Coral Cup

The Coral Cup, sponsored by Coral since its inauguration in 1993, is run over 2 miles 5 furlongs on the Old Course at Cheltenham. The race is open to horse aged four years and upwards and is currently scheduled as the third race on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival in March each year. The Coral Cup is, in fact, the first handicap hurdle of the week at the Cheltenham Festival and, along with Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle run on the fourth and final day, is one of the most popular betting races.

Of the current crop of trainers, Philip Hobbs, Nicky Henderson and Gordon Elliot have all won the Coral Cup twice, but none of them has yet matched the record of the now-retired Martin Pipe, who saddled Olympian (1993), Big Strand (1997) and Ilnamar (2002) for a total of three wins. More recently, leading jockey Davy Russell rode Naiad de Misselot (2008), Carlito Brigante (2011) and Diamond King (2016), also for a total of three wins.

No favourite has won the Coral Cup in the last ten years, but winners at 33/1 (twice), 16/1 (twice), 14/1, 12/1 and 10/1 in that period were accompanied by three more at 9/1 (twice) and 7/1, so it’s by no means a race in which fancied horses have a poor record.

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