CORAL CUP

The first big betting heat on Day 2 of the Festival, the Coral Cup is a handicap hurdle that was introduced to the Festival in 1993.

Grade 3 | 4yo+ | Wednesday 14.50 
2 miles 5 furlongs | 10 hurdles | Old Course
Weight: 10st - 11st 12lb (handicap)
Prize money (2022): £100,000 | 1st: £56,270

One of the most competitive handicaps at the Festival, it often turns into a cavalry charge on the run to the finish line.

Nicky Henderson has trained 4 of the last 12 winners
10 of the last 12 winners had run at Cheltenham before
The last 3 winners had won at Cheltenham before
17 of the last 21 winners had run in 9 or less hurdles
1 of the 28 winners were the top weight
4 of the last 5 winners were aged 7
1 of the last 18 favourites won

The Coral Cup tends to favour lightly raced hurdlers who are less well known to the Irish and British handicappers.

Sky's The Limit is the only horse to carry top weight to victory, although Wicklow Brave was just collared on the line in 2019.

Big-priced winners are not uncommon in the Coral Cup, as evidenced recently by the victories of Heaven Help Us at 33/1 in 2021 and William Henry at 28/1 in 2019.

Before them, Medinas (2013), Idole First (2005) and What's Up Boys (2000) all returned at 33/1.

Top trainers often have more than one runner and it isn’t always the most fancied horse from a yard that prevails.

Nicky Henderson certainly likes to target this and his 4 winners in the last 12 years have come from no fewer than 38 entries.

But notably all four of those winners had won at Cheltenham before (15 of the 38 runners had). That's an impressive 4-15 with horses that have won here before.

Especially when you consider their SP's of 5/1, 28/1, 14/1 & 14/1.

Nicky Henderson’s only Coral Cup entry this year is Call Me Lord, who has won at Cheltenham before. 

LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA

YEAR
AGE
OFFICIAL RATING
WEIGHT
2022
8
152
11-5
2021
7
138
10-2
2020
7
140
10-12
2019
9
151
11-10
2018
7
143
11-2

RECENT WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
2022
Commander Of Fleet
Shane Fitzgerald / Gordon Elliott
50/1
2021
Heaven Help Us
Richard Condon / Paul Hennessy
33/1
2020
Dame De Compagnie
Barry Geraghty / Nicky Henderson
5/1f
2019
William Henry
Nico de Boinville / Nicky Henderson
28/1
2018
Bleu Berry
Mark Walsh / W P Mullins
20/1
2017
Supasundae
Robbie Power / Jessica Harrington
16/1
2016
Diamond King
Davy Russell / Gordon Elliott
12/1
2015
Aux Ptits Soins
Sam Twiston-Davies / Paul Nicholls
9/1
2014
Whisper
Nico de Boinville / Nicky Henderson
14/1
2013
Medinas
Wayne Hutchinson / Alan King
33/1
2012
Son of Flicka
Jason Maguire / Donald McCain
16/1
2011
Carlito Brigante
Davy Russell / Gordon Elliott
16/1
2010
Spirit River
Barry Geraghty / Nicky Henderson
14/1
2009
Ninetieth Minute
Paddy Flood / Tom Taaffe
14/1
2008
Naiad du Misselot
Davy Russell / Ferdy Murphy
7/1
2007
Burntoakboy
Sam Jones / Richard Newland
10/1
2006
Sky's The Limit
Barry Geraghty / Edward O'Grady
11/1
2005
Idole First
Alan O'Keeffe / Venetia Williams
33/1
2004
Monkerhostin
Richard Johnson / Philip Hobbs
13/2
2003
Xenophon
Mick Fitzgerald / A J Martin
4/1f
2002
Ilnamar
Rodi Greene / Martin Pipe
25/1
2001

Festival Cancelled

2000
What's Up Boys
Paul Flynn / Philip Hobbs
33/1

The 2021 Coral Cup winner was Heaven Help Us, ridden by Richie Condon in his first-ever ride at Cheltenham:

The mare Dame De Compagnie justified market support in 2020 to make it back-to-back Coral Cup wins for Nicky Henderson:

William Henry denied the top weight Wicklow Brave with a late thrust in 2019:

Bleu Berry went from last to first in 2018, a first Festival winner for late substitution jockey Mark Walsh: