• Coral Cup Hurdle

    Only 5 winners ever were previous course winners, 4 of those 5 from N Henderson

    Seven of the last eight won by Irish trained or N Henderson

    Dame De Compagnie 2020 and Xenophon 2003 only clear favs to win

    Only 3 winners this century had more than 9 previous hurdle runs

    One winner older than 8 since 2007

    No horse has won two of these.

    10 of the last 12 had previously run at Cheltenham

    13 of the last 14 no more than 4 previous runs that season

    In last four, winner and two placed from DRF Mares H'cap.

    Summary

    Race Distance - 2 miles and abt 5f. 5 yr olds hmm... Will be aged 6 or 7 unless a Henderson trained previous course winner. Nothing placed above a 10 yr old unless previous Festival winner. Irish trained beginning to take over. Will have won somewhere a race between 2m 1f and 2m 6f. If not successful over a minimum of 2m 4f will be aged 7 or under and have been placed in graded company or won a £20k hurdle in France. Will have won at least Class 3 but not English Graded hurdle. Has not won more than one handicap. Unless Irish Trained, unlikely to have run at previous Festival. Check Dublin Racing Festival form, especially the Mares H'cap. Will not be more than seven pounds out of the handicap (including jockeys allowances). Either no more than 10 runs over hurdles or returned 12/1 and under. Any price. Respect JP McManus owned, French bred. Has run here before, likely with merit. Not BF last time unless trained by N Henderson. Has won sometime this season or was placed in last years festival. Davy Russell knows how to win this. Check those that won last time out. Unlikely to have been seen more than 4 times this season.

  • Honours Board

    Year||| Form||| Winner |||Age||| Weight |||OR||| SP |||Trainer |||Jockey||| Last Race (No of days)

    2020||| 2175441||| Heaven Help Us ||| 7 ||| 10-9 |||138 ||| 33/1 ||| P Hennessy(IRE) ||| R Condon (7) ||| 1st £52 DRF H'cap (38)

    2020|||51||| Dame de Compagnie||| 5||| 10-12 |||140||| 5/1F||| N Henderson |||B Geraghty||| 1st Chelt M H'cap Hdle (88)

    2019 |||P||| William Henry |||9||| 11-10||| 151||| 28/1||| N Henderson |||N de Boinville||| PU Cl2 Winc H'cap Hdle (77)

    2018 |||0||| Bleu Berry||| 7||| 11-2||| 143||| 20/1 |||W Mullins(IRE)||| M Walsh||| 17th Leop Lstd H'cap Hdle (40)

    2017 |||8124||| Supasundae||| 7||| 11-4||| 148||| 16/1 |||J Harrington(IRE)||| R Power |||4th G2 Navan Boyne Hdle (24)

    2016||| 421||| Diamond King||| 8||| 11-3||| 149||| 12/1 |||G Elliott(IRE)||| D Russell |||1st Pnchstwn 11k Rated Hdle (67)

    2015||| 31 |||Aux Ptits Soins||| 5||| 10-7 |||139||| 9/1 |||P Nicholls||| Sam Twiston-Davies||| 1st 19k Auteuil Hdle (178)

    2014||| 3312 |||Whisper||| 6||| 11-6 |||153||| 14/1||| N Henderson||| Nico de Boinville |||2nd Ffos Llas Welsh Champion Hdle (39)

    2013||| 2241 |||Medinas||| 6 |||11-10||| 148||| 33/1 |||A King||| W Hutchinson |||1st Ffos Llas Champion Hdle (39)

    2012|||090 |||Son of Flicka||| 8 |||10-6 |||135||| 16/1 |||D McCain |||J Maguire||| 13th Kempton Cl2 Lanzarote Hdle (60)

