Coral Cup - Wed Mar 11th 2009 

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Ninetieth Minute Powers Home in Coral Cup

1st (7) Ninetieth Minute 14/1
2nd (13) Mirage Dore 14/1
3rd (20) Pause And Clause 9/1
4th (25) Star Of Angels 40/1
5th (15) Kawagino 66/1

Trainer Tom Taaffe added to his list of Cheltenham Festival winners when Ninetieth Minute took the Coral Cup under Paddy Flood.

Ninetieth Minute had not run for 80 days since winning a three-runner race at Thurles, but the absence was part of Taaffe’s plan to prevent the horse from going off the boil. He said: “I believe you need a fresh horse at the Festival, so I just pulled up with him. It was the same with Kicking King [former totesport Gold Cup winner] and Fingeronthepulse last year.”

His horse’s victory belied the theory that some Irish horses are handicapped too highly when they run in Britain. Taaffe said: “You can call me biased, but this horse was put up 12lb for his first win this season and 8lb for his next, so he’s been hit by the handicapper, but once they get to 140 they are supposed to be on a level playing field in both countries, and that’s a view Phil Smith [Britain’s handicapper] took.

“A few more pounds probably wouldn’t have stopped him, but it’s all about winning and he’s now won five from ten.”

Ninetieth Minute is owned by Dermot Cox, who is well-known in Ireland as head of a cash-and-carry business. His son, David, discovered the horse as a two-year-old in a neighbour’s field, purchased him from his breeder, and later bought Ninetieth Minute’s dam, Myown. She has since produced two full sisters to today’s winner.

Taaffe added: “I’d like to run him back here over fences one day. He’ll go novice chasing next year and being by Old Vic out of a staying family that’s a logical route. He might run at Punchestown, because his owner is a driving force at that track, but if not he’ll go out in a field for a holiday.”

Flood, having his first winner at The Festival, said: "I can't describe the feeling! It's just wow! People say that it's the best feeling ever but you don't understand until it happens.

"He didn't travel great early on. He's a big horse with a big stride on him and it just took me half the race to get into a rhythm. I didn't get a nice position until at the top of the hill but to fair to the horse, he's toughed it out.

"I've been on for both his victories this season and I have got on with him and he's galloped on today. Tom has been super this season and I can't thank him enough.”

Starting Price
Beaten Distance
Ninetieth Minute
T J Taaffe
P W Flood
10st 3lbs
14 - 1
Mirage Dore
Miss Lucinda V Russell
Mrs R Dobbin
10st 0lbs
14 - 1
1 1/2 length
Pause And Clause
Miss E C Lavelle
Jack Doyle
10st 0lbs
9 - 1
1/2 length
Star Of Angels
D Pipe
H Frost
10st 0lbs
40 - 1
7 lengths
J W Mullins
W P Kavanagh
10st 0lbs
66 - 1
1 length
T Hogan
A P Cawley
10st 0lbs
33 - 1
7 lengths
Copsale Lad
N J Henderson
R J Killoran
10st 0lbs
100 - 1
1 1/4 length
Dancing Tornado
M Hourigan
D J Casey
10st 3lbs
20 - 1
J J Murphy
N P Madden
10st 0lbs
100 - 1
6 lengths
The Polomoche
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
10st 8lbs
6 - 1
1/2 length
F Doumen
F Keniry
10st 3lbs
33 - 1
3/4 length
Thundering Star
P F Nicholls
Harry Skelton
10st 0lbs
33 - 1
1/2 length
A J Martin
D N Russell
10st 8lbs
7 - 1
P A Pritchard
O Nelmes
10st 0lbs
100 - 1
12 lengths
A King
A P McCoy
11st 4lbs
16 - 1
2 lengths
Chief Yeoman
Miss V Williams
A Coleman
10st 2lbs
25 - 1
7 lengths
Great Endeavour
D Pipe
T J Murphy
10st 0lbs
10 - 1
2 1/2 lengths
Door Boy
J Howard Johnson
Denis O'Regan
10st 0lbs
33 - 1
4 1/2 lengths
Lough Derg
D Pipe
T Scudamore
11st 12lbs
16 - 1
3 lengths
M Brassil
P Townend
10st 2lbs
12 - 1
5 lengths
P Bowen
P J Brennan
10st 11lbs
25 - 1
19 lengths
Gee Dee Nen
Jim Best
S E Durack
10st 0lbs
20 - 1
E McNamara
P Carberry
10st 3lbs
22 - 1
27 lengths
Pierrot Lunaire
P F Nicholls
R Walsh
11st 2lbs
14 - 1
1 3/4 length
C Gordon
C Bolger
10st 0lbs
150 - 1
2 3/4 lengths
A King
W Hutchinson
10st 0lbs
25 - 1
4 lengths
Doubly Guest
N J Henderson
Felix De Giles
10st 0lbs
100 - 1
9 lengths
Non Runner
G L Moore
J E Moore
10st 0lbs




A plan hatched in October almost came to fruition when Mirage Dore lost out by a length and a half when finishing second in the Coral Cup under amateur Rose Dobbin.

