handicap, horses carry weights in relation to their rating. The weights are published several weeks in advance, so horses may carry a penalty for a victory after the weights are announced. The Coral Cup has a maximum field size of 26 runners.
Ages – Horses aged four and older can compete in the Coral Cup, assuming they are high enough in the handicap.
Sponsor – Coral have sponsored the race for its entirety, with the race first run in 1993.

 

Past ten winners:

 

Year Horse Previous form Age Price Trainer Jockey
2018 Bleu Berry 1115-0 7 20-1 Willie Mullins Mark Walsh
2017 Supasundae 4-8124 7 16-1 Jessica Harrington Robbie Power
2016 Diamond King 7P-421 8 12-1 Gordon Elliott Davy Russell
2015 Aux Ptits Soins 1-31 5 9-1 Paul Nicholls Sam Twiston-Davies
2014 Whisper 1-3312 6 14-1 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville
2013 Medinas 6-2241 6 33-1 Alan King Wayne Hutchinson
2012 Son Of Flicka F-9090 8 16-1 Donald McCain Jason Maguire
2011 Carlito Brigante 2-2102 5 16-1 Gordon Elliott Davy Russell
2010 Spirit River 51-510 5 14-1 Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty
2009 Ninetieth Minute 0-4511 6 14-1 Tom Taaffe Paddy Flood

 

Race stats

  • Officially rated 135 to 149, 9/10
  • Not run for at least 32 days, 9/10
  • No more than four runs that season, 9/10
  • No more than nine hurdle runs, 9/10
  • Won a race earlier in the season, 8/10 (four won last time out)
  • Aged five to seven, 8/10
  • Won between 2m2f and 2m6f over hurdles, 7/10
  • Carried no more than 11st 3lb, 7/10

Other factors

  • The only winner to have had more than nine hurdle runs had 22 starts (Son Of Flicka in 2012)
  • Davy Russell is the most successful jockey in the Coral Cup. His three wins came aboard Naiad Du Misselot (2008), Carlito Brigante (2011) and Diamond King (2016).
  • Martin Pipe is the only trainer to have won the race three times. His victories came with Olympian (1993), Big Strand (1997) and Ilnamar (2002).

Key trials

One of the leading trials for the Coral Cup is the Lanzarote Hurdle staged at Kempton in mid-January. Last season’s Lanzarote winner William Henry went on to finish fourth in the Coral Cup and Topofthegame – fourth at Kempton – finished second.
In Ireland Navan’s Boyne Hurdle is another trial worth watching. Supasundae, winner of the Coral Cup in 2017, finished fourth in that race before Cheltenham.

What happened last year?

The Willie Mullins-trained Bleu Berry ran out a narrow winner after getting up late to deny Topofthegame by a neck. View the 2018 Coral Cup result and replay here.

Where can I get Cheltenham Festival tickets?

Cheltenham Festival tickets can be purchased from the official festival website here.

Coral Cup

Off You Go is hiding little from the handicapper but he’s been partnered by conditional riders and a good 5lb claimer would only enhance his obvious claims. A winner of four of his last six races, he was far from disgraced behind Tiger Roll in a Grade 2 at Navan last time and this could be his optimum trip. Uradel is an obvious danger, while last year’s Martin Pipe third Early Doors is interesting back in handicap company.
(Lewis Porteous)

Forecast
1. Off You Go, 2. Early Doors, 3. Uradel

View the racecard and place your bets here.