  • Evidence

    AGE - 5 YR OLDS - Last year four ran, best Guard Your Dreams in 7th. 2020 five ran best Alfa Mix in 7th. 2019, 6 ran, best Apples Shakira in 6th, four others pulled up. 2018 only Mischievous Max in 9th. Not a wonderful performance in the past four years. In 2017 four ran, best was Who Dares Wins 33s finished third. 2016 4th and 5th from 4 runners both under 12s. 2015 1st and 3rd from 5 runners (fav and 2nd fav). In 2014 5 ran achieving 3rd, 4th and 5th (the fav). 2013 and 2012 no five year old finished in top 6. 10 ran between the two years including the fav on both occasions. Going back to 2011 it was 7 from 22. They finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th. '10 - 1st, 3rd and 5th from the six of the age group in the 28 strong field. '09 finished 3rd and 4th from seven of that age. The improvement in performance stat for 5 yr olds went way back to 2006 when the E. O'Grady trained Sky’s The Limit led home a 1-2-4-5 for 5yr olds. Barry hardly moved a muscle.

     

    162 horses aged 8 yrs or over have run in the last 20 or circa one third of total runners. 10 from 26 last year, 9 from 25 2020, 11 from 25 2019. 23 of those 162 have been placed in the first four, 14% of total places. Four winners. Janika 5th at 33s first pensioner home last year, 2020 Cracking Smart an eight year old in 4th at 33s (after a poor enough ride, left at the start, said pocket). In 2019 the first four home were three English trained eight yr olds and Wicklow Brave (RIP) at 10 yrs. Poor Patrick just couldn't hang on to him for a split second more before making his run. Great winning ride by Nico. 2018 best William Henry 4th at 8/1 jt fav getting a sighter for 2019. 5 elder statespeople ran that year. 2017 Taquin De Seuil and Monksland finished 2nd and 4th respectively as 10 yr olds. 7 from 26 in 2016 achieved a 1-2-3 for eight year olds. Only 3 ran in 2015 best Bears Affair in 6th. 9 from 28 in 2014 when Get Me Out Of Here was nutted on the line as a 10 yr old. Qualifiers placed 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th in 2012. You can't dismiss them.

    Therefore 15 from last 19 winners aged between 5 and 7 yrs (except William Henry Diamond King, Son Of Flicka and Burntoakboy)

     

    Taquin De Seuil joins Get Me Out Of Here to be only British trained 10 yr olds or older ever to be placed (twelve others have tried over the last eleven races including three well down the field in 2020). Fiveforthree for W Mullins only 11 yr old placed in last 17 races.

     

    WEIGHT Used to not to back anything over 11st. Not now with the usual compressed handicap. But full h'cap last year, bottom weight 10st 1lb, none of the first four home carried more than 11st. In 2020, 15 of the 25 carried over 11st, bottom weight 10st 10lbs. 2nd and 4th over 11st. 14 of the 25 runners in 2019, bottom weight only 10st 6lbs. First three home 2019 carried 11st 10lb, 11st 12 and 11st 7 respectively. 2017 bottom weight 10st 8lbs Bleu Berry carried 11st 2 lbs to win, Topofthegame 11st 9lbs in 3rd, 4th was William Henry with 11st 10lb. 2017 bottom weight was 10st 6 lb. First four home all carried at least 11st 2lb.

     

    To summarise eight of the last 12 winners carried at least 11st.

     

    RATINGS - Heaven Help Us 138, (what a ride, Richie Condon), Dame De Compagnie 140, William Henry 151, Bleu Berry 143. Whisper at 153 beat Medinas's 12 month old rating record of 148 (Monkerhostin '04 147). Supasundae 148 Diamond King 149. Before Diamond King, all winners rated between 128 and 147. (Son of Flicka 135, Carlito Brigante 142, Spirit River 141). Aux Ptit Soins rated 139 and probably kept difficult by connections for the handicapper as he had only ever run three times in France.

     

    12 from the last 13 rated at least 138. Six of the last nine at least 143. But not the last two. Remember bottom weight 2020 was rated 138. Both winners rated in the 150s trained by N Henderson. In the last five runnings 5 horses rated in the 150s got a place in the top six, with William Henry winning. Prices for the five were 33s, 28s, 28s, 9s and 16s. Thomas Darby only qualifier last year off 155, finished 14th.

