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Coral Cup 2023 Trends

Jessica Lamb for Bookies.com

Jessica Lamb  | 7 mins

Coral Cup 2023 Trends

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2023 Coral Cup

The last 10 winners:

  • Had never won the Coral Cup before
  • Had not won more than 2 handicap hurdles
  • Had won at least two hurdle races, but not more than four
  • Were not carrying topweight
  • Were rated 138+, seven were rated 143+ and three were rated 151+
  • Last ran over hurdles - at least 22 days ago

Nine of the last 10 winners:

  • Had never won a Grade 1 race (exception Commander Of Fleet)
  • Had never won a Grade 2 race (Bleu Berry)
  • Had won at least once in their last three starts (Commander Of Fleet)
  • Were not the favourite in the betting (Dame De Compagnie)
  • Had never won a chase (Dame De Compagnie)
  • Had run at least five times over hurdles (Aux Ptits Soins)
  • Had run over at least 2m4f before (Aux Ptits Soins)
  • Had only won once over jumps that season, if at all (Heaven Help Us)

Eight of the last 10 winners:

  • Carried at least 6lbs less than the topweight (Medinas and William Henry)
  • Had already run at Cheltenham - four had won at the course (Bleu Berry and Aux Ptits Soins)
  • Had won a race that season, five winning last time out

Key Trials from the last 10 years

  • Three runners in the Grade 3 Betfair Hurdle at Newbury have gone on to be placed in the same year's Coral Cup (Blazer (2016), Activial (2015) and Smashing (2014). The winner of that handicap hurdle has never won the next Coral Cup.
  • Bleu Berry ran in February's Coral Hurdle (now the Liffey Handicap Hurdle) at Leopardstown before his Coral Cup win in 2018 for Willie Mullins. In 2020 the Liffey Handicap Hurdle winner Thosedaysaregone finished third in the Coral Cup and last year Fastorslow was down the field at Leopardstown, but second in the Coral Cup. It's generally a better guide for the County Hurdle.
  • 2020 Coral Cup winner Dame De Compagnie was the first female winner in the race's 28-year history and she warmed up for the Festival race by winning a mares’ handicap hurdle at Cheltenham in December. That day a mare also finish second, and in 2021 another mare won - Heaven Help Us - after winning a mares' handicap hurdle at Leopardstown.
  • In 2022 the winner Commander Of Fleet and third Ashdale Bob had been placed in the Grade 2 Boyne Hurdle at Navan on their latest outing before Cheltenham. The 2017 winner Supasundae also ran in this race before his Coral Cup win.

Trainer Trends

  • Nicky Henderson boasts the most winners in the Coral Cup with four winners overall, including two of the last four.
  • Gordon Elliott has won this race three times and saddled five placed-runners (two in 2020).
  • Willie Mullins has had six placed runners to add to his 2018 winner.
  • Paul Nicholls is 1/13 in the last 10 years, winning last in 2015 with Aux Ptits Soins.
  • Trainers based in Ireland have won five of the last seven renewals. Only Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls have won for British trainers in the last nine years.

Jockey Trends

  • Davy Russell (three) has ridden more Coral Cup winners than any other jockey still riding. He just missed out on a fourth success when second on Black Tears in 2020, but is currently only temporarily out of retirement until Jack Kennedy returns from injury.
  • Nico de Boinville’s association with Nicky Henderson has led to him partnering two winners this decade (both in the colours of Dai Walters), most recently William Henry in 2019.

How did the trends do last year?

Commander Of Fleet's 50/1 price tag tells you he was not a typical winner. He is the first Grade 1 winner in the race's 30-year history to win and the highest rated since Whisper won in 2014 off a handicap rating of 153.

His rating of 152 makes him one of only three winners to ever win the race with a rating of more than 149. He was exposed and seemingly out of form, having also not won one of his last three starts, which all of the previous 10 winners had done.

Now, he had won the previous December, was a Grade 1 winner as a novice hurdler and had finished second in the 2019 Albert Bartlett on his only other run at Cheltenham. It was also a positive that he'd been placed in the Boyne Hurdle at Navan last time out, and was trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliott.

Check out latest Cheltenham ante post odds.

Who Fits The Trends Best In 2023?

This is as ever a wide-open field, but there are some already standing out on trends.

Ticking all the boxes on trends are An Epic Song, Captain Morgs, Good Risk At All, HMS Seahorse, No Ordinary Joe, Run For Oscar, Watch House Cross and Winter Fog.

Winter Fog, Captain Morgs and No Ordinary Joe additionally represent top race trainers, and as an added bonus, HMS Seahorse, Captain Morgs, No Ordinary Joe, Good Risk At All and Winter Fog have Cheltenham experience.

Adding it all up, the three strongest picks on trends are Winter Fog, Captain Morgs and No Ordinary Joe.

2022 Coral Cup Result

Position Name Price Jockey Trainer
1st Commander Of Fleet 50/1 Shane Fitzgerald Gordon Elliott
2nd Fastorslow 18/1 Darragh O'Keeffe Martin Brassil
3rd Ashdale Bob 14/1 Jack Foley Jessica Harrington
4th Camprond 10/1 Aidan Coleman Philip Hobbs

About the Author

Jessica Lamb is a multi-media journalist who specializes in horse racing, cycling and sports betting and has worked on desks at the Racing Post and Irish Sun newspapers.