Scheduled for this upcoming Saturday, the Coral Gold Cup marks the season’s initial significant test for jumps enthusiasts.

Covering just under three-and-a-quarter miles, the race is open to horses aged four and above and is formerly known as the Hennessy Gold Cup.

Notable winners include Mandarin in 1957 and the iconic Arkle, securing consecutive victories in 1964 and 1965.

Over the past twelve years, this race has catapulted several top chasers, with Gold Cup champions Denman (2007 & 2009), Bobs Worth (2012), and Native River (2016), along with Grand National victor Many Clouds (2014), gracing its winners’ list.

The race serves as a crucial indicator for future high-quality chases in the ongoing season and beyond, evident from its illustrious roll of honour.

Originally established as the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup in 1957 at Cheltenham, it found its way to Newbury in 1960.

The association with Hennessy persisted until the 60th running in 2016, marking British racing’s lengthiest commercial sponsorship at that time.

Ladbrokes took over sponsorship in 2017, renaming it the Ladbrokes Trophy until 2021. Coral stepped in as the title sponsor in 2022, solidifying its current identity.

A remarkable connection exists between this race and the Cheltenham Gold Cup itself, with nine horses claiming victories in both prestigious events.

Previous Coral Gold Cup Winners

Here are the Coral Gold Cup past winners for the last 10 renewals.

Each row details the year of the race, the horse that won along with the age & weight of the horse.

The trainer of the horse as well as the jockey is displayed along with the starting price the horse was sent off.

The race takes around six and a half minutes to complete.

Complete Unknown – Paul Nicholls

Incredibly, Paul Nicholls has only won this race three times since the turn of the Millennium with Strong Flow (2003) and Denman (2007 & 2009).

Complete Unknown is a useful horse on a flat track and has proved that at places including Ffos Las, Sandown, Kempton and here at Newbury.

He dropped back in trip to get the better of Might I on his seasonal reappearance.

The two times that he has tried this sort of trip in the past, he has been beaten though, so there are a few doubts about him lasting the distance.

It is far from impossible that he can improve, but others may be lurking here that could outstay him. The more rain that falls, the better his chances get.

Mahler Mission – John McConnell

Three times a winner at three miles and his wins have come at Navan, Perth and Doncaster.

He was a very unlucky to fall in the National Hunt Amateurs’ Chase at Cheltenham when seemingly having the race at his mercy.

A prep run at Carlisle over wholly inadequate two-and-a-half miles will have cleared the cobwebs and a return to this sort of trip is expected to suit.

He acts on a flat track and commands respect. The Irish have only taken this race once in the last ten years.

Monbeg Genius – Jonjo O’Neill

A winner of three chases last season including twice at his beloved Chepstow in novice handicap chases.

He was all the rage for the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham back in the spring and only found the likes of Corach Rambler and Fastorslow too strong.

His seasonal reappearance at Ascot was ultimately disappointing as he pulled up having blundered at the sixteenth fence.

That was hardly an ideal preparation and he has questions to answer now.

Midnight River – Dan Skelton

Midnight River has won four of his ten chases to date including the William Hill Handicap Chase at Aintree last April and the Paddy Power New Years’ Day Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.

He was clearly in need of the run when firmly put in his place, on his seasonal reappearance in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby behind Gentlemansgame.

He can be expected to improve for that effort today and no surprise to see him in with a much better chance here.

Stolen Silver – Sam Thomas

Relished the step up to three miles when making his seasonal reappearance at Chepstow back in October when taking the Native River Handicap Chase.

A three-time winner over fences, the eight-year-old comes here very much at the top of his game.

The yard continues to be in fine form but it seems that he prefers a track with undulations.

He has raced at flat tracks including Warwick, Sandown, Ascot and Aintree in the past and has never fared well. It is just something to bear in mind.

Stumptown – Gavin Cromwell

Will need to find some serious improvement on what we have seen so far this season.

Stumptown is a two-time chase winner though who needs three miles at a minimum.

He has been beaten a combined forty-two lengths so far this season and he gives the impression that he goes a little bit better on decent ground.

