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Coral Cup - Wed March 13th 2013 

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Medinas Wins Coral Cup Glory

1 Medinas 33/1
2 Meister Eckhart 14/1
3 Fiveforthree 20/1
4 Master Of The Sea 10/1
5 Ericht 14/1
28 ran Distances: 2l, nse, 3l
TIME 5m 11.10s (slow by 14.10s)

Alan King admitted he was 'surprised' to see Medinas spring a surprise and give the trainer a one-two in the Coral Cup after Wayne Hutchinson's mount got the better of stablemate Meister Eckhart by two lengths.

© Racehorse Photos


The winner was the outsider of the King-trained pair but stable jockey Hutchinson had the choice and decided to ride the 33/1 shot instead of the 14/1 runner-up and his faith was justified as the six-year-old stormed up the hill to record his second successive victory.

"It has been a long time coming. I have forgotten how it feels to have a winner here but it's marvellous to have the first and second," said King.

"We fancied the runner-up a bit more but to be fair to Wayne (Hutchinson), he was adamant he wanted to be on this one but I thought he'd gone up a bit too much in the handicap following his last win.

"I have been complaining at the handicapper all season for putting Medinas up and up but he incredibly tough and I am thrilled with the pair of them.

"He's such a tough horse and it was great to see him run up the hill like that. He genuinely doesn't know when he's beaten and it's nice to see a horse progress like this and land a decent prize.

"I always thought they were going too quick up front and full marks to Meister Eckhart because he has kept on nicely after always being prominent. He's going to be a really exciting prospect next year so we're looking forward to that.

"We've not had the greatest season - I have made no secret of that - and I've had a few blanks at The Festival over the years so this win will give the whole yard a massive boost. Most of my big guns have gone wrong and if I do have a winner here, it tends to be in the novice hurdles or chases.

"The stable staff work so hard throughout the year and it's onwards and upwards."

Medinas was King's 13th winner at The Festival.


Coral Cup (Grade 3 Handicap Hurdle)
£80,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 5f, Class 1
28 ran
Going: Good to soft, soft in places

Starting Price
Beaten Distance
A King
W Hutchinson
11st 10lbs
33 - 1
Meister Eckhart
A King
Aidan Coleman
11st 5lbs
14 - 1
2 lengths
W P Mullins
P Townend
11st 11lbs
20 - 1
Master Of The Sea
N A Twiston-Davies
S Twiston-Davies
11st 4lbs
10 - 1
3 lengths
N J Henderson
Gary Derwin
10st 10lbs
14 - 1
1/2 length
Big Easy
P J Hobbs
M G Nolan
10st 12lbs
25 - 1
3 3/4 lengths
Ian Williams
P J Brennan
11st 0lbs
16 - 1
Owega Star
Peter Fahey
A D Leigh
11st 2lbs
33 - 1
1 1/4 length
Urbain De Sivola
Nick Williams
Nick Scholfield
10st 11lbs
33 - 1
2 1/2 lengths
Saphir River
Miss Lucinda V Russell
P Buchanan
10st 10lbs
50 - 1
1/2 length
Hollow Tree
D McCain Jnr
J M Maguire
11st 1lbs
33 - 1
4 1/2 lengths
Crack Away Jack
T R George
D J Casey
11st 11lbs
33 - 1
3/4 length
Buck Magic
N P Mulholland
Michael Byrne
10st 10lbs
16 - 1
1 3/4 length
Wyse Hill Teabags
J S Goldie
R McGrath
10st 10lbs
40 - 1
1 3/4 length
M Smith
Danny Cook
10st 10lbs
33 - 1
Cash And Go
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
11st 6lbs
10 - 1
3 1/4 lengths
C E Longsdon
A P McCoy
11st 1lbs
6 - 1
9 lengths
Abbey Lane
W P Mullins
R Walsh
11st 1lbs
15 - 2
10 lengths
Tour D'Argent
N J Henderson
D Bass
10st 13lbs
50 - 1
4 lengths
W P Mullins
D E Mullins
11st 3lbs
40 - 1
3 3/4 lengths
G Elliott
D J Condon
11st 7lbs
20 - 1
66 lengths
Evan Williams
Paul Moloney
10st 11lbs
50 - 1
1 1/2 length
Loose Chips
C E Longsdon
N Fehily
11st 2lbs
80 - 1
2 lengths
Any Given Day
D McCain Jnr
Mr N Slatter
11st 12lbs
40 - 1
20 lengths



