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Cheltenham Festival

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Coral Cup 2020 Racecard

The Coral Cup is a Grade 3 handicap hurdle race, open to horses aged four and older, which is held on Day Two of the Cheltenham Festival, which is traditionally the Wednesday. The race is run over a distance of just over two miles and five furlongs (2 miles, 5 furlongs and 26 yards), with ten hurdles jumped by those taking part, and is widely considered to be one of the most competitive races at the entire festival.

2:50

Wednesday 11 March

Distance: 21f 0y Age: 4yo + Prize: £100000 Going: Soft

FORM
ENTRY
SILK HORSE
JOCKEY & TRAINER
AGE
WGT
ODDS

1
jockey silks 1. KILFENORA (IRE)
J: S. D. Torrens
T: Edward P. Harty, Ireland
8
11-12
Progressive this season, bagging competitive handicaps at Naas and Navan. Came up short in Grade 2 company last time, but wasn't seen to best effect on that occasion and may well get back on track.
44 stars

2
jockey silks 2. CRACKING SMART (FR)
J: Gavin Peter Brouder
T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
8
11-11
Smart hurdler who seemed to have lost his way before landing the Boyne Hurdle with plenty to spare at Navan last time. Mark is fair on his very best form, so he's a player if he can step up again.
44 stars

3
jockey silks 3. EGLANTINE DU SEUIL (FR)
J: Rachael Blackmore
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
6
11-7
Belied odds of 50/1 when landing the Dawn Run at this meeting in 2019. Eye-catching fourth on handicap bow in 2m Leopardstown race won by Thosedaysaregone and going back up in trip looks a good move.
44 stars

4
jockey silks 4. BACHASSON (FR)
J: Mr P. W. Mullins
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
9
11-6
Talented hurdler/chaser who proved that ability remains intact when third in Boyne Hurdle at Navan back from a 12-month layoff. Mark for this handicap debut looks a fair one and he's one to consider.
33 stars

5
jockey silks 5. BALLYMOY (IRE)
J: Daryl Jacob
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
7
11-6
Progressive hurdler in 2018/19 achieving smart form. Underwhelming over fences this term prior to a respectable fifth in handicap hurdle at Ascot last time. Fairly treated on best form.
33 stars

6
jockey silks 6. FRANCO DE PORT (FR)
J: P. Townend
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
5
11-6
Won his first 2 outings over hurdles and got back on track when and excellent second to Stormy Ireland in a Grade 3 hurdle at Naas last time. Further progress would put him right in the shake-up.
22 stars

7
jockey silks 7. TOP MOON (FR)
J: M. P. Walsh
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien, Ireland
5
11-4
Rattled home into second in handicap hurdle at Navan (20f, heavy) on his penultimate start, faring best of those held up. Needs to bounce back following a poor showing last time, though.
22 stars

8
jockey silks 8. BIRCHDALE (IRE)
J: Aidan Coleman
T: Nicky Henderson
6
11-4
Ultimately well held on return/chase debut in November (absent since), but showed huge promise on first 2 starts as a novice last term and fascinating contender back in this sphere on handicap bow.
44 stars

9
jockey silks 9. CANARDIER (FR)
J: D. E. Mullins
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
8
11-3
Hasn't cut it in couple of runs over fences this season, but of strong interest back in this sphere on debut for Willie Mullins, having finished fifth off 4 lb lower mark in this race 12 months ago.
33 stars

10
jockey silks 10. COKO BEACH (FR)
J: L. P. Dempsey
T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
5
11-3
Runner-up in the Fred Winter a year ago but he's not as leniently treated now and was tailed off when last seen at Naas.
22 stars

11
jockey silks 11. SAYO
J: M. P. Fogarty
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
6
11-3
On a reasonable mark based on some efforts but doesn't make as much appeal as a few of his stablemates having underperformed last time.
22 stars

12
jockey silks 12. STRATUM
J: Robbie Power
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
7
11-3
Won the Cesarewitch at Newmarket in October and, on his sole start since, shaped well when fourth in a minor event at Punchestown 71 days ago. Mark of 145 looks lenient.
55 stars

13
jockey silks 13. PROTEKTORAT (FR)
J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
5
11-2
Has improved here the last twice, off the mark in useful 20.2f listed novice event in January and solid third under a penalty in Grade 2 company later that month. Needs considering back in a handicap.
44 stars

14
jockey silks 14. MISTER BLUE SKY (IRE)
J: D. J. Mullins
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
6
11-2
Promising novice hurdler last term and, while he's not gone on this season, he hasn't had things pan out ideally the last twice. Bold showing not ruled out.
33 stars

15
jockey silks 15. BLACK TEARS
J: Davy Russell
T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
6
11-2
Useful mare who was beaten only 2 lengths when fourth to Eglantine du Seuil in the Dawn Run at this meeting last year. Majority of this season's efforts have been solid and she's not ruled out.
33 stars

16
jockey silks 16. THE MIGHTY DON (IRE)
J: James Davies
T: Nick Gifford
8
11-1
Not disgraced at the last 2 Festivals, mid-division in 2018 Pertemps Final and Stayers' Hurdle 12 months ago. Back in this sphere following a stint over fences and probably weighed up to his best.
22 stars

17
jockey silks 17. TRAFFIC FLUIDE (FR)
J: Joshua Moore
T: Gary Moore
10
11-0
Smart chaser who was bang there when falling at the last back from a lengthy layoff at Ascot (21f). On a potentially handy mark for handicap debut in this sphere and a bold show would be no surprise.
44 stars