     

    PREVIOUS RUNS THAT SEASON - All stats destoyed. This was Heaven Help Us's 8th run since 14th September. Talk us through that then, Bryan. Plot, what plot? None of the previous 12 out more than four times that season. Dame De Compagnie twice, William Henry and Bleu Berry just the once, Supasundae 4 runs, Diamond King 3, Aux Ptits Soins two in France but zero in the UK. I don't count Punchestown Festival as being 'this season'. 

     

    16 of the last 19 no more than 10 runs over hurdles. Heaven had 7, Dame de Compagnie 7, William Henry 8, Bleu Berry only six, Supasundae had 8 previous hurdle runs. Son of Flicka (returned 16s) had 22 previous hurdle runs and the other two exceptions were from the top four in the betting. None of N Henderson's four Coral Cup winners more than nine previous hurdle runs each. Only three winners this century had run in more than 9 hurdle races, Son Of Flicka, the most recent one.

     

    Since 2002 only William Henry, Bleu Berry and Son Of Flicka had not won that season. William Henry hadn't won for over two years. Bleu won a G2 novice at Fairyhouse in the previous season.

     

    Heaven Help Us and Bleu Berry the only winners since 2004 to have previously won a Graded race. Dame de Compagnie and William Henry had previously won at Listed level. Son Of Flicka finished second to Sir Des Champs in previous years Martin Pipe.

     

    12 from last 17 were second season hurdlers (exceptions Dame de Compagnie, William H, Diamond King, Son of Flicka and Burntoakboy). No novice has won this since Whats Up Boys in 2000.

     

    FORM - 19 from last 22 had won in UK or IRE between 2m 2f and 2m 6f over hurdles (Not Carlito nor Aux Ptit Soins, Spirit River had done so in France).
     

    19 from the last 23 had won previously no more than one handicap. Heaven Help Us came straight from the £52k Mares H'cap at the DRF.
     

    Only 6 winners this century had previously run at the Festival. Heaven Help Us 7th of 12 finishers at 100/1 in Shishkin's Supreme. William Henry 4th in this 2018, Supasundae spookily also finished 7th to Altior in that really good 2016 Supreme. 10 of the past 12 had ran on the course previously, eight of which were placed. Not Bleu Berry, nor Aux Ptit Soins. Heaven Help Us at 33s won the 2m maiden hurdle in the October Meeting 18 months previous.

     

    No horse has won two of these.

     

    10 of the last 20 winners were French breds from about 30% of total runners. 8 from 26 lat year. Janika the best finisher in 5th. 11 from 25 in both of the previous two. 2020 1st and 4th, in 2019 none finished in the first three, 2018 nine from the 26 resulting in 1st and 3rd. In 2017 Supasundae by Galileo GB Bred, only three French bred in the race were Taquin Du Seuil 2nd and two W Mullins outsiders.

     

    Only six from the last 10 finished 1st or 2nd last time. However, 11 of the last 19 winners won last time out from under 20% of runners, including the last two. Only five qualifiers from 26 runners last year resulting in a 1-2, Only five qualifiers from 25 in 2020 resulting in a 1-3-4. Six qualifiers 2019 Brio Conti best in 4th. Three qualifiers 2018, best Topofthegame in 2nd. 2017 there were 6 qualifiers, best Modus in 6th. 2016 four qualifiers produced the winner, 2015 only 5 qualifiers including 1st and 2nd. 2013 5 qualifiers produced 1st and 4th.

     

    19 from last 24 achieved a top six finish last time (Not William Henry PU, Bleu 17th, not Son Of Flicka 13th, Spirit River 17th).

     

    FESTIVAL HANDICAP WINNERS WHO WON LAST TIME OUT - 2015 3 from 5 (the other two were trained by W Mullins), 2016 and 2017 only one from five although three runners up won last time. 2017, 4 of the five winners were Irish trained, if you remember all that weeping at the about high handicap marks from the British handicapper. 2018 only one of the five won last time out but again four handicap hurdle winners were Irish trained, three by G Elliott. I'd worry more about that. Only one from five 2019, Band Of Outlaws. 2020 4 out of 5 handicap hurdles won by last time out winners. Sire De Berlais the exception in the Pertemps. Last year only Heaven Help Us passed the stat.