Medinas gave jockey Wayne Hutchinson his second Cheltenham Festival winner, after Oh Crick in the Grand Annual Chase four years ago. The six-year-old, a 33/1 shot, beat his better-fancied Alan King stablemate Meister Eckhart, 14/1, by two lengths in the Coral Cup.

One of the first to congratulate Hutchinson was the stable's injured number one rider, Robert Thornton. "It's gutting for him to miss the Festival," said Hutchinson, "but he'd have been on the second in this race, so he didn't mind too much this time."

Hutchinson chose to stick to Medinas, on whom he had won the Welsh Champion Hurdle last month. "I thought he had all the qualities for a Cheltenham handicap," he said. "He's tough and he stays. They went off hard enough in front and that played to his strengths. He jumped well all the way, and though coming down the hill I thought he'd finish third at best - I thought at that stage our other one would win - once mine turned in and hit the rising ground he found plenty, as I'd hoped he might. He battled great all the way to the line."

French-bred Medinas is owned by retired businessman Frank Bell and his wife Hilda, both from Northern Ireland. "It's great for the yard, and everyone who works there to have first and second," said Bell. "But I'm thrilled it was us who was first. Medinas has given us such fun. He has such tenacity and he deserves this."


© Caroline Norris



Willie Mullins is not winning every race at this year's Cheltenham Festival, but even in defeat it is hard not to compliment him on a fine piece of training.

Witness Fiveforthree, who finished third in the Coral Cup after an absence of no less than 727 days. Ridden by Paul Townend, the lightly-raced and fragile 11-year-old was beaten a nose by runner-up Meister Eckhart, and with a bit more match practice you suspect that result may have been reversed.

Fiveforthree races for the Olde Crowbars Syndicate, a seven-strong group that takes its name from a Dublin-based rugby club.

Spokesman Michael Hilary said: "After an absence of two years that was fabulous. The last time he ran was here in the 2011 [Ladbrokes] World Hurdle and he could have done with a run today, because he just showed that little lack of match practice.

"We're so excited because he's back, and still a young-at-heart horse, and now we'll look forward to Punchestown. We hope he stays sound over the next six weeks.

"He drifted out to 20/1 today and we backed him and have a good bit of prize money, too, so we have to be happy. When we bought him they said he could go right to the top, but he proved rather fragile.

"He gets his name from a score in golf, while the Crowbars is a Dublin rugby club that was formed from the Wanderers. They weren't allowed to play on a Sunday being a protestant club, so a guy set up a club within a club and that was the Crowbars."

Mullins said: "He jumped fantastic, and the handicapper gave him a great chance. It nearly came off."



2012-WINNER-SON OF FLICKA 8-10-06 Owner-Twenty Four Seven Recruitment; Trainer-Donald McCain; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-16/1
2ND-Get Me Out Of Here 8-11-12 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-A P McCoy; SP-6/1 Jt Fav
3RD-Veiled 6-10-08 Owner-Pump & Plant Services Ltd; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-David Bass; SP-25/1
4TH-Silverhand 8-10-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-25/1
28 ran, Time-5m 0.40s; Dist-3½, 2, ¾ 6/1 Jt Fav Balgarry (7th)

2011-WINNER-CARLITO BRIGANTE 5-11-00 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Gordon Elliott IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP-16/1
2ND-Bothy 5-10-07 Owner-Dan Gilbert; Trainer-Brian Ellison; Jockey-Danny Cook; SP-12/1
3RD-Orsippus 5-10-08 Owner-Sandra Smith; Trainer-Michael Smith; Jockey-Davy Condon; SP-33/1
4TH-Battle Group 6-10-09 Owner-Jolly Boys Outing; Trainer-David Pipe; Jockey-Tom Scudamore; SP-33/1
22 ran, Time-5m 9.30s; Dist-6, ½, 2¼ 7/2 Fav Call The Police (11th)