He has been raised another five pounds since losing out in a thriller at Cheltenham in the Kim Muir and he just seems to be in the grip of the handicapper at present.

Zanza – Phillip Hobbs

Ran out an emphatic winner on this card last year when taking the Peter O’Sullivan Handicap Chase by a dozen lengths.

He did come into that race in a bit of better form though. Last time out he was well beaten (almost a distance over hurdles) by the likes of Young Butler and Emitom.

He needs to find significant improvement in order to get involved here today.

Whilst he is expected to leave that first run of the season well and truly behind, a few of these look a lot sharper and whilst his last two runs have come at this track, he may well struggle in this company.

Kitty’s Light – Christian Williams

This seven-year-old gelding seems to have been around forever and he has already had a couple of spins over hurdles this season in order to achieve peak fitness coming into this.

He is a through stayer and won three races back to back on similar flat tracks (Newcastle, Ayr and Sandown) earlier in the year.

The races he won are really tough to win (Eider Chase, Scottish Grand National and the Bet365 Gold Cup).

This trip would be an absolute minimum for him, but he has run here a few times in the past and just doesn’t seem to act on this track.

There will be better days ahead for him this year.

Our Power – Sam Thomas

Our Power is expected to shape much better here this afternoon having dusted off the cobwebs over the course and distance last month in a decent handicap hurdle won by Young Butler.

He won two similar races to this last season on flattish tracks including the Coral Trophy at Kempton and the London Gold Cup at Ascot.

The last time he raced at this track was in 2018 where he won the second hurdles race of his career.

He looks to be the better option of the Sam Thomas pair, and could well surprise a few.

Remastered – David Pipe

Bids to become the first ten-year-old to win this race since Sizing Tennessee back in 2018 and was just touched off by Le Milos in this race last year.

His comeback was a little disappointing at Aintree last month, where he had a prep run over hurdles.

He was still beaten twenty-four lengths though and it seemed a little lacklustre behind Gentleman At Arms.

The return to fences will certainly be in his favour but he is eight pounds higher than last year and that cannot be favourable.

Twig – Ben Pauling

Has made the frame in all six chase starts to date and winning four of them.

Three miles is an absolute minimum for this talented eight-year-old. He has won at this track previously albeit over hurdles last March.

He has improved significantly for going chasing and made an encouraging seasonal reappearance when runner up to The Real Whacker on their seasonal reappearances at Cheltenham last time out.

He would appreciate it more if the rain stayed away though, with most of his successes coming on genuine good ground. A likely each way contender.

Ahoy Senor – Lucinda Russell

Ahoy Senor has been a bit hit and miss of late particularly over the last year.

His sole win last season came at Cheltenham where he won a less than competitive Cotswold Chase.

The form of that race has not worked out particularly well and he seems to be finding life tough at the top.

On the plus side, he did win a novice chase over this course and distance a couple of years ago, but the run that he produced in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby last time was deplorable.

Questions remain as to whether he can bounce back.

Datsalrightgino – Jamie Snowden

Disappointing when last sighted at Aintree chasing home Jetoile at the end of October.

Whilst that was his seasonal reappearance and he can be expected to improve upon it, this trip of three-and-a-quarter miles is very much a step into the unknown.

Therefore, stamina is a concern and trying to win this off a career high mark could well be another issue. Today just seems unlikely to be his day.

Eldorado Allen – Joe Tizzard

Tends to hold his form for a while when he finds it and he was a fair third to Victtorino at Ascot in a similar event last time out.

A little rain would help his cause and he has won a Grade 2 race at this track in the past.

Eldorado Allen has promised to stay as far as this in the past and he looks to have solid credentials once more.

He has been around the block a few times but he has shown that he handles flat tracks well and could sneak a place at best.

Ga Law – Jamie Snowden

He had a prep run at the beginning of November in the Bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby.

That was his first outing over hurdles in a couple of years and that was obvious as he was beaten thirty-six lengths having made plenty of mistakes on the way around.

A return to the larger fences will suit the seven-year-old but he needs to iron out those mistakes.