     

    Irish handicap marks can be gauged on how much whingeing this is to be emanating from Kevin Blake. His ATR blog will be a good guide to how Irish trained handicappers are being 'robbed.' If his tone is 'it's not too bad,' they have been thrown in. Again. And again.

     

    Whisper '14 joined Top Cees '98 the only winners of this to be beaten favourite last time. Three last year, including Tea Clipper 3rd. Three in 2020, none finished closer than 16th including the 8/1 third favourite, the novice Champagne Well. Five in 2019, best Ballyandy in 3rd and including Uradel, the favourite. Two unplaced 2018, including Max Dynamite joint-favourite. Scoir Mear only one in 2017 finished 5th. 4 tried in 2016, best Long House Hall in second.

     

    In 1998 I remember such a hullabaloo because the Ramsdens didn't seem to try too hard with Top Cees in its prep run at Ayr when he was fav. I was standing at the unsaddling enclosure after the Coral Cup when Top Cees, the winner, was soundly booed in. Mrs Ramsden even ducked her head at the abuse as she led in her winner.

     

    Betfair Hurdle has featured 3 winners and 3 runners up. But not recently. Lat year Guard Your Dreams was 6th at Newbury, 7th here. Nothing in the three year before Blazer unpl 3/1 fav at Newbury finished 4th here in 2016. Activial was third at Newbury and then third here 2015. Of the horses who won this without winning last time, two of them ran respectable races in that year's Newbury race. They were Idole first and Spirit River 'going well when blundered 3 out, eased', 'mistake and one paced last, finished 6th'. Monkerhostin '04 only one placed at Newbury before success here. In 2017 or 2016 none of the first four from Newbury came to this race. Flying Angel, 3rd at Newbury 2016 won the Imperial Cup at Sandown before finishing second in the Martin Pipe Conditionals.

     

    10 of the 28 winners not previously successful over a minimum of 2 miles 4 furlongs. However, all 10 (five Irish) were 7 years or under and 8 of them had been previously placed in Graded company. Heaven Help Us won G3 Mares H'cap at DRF. Supasundae 2nd to Sutton Place in a Navan G3. (Not Spirit River nor Aux Ptit Soins, both of whom has won £20k hurdles in France in the previous 12 months).

     

    23 from last 24 had won at Class 3 or higher. Giving that to Aux Ptit Soins. Supasundae had won a Listed Bumper.

     

    15 from last 17 not seen for at least 32 days. Dame De Companie not seen since the International meeting, William Henry 77 days from Wincanton on Boxing Day, that fella Henderson can train. Heaven and Bleu Berry both DRF (Dublin Racing Festival) Supasundae 24 days, Diamond King 67 days, Aux Ptit Soins, a real Nicholls plot, had not ran for 6 months. Sam Twiston Davies was on a real Festival losing run at the time, said he felt 'terrified' when all stable connections told him Aux Ptit was a certainty. After that relief, 30 minutes later won the Queen Mother on Dodging Bullets. Sam is a streak jockey.

     

    Court Shareef at 200/1 ’04 only one from more than 7 lbs out of the handicap have been placed (when taking jockeys claims into account). Those days unlikely to be seen again.

     

    Loads of big prices. Heaven Help Us 33s SP. Dame De Compagnie became the first clear favourite to win since Xenophon in '03. Knew it would happen if I lived long enough. 2019 William Henry at 28s from Wicklow Brave 28s. Winner paid £41 on the Tote. Bleu Berry 20s (34/1 on the Tote) Supasundae 16s (25s on tote), Whisper 14s, Medinas 33s (40s on tote, but gettable he smugly aftertimes) Son of Flicka 66s on eve of race (owner said he won a million when interviewed on RUK). Both Dame De Compagnie and Xenophon '03 were the Pricewise on the day selection. Olympian a joint favourite in '93. Diamond King 12/1 was another Pricewise Selection at 10s and drifted. He was Tom's only winner of the first two days in 2016. In 2015 Aux Ptit Soins jousted for favouritism with Activial before drifting to 9/1 close to the off.

