The Coral Cup is a Grade Three handicap hurdle open to horses aged four and older.
It is run over and extended two-and-a-half miles and there are approximately ten flights of hurdles to be jumped.
This race usually attracts a maximum field of more than two dozen runners and sometimes space can be of a premium as the runners and riders jostle for position.
Dame De Compagnie was the first favourite to win this race since 2003 so that shows just how hard it is to confidently predict the winner.
French bred horses are becoming more popular for this race.
Ten out of the last twelve winners have been priced at double figure odds.
Classier horses racing off a mark in their 150’s have been getting placed more and more, however to win you generally need a mark of at least 140 to win.
No horse has ever won this race for a second time but in recent years Nicky Henderson has saddled three of the last seven winners.
Previous Winners of the Coral Cup
Runners To Watch
Below are selected runners who hold entries for the Coral Cup 2021.
Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.
Grand Roi – Denise Foster
Grand Roi is a second season hurdler and with his yard having won this twice before, he is likely to have been well prepared.
All of his better efforts have come with plenty of give in the ground and he is still be open to any amount of improvement.
He was a decent fourth to Audacity on New Years’ Day back in 2020, so he has previous course experience.
His chances are obvious, but this grey has slight doubts over his stamina.
Koshari – Willie Mullins
Koshari was last seen at Leopardstown earlier in the month, but Paul Townend lost his irons during the race giving the pair absolutely no chance.
He worked a miracle to get Koshari to stay on for sixth that day, but ultimately his partner ended up not having too hard a race as a result.
With a bit more luck on their side, this nine-year-old could be just the type to go well.
Monte Cristo – Nicky Henderson
Monte Cristo looks unexposed and could well be anything.
He has previous course form from January 2020 where he was a decent fourth to Galahad Quest in the Grade Two Triumph Hurdle trial.
On his seasonal return back in October was a little underwhelming when finishing eighth to Jacamar at Aintree.
He improved on that next time though when stepped up to this trip for the first time and beating Ecco by seven lengths.
The runner-up has come out to boost the form and Monte Cristo looks to have solid credentials.
Birchdale – Nicky Henderson
Birchdale was beaten in a low grade affair at Kempton earlier in February where he was seen off by Young Lieutenant.
Despite a win at Cheltenham earlier in his career, the seven-year-old has looked a pale imitation of his former self in recent outings.
JP McManus owned runners have won on multiple occasions in this race but it is difficult to make a case for him and his trainer has better hopes.
Botox Has – Gary Moore
Botox Has really comes alive on this track and his last three runs here have resulted in two wins and a placed effort.
His recent form though has to questioned as he has been found out in similar company in a couple of hot races at Ascot.
More required now that he is beginning to look rather exposed.
Ticks The Right Boxes?
2021 Coral Cup Tips
Monte Cristo could well be the one to side with in this race.
There have been a few previous five-year-old winners of the Coral Cup and this lightly raced individual could follow suit for a stable that has an incredible record in the race.
Great White Shark looks to have a big handicap in her and Willie Mullins also targets this race with versatile types.
She was an excellent third last year to Indefatigable in the Martin Pipe and could outrun her odds.
Odds With Paddy Power – correct at time of publication
- 7/1 Grand Roi
- 9/1 Koshari
- 10/1 Monte Cristo
- 12/1 Birchdale
- 14/1 Botox Has