2010-WINNER-SPIRIT RIVER 5-11-02 Owner-Michael Buckley; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-14/1
2ND-Tullamore Dew 8-10-10 Owner-Tullamore Dew; Trainer-Nick Gifford; Jockey-Liam Treadwell; SP-80/1
3RD-James De Vassy 5-11-04 Owner-Jakeman, Barrett, Booth & Ferrand; Trainer-Nick Williams; Jockey-Daryl Jacob; SP16/1
4TH-Micheal Flips 6-11-07 Owner-Martin Tedham; Trainer-Andy Turnell; Jockey-Nick Scholfield; SP-33/1 28 ran, Time-5m 13.50s; Dist-4½, 2¾ , 1/2 7/1 Fav Deutschland (12th)

2009-WINNER-NINETIETH MINUTE 6-10-03 Owner-Dermot Cox; Trainer-Tom Taaffe IRE; Jockey-Paddy Flood; SP-14/1
2ND-Mirage Dore 6-9-11 Owner-Mr & Mrs Duncan Davidson; Trainer-Lucinda Russell; Jockey-Mrs Rose Dobbin; SP-14/1
3RD-Pause And Clause 5-9-11 Owner-Robert Cohen; Trainer-Emma Lavelle; Jockey-Jack Doyle; SP-9/1
4TH-Star Of Angels 5-9-11 Owner-Roger Brookhouse; Trainer-David Pipe; Jockey-Hadden Frost; SP-40/1 27 ran, Time-5m 13.50s; Dist-1½, ½, 7 6/1 Fav The Polomoche (10th)

2008-WINNER-NAIAD DU MISSELOT 7-10-13 Owner-Hill, Trembath, Bryan & Outhart; Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP-7/1
2ND-Kicks For Free 7-11-12 Owner-Trevor Hemmings; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/1
3RD-Junior 5-11-02 Owner-Paul Green; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP12/1
4TH-Mendo 8-11-00 Owner-Mrs M C Sweeney; Trainer-Noel Chance; Jockey-Tom Siddall; SP14/1 24 ran, Time-5m 5.10s; Dist-nse, 1½, 3½ 11/2 Fav County Zen (18th)

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)


The Coral Cup is one of the newer contests at The Festival, having been introduced in 1993, but is well established as one of the season’s most competitive handicaps. The first winner, Olympian, picked up a £50,000 bonus having won the Imperial Cup at Sandown Park the previous weekend. The bonus was put up by Sunderlands, bookmaking sponsor of the Imperial Cup, to any horse that won the Sandown race and went on to success in any contest at The Festival. Paddy Power, the Imperial Cup’s current sponsor, is offering a £75,000 bonus to any horse that completes the double this year.

30 horses lined up in 1994, 1995, 1999 and 2006, although the current safety limit is 28. The smallest field of 21 went to post in 1993 and 1998.

Sky’s The Limit carried 11st 12lb to victory in 2006, while Burntoakboy had 9st 12lb on his back (including Sam Jones’ 5lb claim) when winning in 2007.

No horse has been successful in the Coral Cup more than once.

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 (Time For A Run 1994 & Sky’s The Limit 2006) and Philip Hobbs (What’s Up Boys 2000 & Monkerhostin 2004) lead the way.

Barry Geraghty and Davy Russell have the best records of jockeys. The former won aboard Sky’s The Limit (2006) and Spirit River (2010), while the latter was successful on Naiad Du Misselot (2008) and Carlito Brigante in 2011.

Irish-trained horses have won the race on seven occasions, most recently with Carlito Brigante in 2011.

Both What’s Up Boys (2000) and Idole First (2005) scored at 33/1 and 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.

The 2008 winner Naiad Du Misselot was the first Festival scorer to succeed by the then recently-introduced new distance of a nose.

The fastest time in the 18 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.

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