18
jockey silks 18. CHESTERFIELD (IRE)
J: Jeremiah McGrath
T: Seamus Mullins
10
11-0
Useful hurdler/chaser who was out of his depth in the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell last time. Career-best effort needed if he's to make any sort of impression.
11 stars

19
jockey silks 19. ALFA MIX
J: Jonathan Moore
T: Gavin Patrick Cromwell, Ireland
5
11-0
Made low-key start to hurdles career in September, but progress since has been rapid. Clear of the rest when chasing home another progressive type at Navan last time and has to enter calculations.
33 stars

20
jockey silks 20. CHAMPAGNE WELL (IRE)
J: Brian Hughes
T: Fergal O'Brien
7
10-13
Opened his account over hurdles here in October and has posted some solid efforts in graded company since, testing Ramses De Teillee's mettle for a long way at Haydock last time. Not discounted.
33 stars

21
jockey silks 21. DAME DE COMPAGNIE (FR)
J: Barry Geraghty
T: Nicky Henderson
7
10-12
Confirmed promise of comeback run over 16.4f here in November when landing a competitive 20.2f handicap back at this course a month later. Up 8 lb but this lightly-raced 7-y-o may have more to offer.
44 stars

22
jockey silks 22. HONEST VIC (IRE)
J: Richard Johnson
T: Henry Daly
7
10-12
Well established handicap hurdler but getting better all of a sudden and had a bit in hand when scoring at Kempton 76 days ago. Saved for this and booking of Johnson looks notable.
33 stars

23
jockey silks 23. THOSEDAYSAREGONE (IRE)
J: K. J. Brouder
T: Charles Byrnes, Ireland
7
10-11
Shaped well back from a break at Punchestown and duly built on that when arriving late on the scene to land a big-field 2m Leopardstown handicap. Should stay this trip and not discounted.
33 stars

24
jockey silks 24. GOLAN FORTUNE (IRE)
J: Mr Sam Lee
T: Phil Middleton
8
10-11
Missed last season but was back to best when landing listed handicap hurdle at Cheltenham in November. Failed to back that up, so he's up against it in this competitive scenario.
11 stars

25
jockey silks 25. BURROWS EDGE (FR)
J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
7
10-10
Useful hurdler who confirmed previous encouragement when landing the Lanzarote at Kempton a couple of months ago. Still getting better and strong gallop should suit.
33 stars

26
jockey silks 26. FAGAN
J: Kielan Woods
T: Alex Hales
10
10-10
Useful hurdler/chaser for Gordon Elliott who shaped as if retaining ability when seventh in a handicap at Haydock on reappearance. Handicapper has given him a chance but it's still a big ask.
22 stars

Analyst's Verdict

STRATUM has already landed a big handicap prize (on the Flat) for his shrewd connections and he might well have been let in lightly ahead of a tilt at a race that he's clearly been lined up for. There's a whole host of dangers but the main threat could come from the McManus-owned pair of Birchdale and Dame de Compagnie.

Established in 1993, the race has been sponsored by Coral for its entire history, and was upgraded to Grade 3 status in 1999.

The inaugural winner of the race, the Peter Scudamore-trained Olympian , was awarded a £50,000 bonus by the sponsors for winning the Imperial Cup at Sandown, another highly competitive handicap hurdle race, over two miles, the week before.

The bonus is available to any winner of the Imperial Cup who can win at the Festival a week later, and whilst Olympian is the only horse to have won it by following up in the Coral Cup, the Martin Pipe-trained Blowing Wind earned the bonus by winning the County Hurdle in 1998, and Gaspara also achieved the bonus in 2007, by following up in the Fred Winter.

The 2008 renewal of the Coral Cup, won by the Ferdy Murphy-trained Naiad du Misselot , had to be switched to the New Course at Cheltenham due to high winds and as a result was run over half a furlong shorter, over two miles and four and a half furlongs.

The race is one of the most competitive races at the entire Festival, and as such the winner regularly returns at a big price, with just one favourite winning the race this century – the Tony Martin-trained Xenophon , who won the 2003 Coral Cup and returned home the 4/1 favourite, ridden by Mick Fitzgerald.

Perhaps the most prestigious winner of the Coral Cup is Whisper , who won the race when trained by Nicky Henderson in 2014, but is now trained by Sam Thomas.

Whisper went on to win the Grade 1 Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree a year later and latterly progressed to become a top-class staying chaser, finishing second to Might Bite in a thrilling renewal of the RSA Chase in 2017.

Dai Walters’ colours were also carried to victory in the 2019 renewal won by William Henry, who flashed home under Nico de Boinville to deny the Willie Mullins-trained Wicklow Brave. That win means that Henderson is now tied with Martin Pipe as the leading trainer in the race (three wins apiece).

The leading jockey in the Coral Cup is Davy Russell , who has won the race three times, with Naiad de Misselot in 2008, Carlito Brigante in 2011 and most recently with Diamond King in 2016.

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Coral Cup 2020 FAQs

What is the distance of the Coral Cup?

2 miles 5 furlongs and 26 yards

How many obstacles are jumped in the Coral Cup?

10

What day of the festival is the Coral Cup?

Day 2

What time is the Coral Cup?

14:40

What weights are carried for the Coral Cup?

Handicap

What is the purse for the Coral Cup?

£100,000 (2020)

Who is the leading jockey in the Coral Cup*?

Davy Russell, with three wins

Who is the leading trainer in the Coral Cup*?

Martin Pipe, with three wins

Who won the Coral Cup?

You can check out our Coral Cup results page here to see a list of previous winners.

Where can I compare the odds for the Coral Cup?

Click the link to visit our Coral Cup Odds Comparison page.

*Since 1993

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