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Coral Hurdle: Horse-by-horse information to Saturday’s large Ascot race, dwell on Sky Sports activities Racing | Racing Information

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Saturday’s Coral Hurdle (2:05) offers an early-season goal for a few of the greatest middle-distance hurdlers over 2m 3.5f at Ascot.

Huge names to win this Grade Two prize lately embrace Annie Energy (2013), Faugheen (2014) and Rock On Ruby (2015), whereas final yr’s winner Goshen will bid to emulate the likes of Baracouda (2001, 2002), Hardy Eustace (2006, 2007) and If The Cap Suits (2018, 2019) by successful back-to-back renewals for coach Gary Moore.

Nicky Henderson is the coach with the perfect file within the race, nevertheless, having received it on 4 events since 2008, with Seven Barrows represented this time round by the one mare within the line-up in Theatre Glory.

Tom Chilman from attheraces takes a detailed have a look at every of the 5 runners….

1. GOSHEN

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Jockey: Niall Houlihan, Coach: Gary Moore

Final yr’s winner returns to defend his crown however for the primary time in his 19-race Nationwide Hunt profession the seven-year-old might be with out the companies of Jamie Moore, following a latest fall at Lingfield. Niall Houlihan, conditional jockey for the yard, represents an ready deputy, and he’ll know higher than most the difficulties that include driving the enigmatic 154-rated hurdler, although nothing can replicate racing itself, in fact.

Picture:
Goshen jumps to victory in final yr’s Coral Hurdle at Ascot

Nonetheless, that is not less than a hurdles contest, and a Grade Two one at that, with Goshen’s convincing victory on this race 12 months in the past securing his third such win at this stage (the opposite two coming in Wincanton’s Kingwell Hurdle in 2021 and 2022). Runner-up efforts in final season’s Lengthy Stroll (3m 0.5f) at Kempton and Choose Hurdle (2m 5.5f) at Sandown instructed his future could lie over additional, however he ought to put up battle right here first – ought to being the operative phrase.

2. SCEAU ROYAL

J: Tom Bellamy, T: Alan King

A high-class performer for connections for the perfect a part of a decade, Alan King’s likeable veteran did not repeat his 2022 Listed success at Kempton final month – subsequently his solely win in an in any other case honourable six-race marketing campaign – and now arrives right here on the lookout for his first victory in Grade Two firm in over two years.

Sceau Royal
Picture:
Sceau Royal continues to be going robust on the age of 11

Surprisingly, this would be the 11-year-old’s first run at Ascot, and his two seconds at this stage final season within the Elite Hurdle (1m 7f) at Wincanton and Nationwide Spirit (2m 3f) at Fontwell would give hope that he can not less than be aggressive right here. Nevertheless, with common pilot Daryl Jacob getting the decision to trip Bravemansgame up at Haydock, coupled with the actual fact the now Tom Bellamy-partnered runner is but to win over additional than 2m 1f in all his profession begins, it might be considerably disappointing if he have been to show the perfect of those.

3. STRONG LEADER

J: Sean Bowen, T: Olly Murphy

The thrill round Olly Murphy’s progressive novice hurdler actually took one thing of successful within the Welsh Champion Hurdle (2m) final month, with the six-year-old trailing house some 20 lengths final of the 10-runner subject. With little in the best way of excuses for that disappointing effort, it could have simply been a case of racing over an insufficient journey on unfavourable floor (formally good to tender, tender in locations, however showing softer underfoot) at a course that didn’t swimsuit.

One factor that’s for certain is Robust Chief could be a good bit shorter for this had he not turned up at Ffos Las, given the energy of his kind in novice firm final season. Following victories at Uttoxeter (2m) and Aintree (2m 1f), he made it a hat-trick of wins at Southwell (2m) earlier than proving the perfect of the British within the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (ninth). A month later at Aintree, Robust Chief improved additional to complete a staying-on second within the Prime Novices’ Hurdle, and he may simply be underestimated right here regardless of having what seems to be his splendid situations.

4. BLUEKING D’OROUX

J: Harry Cobden, T: Paul Nicholls

The only real four-year-old runner within the subject, Paul Nicholls’ French recruit made a reasonably inauspicious begin to life for his new yard when pulled up on debut in a Grade Two juvenile at Cheltenham (2m 0.5f) round this time final yr. The vibes for the previous Arnaud Chaille-Chaille runner have been robust sufficient to see him despatched off 6/4 favorite for that graded contest, and he was once more very disappointing when despatched off an analogous value in a lesser occasion at Taunton (2m 0.5f) the next month.

Angus Cheleda riding Blueking D'Oroux clear the last to win The Royal Ascot Racing Club Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Ascot
Picture:
Blueking D’Oroux scores at Ascot in April

Unsurprisingly, a wind operation was quickly on the playing cards, and three months later Blueking D’Oroux appeared a special animal when staying on strongly to land a 1m 7.5f juvenile handicap hurdle at Ascot from a better-fancied stablemate. A stable second beneath a winners’ penalty at Aintree (2m 0.5f) simply 12 days later was one other step ahead, as was his second success for the yard on his return within the Masterson Holdings Hurdle (2m 0.5f) at Cheltenham final month. This calls for extra upped in grade and distance, nevertheless.

5. THEATRE GLORY

J: Nico de Boinville, T: Nicky Henderson

A twin Listed-winning mare for a yard that normally does effectively with them, Theatre Glory bids to go two locations higher than when final seen ending third in Sandown’s Choose Hurdle (2m 5.5f) again in April. Simply over a size forward of the six-year-old that day was Goshen, with Gary Moore’s runner-up showing to outstay the two/1 favorite on his beneficial tender floor, however there’s each cause to consider the daughter of Fame And Glory can reverse that kind right here.

Theatre Glory ridden by Nico de Boinville on their way to winning the racingtv.com/freemonth Mares' Novices' Hurdle at Huntingdon
Picture:
Theatre Glory on her technique to victory at Huntingdon two years in the past

After unseating her rider within the Gerry Feilden final November, she then ran a cracker (once more on unsuitably tender floor) to assert third in a 2m 5f handicap at Kempton earlier than producing her greatest efficiency so far in a Listed contest at Warwick (2m 5f), slamming three 140+ mares by 11 lengths on good floor. That seems to be the important thing to her, although she nonetheless ran respectably sufficient to complete sixth within the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham (tender) previous to her newest effort at Sandown. Assuming the rain stays away, she seems a participant.

TOM’S VERDICT:

A decent-looking affair regardless of the small subject, and, as with most races that he runs in, this largely revolves round which Goshen turns up. If it’s the similar model that noticed him win this by a snug margin 12 months in the past, he’s an apparent risk to all. However with query marks over his splendid journey (may now want additional) and with a brand new associate on board, it could show greatest to swerve him on this event.

Sceau Royal and Blueking D’Oroux arrive at reverse ends of their respective racing careers, with neither but to show themselves over this intermediate journey, so the pair to deal with could grow to be STRONG LEADER and Theatre Glory. The latter is more likely to get her favoured higher floor, whereas Nicky Henderson may hardly be in higher kind for this time of yr, however slight choice is for Olly Murphy’s cost as he seems to rebuild his somewhat-tainted repute. Connections have constantly acknowledged the six-year-old will enhance for this distance on higher floor, so there are unlikely to be any excuses ought to their second-season hurdler fail to fireplace once more right here.

Watch all of the motion from Saturday’s assembly at Ascot dwell on Sky Sports activities Racing with the primary race at 12.20pm.



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