     

    COURSE WINNERS - Heaven Help Us spoils the N Henderson stat. She joins Nicky's four winners, Dame De Compagnie, William Henry, Whisper and Spirit River to be only winners of this ever to be previous Cheltenham course winners. Heaven won the Oct Maiden Hurdle. Dame De had won twice here. Four others ran last year. To my credit one of Nicky's, Birchdale, was sixth. Nine others ran behind Dame de Compagnie, best after the Dame was 8th. 10 others ran in 2019, including 2nd and 3rd Wicklow Brave and Ballyandy, both previous Festival winners. (26 others have run in the previous five, only William Henry, The Taq and Long House Hall placed).

     

    DUBLIN RACING FESTIVAL - 2021 Heaven Help Us won the Mares H'Cap. 3rd that day was Tellmesomethinggirl, winner of the Mares Nov Hdle. Mrs Milner 7/1, fell at the 5th 2020 Black Tears won the Mares H'cap, then finished 2nd to Dame de. Thosedaysaregone in 3rd had won the £76k DRF Ladbroke H'cap 2019 It didn't work. Uradel in 7th best performing DRF combatant. 2018 Bleu Berry only 17th in the 2m DRF h'cap but Barra, 16s in 3rd, had finished 2nd in the DRF Mares H'cap.

     

    Irish trained - Have won the four of the last six with four different trainers. Getting more numbers in now Seven from 26 last year with a 1-4, 2020 13 from 25 resulting in a 2-3-4. 13 in 2019 Willie's Wicklow Brave the hero. 2018 Eight runners, five for Willie, two for Gordon achieved 1st and 3rd. 2017 12 ran. 1st, 4th, 5th. 2016 5 runners, 1st and 4th. 2015 8 ran 2nd at 25/1, 4th at 14s. 2014 again 8 runners, 3rd and 4th. 2013, a third place from five. 2012 - A 4th place from 4 triers, 2011 - 1st from 3.

     

    Makes a total of 9 winners and loads of places in the 27 renewals Numbers now getting up to 50% and at the top end of the handicap. 7 of the last 9 Irish trained winners (and the sixe of their last seven placed horses) not seen out since DRF. 2019 Wicklow Brave's last run was to be second to Espoir D'Allen at Naas 27th January. Which you attended Bryan, and watched, and ignored.

     

    W Mullins - In the last four has had one winner, one second and one fourth at 20s, 28s and 28s respectively. Bleu Berry broke his duck in 2008. He is 1-40 in the last 11 but things seem to be improving?

     

    G ELLIOTT - 17 runners in the past decade, 2 winners, 5 placed. 3 runners in 2020 Black Tears 12/1 2nd, Cracking Smart 33/1 in 4th after a tardy start. One runner last year for Mrs Foster - Grand Roi, the 6/1 favourite, unplaced

     

     

    Heaven Help Us first front runner to win was Olympian '93. And that was some front running. Dame De Compagnie 'midfield, always going well. William Henry 'from the clouds, at least 8th jumping the last, led post.' Bleu Berry 'held up', swooped with a lovely ride by last minute replacement Mark Walsh after Ruby got injured with Al Boum Photo in the RSA. Supasundae 'chased leaders', Whisper was 'always in the leading group'. Diamond King 'held up in midfield'.

     

    J.P. McManus’s record is 3 wins, 3 seconds, 2 thirds and three fourths. He does tend to run a few, though. (two last year, Birchdale 6th, five in 2020, the right one for money won, 8s to 5s fav, 7th the best after the Dame. Two in 2019, Apples Shakira somehow punted into 10/1 finished 6th. Two in 2018 best The Organist 25s in 5th. Five in 2017, best Scoir Mear in 5th, Blazer 4th 2016, Get Me Out Of Here 2nd 2014, 2013 Pendra 6/1 fav unpl, '12 Get Me Out Of Here 6/1 jt fav finished 2nd carrying 11st 12lb, Silverhand 4th at 25s)

     

    9 of the last 13 were in the top 8 in the weights. Heaven Help Us No 15.