“We made a plan after his last time to come here and it was a great run. On the one hand I’m delighted he ran so well but it’s a bit of an anticlimax to be second,” said the runner-up’s trainer Lucinda Russell.

“He was further back than we had planned so did well to get there. He’ll go to Aintree next.”

Trainer Emma Lavelle hopes third-placed Pause And Clause has a bright future. “It was only his fourth run over hurdles and he’s very exciting. He put his heart and soul into it today and will be a lovely horse for the future. Having seen him after the race I’m not sure he’ll run again this season, we’ll have to see. But he’s an exciting horse to have.”



1. Other than the races added to the four-day Festival in 2005, the Coral Cup is the newest contest at The Festival, having been introduced in 1993, the year after the first running of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.

2. The first winner, Olympian, picked up an additional £50,000 bonus having won the Imperial Cup at Sandown Park the previous weekend. The bonus, increased to £75,000 in 2006, is offered again by Sunderlands, bookmaking sponsor of the Imperial Cup, to any horse that wins the Sandown race and then goes on to success in any contest at The Festival.

3. The fastest time in the 14 runnings was set in 2000 by What’s Up Boys, who scored in 4m 53.8s, beating the previous best of 4m 57.0s set by Big Strand in 1997.

4. Ireland have won the race on five occasions, most recently with Sky’s The Limit in 2006, trained by Edward O’Grady, who also sent out Time For A Run to score in 1994.

5. Martin Pipe is the leading trainer in the contest, having scored three times with Olympian (1993), Big Strand (1997) and Ilnamar (2002). Among current trainers, Edward O’Grady and Philip Hobbs (What’s Up Boys 2000 & Monkerhostin 2004) lead the way.

6. No jockey has won the Coral Cup more than once.

7. Both What’s Up Boys (2000) and Idole First (2005) scored at 33/1 and are they are the longest priced winners, while Olympian (1993) and Xenophon (2003) were successful at 4/1, the shortest priced scorers, and they are also the only two favourites to have obliged.




2007-WINNER-BURNTOAKBOY 9-09-12 Owner-Dr Richard & Laura Newland; Trainer-Dr Richard Newland; Jockey-Sam Jones; SP-10/1
2ND-Powerstation 7-11-00 Owner-Fat Frog Syndicate; Trainer-Michael John Phillips IRE; Jockey-Denis O’Regan; SP-12/1
3RD-Baron De Feypo 9-10-03 Owner-Rita Shah; Trainer-Oliver Brady; Jockey-Niki O’Shea; SP-20/1
4TH-Oscatello 7-10-08 Owner-Rye Braune; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-8/1
28 ran, Time-5m 07.10s; Dist-3, 5, 1½ 6/1 Fav Copsale Lad (16th)

2006-WINNER SKY’S THE LIMIT 5-11-12 Owner-Raymond Rooney; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-11/1
2ND-Strangely Brown 5-11-03 Owner-We Didn’t Name Him Syndicate; Trainer-Eric McNamara IRE; Jockey-Brian Byrnes; SP-25/1
3RD-Dom D’Orgeval 6-11-12 Owner-Jane Williams; Trainer-Nick Williams; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-20/1
4TH-Phar Bleu 5-11-06 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-10/1
30 ran, Time-5m 02.50s; Dist-4, .75, nk 5/1 Fav No Where To Hyde (Fell)

2005-WINNER-IDOLE FIRST 6-10-10 Owner-Direct Sales UK Ltd; Trainer-Venetia Williams; Jockey-Alan O’Keeffe; SP-33/1
2ND-Dancing Bay 8-11-01 Owner-Elite Racing Club; Trainer-Nicky Richards; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-14/1
3RD-Tumbling Dice 6-11-01 Owner-Mrs John Donegan; Trainer-Tom Taaffe IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-16/1
4TH-Covent Garden 7-10-07 Owner-Ada Partnership; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Tony Dobbin; SP-14/1
29 ran, Time-5m 04.80s; Dist-5, 6, 5 100/30 Fav Distant Prospect (9th)

2004-WINNER-MONKERHOSTIN 7-10-08 Owner-Martin St Quinton; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-13/2
2ND-Court Shareef 9-9-11 Owner-Derek and Cheryl Holder; Trainer-Richard Price; Jockey-Wayne Hutchinson; SP-200/1
3RD-Rhinestone Cowboy 8-11-05 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Mr J P Magnier; SP-5/1 Fav
4TH-Mughas 5-10-05 Owner-B Winfield, C Fenton & A Longman; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-11/2
27 ran, Time-4m 59.50s; Dist-1, 1 1/4, 2 1/2