He has not looked the same horse since winning the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham last year and a return to handicap company will be welcome.

A lot of faith is required to think he can get involved here though.

Shakem Up ‘Arry – Ben Pauling

A winner of two of his ten chases to date and has made the frame on another three occasions.

Sent off as favourite on his seasonal return at Stratford, but pulled up having weakened quickly three from home.

He was the highest rated runner in the race that day, so the effort was more than a little disappointing.

There will also be questions asked about whether he has the stamina for contest as gruelling such as this.

He can make an impact this season if fully over that last run but highly doubtful that it will be today.

Cloudy Glen – Venetia Williams

Will be trying to repeat the heroics of Denman who was the last horse to win this in alternate seasons.

Although a year older, Cloudy Glen put in a good prep for this when second at Cheltenham in the Jewson Handicap Chase.

He carried top weight on that occasions and beat some much younger rivals in the process.

The yard are firing on all cylinders at the moment, so despite his advancing years, he could well run a massive race at a big price.

Dusart – Nicky Henderson

Has not been seen since being brought down in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr back in April.

If he comes back to anywhere near, the form he showed as a novice, he would look an exciting prospect, but the cards he has been dealt lately, suggest that he will struggle to complete.

Asides from the Ayr race, he also pulled up at Cheltenham last January in the Cotswold Chase.

He is clearly a fragile type and his confidence has taken some knocks. Talented on his day but stamina unproven and not one to have the utmost faith in.

Bill Baxter – Warren Greatrex

Was a game winner of the Topham Chase at Aintree last season. He seemed to be very much in need of the run when making his seasonal reappearance at Carlisle last month.

No surprise to see him improve again this season, but he has never been tested over a trip this far.

Has a lot of work to do in order to turn around recent form with Mahler Mission.

Would be more confident if this was over two-and-a-half miles, so for today, he is reluctantly overlooked here.

Max Flamingo – Francis Casey

Has not looked like winning any race since taking a novice chase at Killarney in May 2022.

He was last seen out in a handicap at Down Royal and was beaten eight lengths by Magic Tricks.

That form is clearly not good enough and although getting better with each start this season, he would be better served by aiming his sights a bit lower.

He looks completely out of his depth against some of these far lesser exposed sorts.

The Irish have only had one of their last forty runners in this race win. That statistic will only get worse if this one lines up.

Forecast Starting Prices

  • 5/1 Complete Unknown
  • 7/1 Monbeg Genius
  • 17/2 Mahler Mission
  • 15/2 Stumptown
  • 10/1 Midnight River
  • 12/1 Stolen Silver
  • 14/1 Remastered
  • 14/1 Our Power
  • 14/1 Kitty’s Light
  • 14/1 Ahoy Senor
  • 14/1 Bill Baxter
  • 16/1 Zanza
  • 16/1 Datsalrightgino
  • 16/1 Dusart
  • 25/1 Cloudy Glen
  • 25/1 Eldorado Allen
  • 25/1 Twig
  • 33/1 Shakem Up’arry
  • 33/1 Ga Law
  • 66/1 Max Flamingo

Conclusion

Midnight River could well be the one to side with in this fascinating renewal of the Coral Gold Cup.

He proved himself repeatedly in similar handicaps last year and with a prep run under his belt for this season, he could now be at peak fitness.

The yard seem to be enjoying more success with their chasers than their hurdlers this year and with him already proven on a flat track, he looks the one to side with.

There are many dangers though and none more so than Mahler Mission. This return to a much longer trip ought to suit and he could be difficult to peg back if allowed a soft lead.

He had the amateur race at Cheltenham last year at his mercy last year when falling, but this track is not as challenging and he looks sure to run well.

Our Power is preferred of the Sam Thomas trained duo as he has better form on flatter tracks than Stolen Silver.

It would also be foolish to rule out Cloudy Glen given his excellent reappearance and he will be bidding to win this race for the second time in three seasons.

Coral Gold Cup 2023 Tips & Prediction

MIDNIGHT RIVER
MAHLER MISSION
OUR POWER
CLOUDY GLEN