Twenty Declared For Coral Gold Cup
A top-class field of twenty runners remain in the Coral Gold Cup following declarations today. The £250,000 premier handicap over 3m2f is the feature race of Newbury’s National Hunt season and is set to be a competitive renewal.
Complete Unknown (Paul Nicholls) currently heads the betting in the wide-open race and comes into Saturday with strong form having finished runner up to dual Grade 1 winner Gerri Colombe in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase at Aintree. He made a winning seasonal reappearance at Newton Abbot on heavy ground following wind surgery in the summer.
The John McConnell trained Mahler Mission bids to become the first Irish trained winner since Total Recall in 2017. The seven-year-old comes into the race after a promising prep run at Carlisle over an unsuited trip of 2m4f. The front runner looked a proven stayer last year and McConnell is pleased with how preparations have gone: “Mahler Mission has got through all his work in good form, everything has gone well in the prep so looking forward to the day now. It’s obviously a very competitive race but he goes there with a good chance hopefully. We pray the weather gods are good to us and don’t make it too cold in the coming days and we get there on Saturday.”
The prep run for Jonjo O’Neill’s runner Monbeg Genius didn’t go to plan when pulling up three out in the Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot. Connections will be hoping the proven stayer will bounce back to the form he showed at the end of last season, notably finishing third behind 2023 Grand National winner Corach Rambler and Fastorslow, now a dual Grade 1 winner, in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.
The 2022 winning combination of Harry and Dan Skelton who won the race with Le Milos bid for back-to-back victories with Midnight River. The winner of The Freebooter Handicap was well held in his seasonal reappearance in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. Ireland is also represented by the Gavin Cromwell trained Stumptown. The runner up in the Kim Muir off 135, he is now rated 143 and coming from a stable in very good form.
Ahoy Senor, top rated in the field carries 12 stone, not since 1984 has the winner carried 12 stone when Burrough Hill Lad won under John Francome. The Lucinda Russell trained front runner has only run at Newbury once previously when winning the Grade 2 John Francome Novices’ Chase in 2021. He bids to continue his 100% strike rate at the Berkshire track.
The Scottish Grand National and bet365 Gold Cup winner, Kitty’s Light (Christian Williams), will be partnered for the first time by Nick Schofield with regular rider Jack Tudor committed to last year’s runner up Remastered for the David Pipe team.
Cloth Cap for the in-form Venetia Williams team bids to join the list of only three horses, Mandarin, Arkle and Denman, who have won the race twice after landing victory back in 2021. Denman was ridden to his first victory in 2007 by Sam Thomas who also seeks to join the exclusive list of the late Andy Turnell and Paul Nicholls to both ride and train the winner of the race with his pair of runners, Stolen Silver and Our Power.
Ga Law and Datsalrightgino from the Jamie Snowden team and Bill Baxter trained by Warren Greatrex also hold declarations in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle. Bill Baxter is declared to be ridden in the Coral Gold Cup for the first time by Paul O’Brien.
Two-day passes have sold out for the bumper weekend, but individual day tickets are available online – at www.newburyracecourse.co.uk – until the weekend and then on the gate on Friday & Saturday.