2003-WINNER-XENOPHON 7-11-00 Owner-Lane Syndicate; Trainer-Tony Martin IRE; Jockey-Mick FitzGerald; SP-4/1 Fav
2ND-Samon 6-11-03 Owner-The Macca & Growler Partnership; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-David Casey; SP-25/1
3RD-Spectrometer 6-11-08 Owner-Concertina Racing; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-10/1
4TH-Emotional Moment 6-11-04 Owner-Watercork Syndicate; Trainer-Tom Taaffe; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-7/1
27 ran, Time-5m 4.30s, Dist-3.5, 1, 3

2002-WINNER-ILNAMAR 6-10-05 Owner-Joe Moran; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Rodi Greene; SP-25/1
2ND-Joss Naylor 7-10-00 Owner-Darren Mercer; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Liam Cooper; SP-13/2
3RD-Master Tern 7-10-03 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Tony Dobbin; SP-8/1
4TH-Stromness 5-10-03 Owner-Lady Harris; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-12/1
27 ran, Time-5m 15.0s, Dist-8, 3, 4 11/2 Fav Golden Alpha (26th)
2001 - No Race (Foot and Mouth Disease)
2000-WINNER-WHAT’S UP BOYS 6-10-03 Owner-RJB Partners; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Mr Paul Flynn; SP-33/1
2ND-Native Dara 7-10-04 Owner-Oriel Two Syndicate; Trainer-Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-25/1
3RD-Ross Moff 7-10-03 Owner-Seamus Ross; Trainer-Tony Martin IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-15/2
4TH-Vanilla Man 7-10-00 Owner-Mrs Paul Duffin; Trainer-Paddy Mullins IRE; Jockey-Tommy Treacy; SP-25/1
26 ran, Time-4m 53.80s, Dist-nk, 3, 2, 7/1 Fav Brandon Court (5th)

1999-WINNER KHAYRAWANI 7-11-03 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Christy Roche IRE; Jockey-Fran Berry; SP-16/1
2ND-Miltonfield 10-10-00 Owner-J C Savage; Trainer-John Mulhern IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-33/1
3RD-Generosa 6-10-10 Owner-Trish Hyde; Trainer-John Hassett IRE; Jockey-Tommy Treacy; SP-12/1
4TH-Darapour 5-10-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-14/1
30 ran, Time-5m 6.6s, Dist-hd, nk, 5 13/2 Fav Archive Footage (25th)

1998-WINNER-TOP CEES 8-10-00 Owner-Charlton Bloodstock Ltd; Trainer-Lynda Ramsden; Jockey-Barry Fenton; SP-11/1
2ND-Khayrawani 6-10-06 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Christy Roche IRE; Jockey-Fran Berry; SP-20/1
3RD-Royal Marine 6-10-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Arthur Moore IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer;SP-10/1
4TH-Like A Lion 7-10-00 Owner-Orla Finucane; Trainer-Donald Swan IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-12/1
21 ran, Time-5m 1.1s, Dist-1.25, .75, 1 6/1 Fav Daraydan (10th)

1997-WINNER-BIG STRAND 8-10-00 Owner-E C Jones; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Jamie Evans; SP-16/1
2ND-Allegation 7-11-06 Owner-Martin Pipe Racing Club; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-20/1
3RD-Castle Sweep 6-12-00 Owner-Lord Vestey; Trainer-David Nicholson; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-14/1
4TH-Tullymurry Toff 6-10-10 Owner-John Wilson and J H Riley; Trainer-Malcolm Jefferson; Jockey-Eddie Callaghan;
SP-9/2 Fav 28 ran, Time-4m 57.0s, Dist-sh, hd, 1

1996-WINNER-TRAINGLOT 9-10-03 Owner-Marquesa de Moratalla; Trainer-Jimmy FitzGerald; Jockey-Mark Dwyer; SP-11/2
2ND-Treasure Again 7-10-00 Owner-J H Gwynne; Trainer-Merrita Jones; Jockey-Derek Byrne; SP-9/1
3RD-New Co 8-10-07 Owner-Mrs L C Ronan and Anne Daly; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; SP-9/1
4TH-Barna Boy 8-10-02 Owner-Lynn Wilson; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick FitzGerald; SP-16/1
20 ran, Time-5m 12.2s, Dist-hd, 1.25, 2 7/2 Fav Time For A Run (8th)

1995-WINNER-CHANCE COFFEY 10-10-00 Owner-Paddy O'Donnell; Trainer-Pat O'Donnell IRE; Jockey-Gerry O'Neill; SP-11/1
2ND-Derrymoyle 6-10-10 Owner-Herb Stanley; Trainer-Michael Cunningham IRE; Jockey-Mark Dwyer; SP-12/1
3RD-Time For A Run 8-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Edward O'Grady IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-10/1
4TH-Collier Bay 5-10-06 Owner-Wally Sturt; Trainer-Jim Old; Jockey-Tom Grantham; SP-7/1
30 ran, Time-5m 18.4s, Dist-3.5, sh, 3 6/1 Fav Lemon’s Mill (17th)

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