     

    CITIPOST NOVICE HURDLE - To be looked out for. Both William Henry and Whisper in the Dai Walters colours won The 2m 4f Citipost Novice Hurdle run at Cheltenham in April. Whisper won it the season before his Coral Cup win, William Henry two years before his. Spirit River no longer a novice when came to Seven Barrows from France. The Citipost Novice hurdle has some role of honour. Won by Might Bite, Garde La Victoire, Restless Harry amongst others. Medinas was beaten in it. Captain Sunshine won it the year before coming second in the 2013 Pertemps. In 2019 the Citipost was won by Dashel Drasher. Favoir chasing this year.

     

    BLINKERS CHEEKPIECES ETC - Heaven Help Us cheekpieces joins Dame De Compagnie hood, William Henry cheekpieces and Sky's The Limit to be the only winning headgear wearers of this. There have been 113 triers over the last 18, Sky's The Limit in a first-time visor (had been blinkered in France). 34 ran over the last four years, next best William Henry 4th in first time cheekpieces. Before that 2014, Whisper's year, 2nd and 3rd home wore cheekpieces.

     

    OTHER TRAINERS - Pipe stable has had 3 wins and 3 seconds in this but little luck since the silence that welcomed Ilnamar home ’02 (92/1 on the Tote). Last four years and in 2013 the Pipes had nothing good enough to run in the Coral Cup. Changed times indeed. Dell' Arca on its own unpl in both 2015 and 2014. E O'Grady has trained two winners carrying 11st 8 and 11st 12 respectively. Not many recent runners.

    N Henderson's four make him top trainer in this, 4 wins in the last 12. Before 2010, 0 from 23 with only 3 placed.

     

    A King has had one winner and 4 placed from 20 runners, three unplaced in 2018. No runners last three years. P Hobbs trained Whats Up Boys in 2000 to be the only successful novice in this. Don't know whether to call Aux Ptit Soins a novice? He broke P Nicholls's duck in this race. Has had nine runners in this over the past seven years, five of which finished in the first seven. And with Skybet, you'd get paid.

     

    JOCKEYS - Four conditional jockeys have won this in its 27-year history. The daisy Richie Condon (7) last year. Three others unplaced. Nico de Boinvile (5) on Whisper was the first since Sam Jones (5) on Burntoakboy in 2007. Three ran in 2020, the Brouder brothers finishing a very respectable 3rd and 4th. Two finished well down the field in 2019. Four tried in 2018, James Bowen (3) 4th on William Henry, three in 2017, best Donagh Meyler in 4th. 2015 Peter Carberry (3) best in 5th.

     

    Barry Geraghty and Davy Russell have each won this three times. Davy has the current best record in this, with 12 rides, 3 wins, 4 places. Ruby never won it. 'Hated the race' he said, on that walk around the course Road To Cheltenham programme with Lydia. AP never won it either.

     

    Any bookie who doesn't pay at least 5 places in this, is stealing from you. Paddy Power and Skybet went 7 places last year.

     

    NEXT RACE>

     

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Wealth Warning.  Any decisions made (or not) or the basis of any information in this site are the sole responsibility of the reader.  There is no obligation on me to follow my own advice.  I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors.  (Bgault01@gmail.com, @gaultstats). Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races.  It is believed that Savello (2014 Grand Annual) took from Golden Chieftain (2013 3m hcap chase) the record for breaking the most stats in a race.  Stands now at 8.  Cole Harden equalised with 8 in the 2015 World Hurdle.  Remember, after you have cursed/laughed at me and given up totally on trends, they will come back to bite.  Always happens.  Usually on Gold Cup Day. 

Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouaged by Alcohol.  A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.