Coral Gold Cup Ante Post Tips: A Long Term Pick for Newbury Showpiece

After being called the Hennessy for what seemed an eternity, the former Ladbrokes Trophy has again rebranded this season to be the Coral Gold Cup
After being called the Hennessy for what seemed an eternity, the former Ladbrokes Trophy has again rebranded this season to be the Coral Gold Cup

Last season our main man Steve Chambers stunningly found the 40/1 winner Cloudy Glen in the 2021 Ladbrokes Trophy. He will undoubtedly be back with his thoughts on the race nearer the big day, but for now we will make do with the antepost opinions of Billy Grimshaw on the Newbury showpiece, set to take place this season on Saturday 26th November. The prestigious race has undergone a transformation and is now to be named the Coral Gold Cup...

Some true icons of the National Hunt game have won this race over the years, with perhaps none more iconic than the sensational weight defying Denman back in 2009. Looking further down the history books, the greatest steeplechaser of all time Arkle has a couple of Hennessy Gold Cups on his CV and although we may not see a winner in the league of the two aforementioned all time greats, we can still expect a wonderful spectacle.

Sitting atop the market at this stage are two horses embarking on their first season in open company, and two runners that are no strangers to crossing swords in Ahoy Senor and L'Homme Presse. A Plus Tard of course rightfully heads next season's Cheltenham Gold Cup market along with the monster that is Galopin Des Champs, however these two Coral Gold Cup Contenders will both be dreaming of racing's Blue Ribband at Prestbury Park come March. Winning here at Newbury off a big weight would go a long way to confirming their right to take their chance in the biggest race in Jumps racing and at 15/2 and 8/1 respectively it would be surprising to see either go off that big were they confirmed to be taking their chance nearer the time. L'Homme Presse got the better of Ahoy Senor at Cheltenham but revenge was swiftly taken at Aintree by Lucinda Russell's stable star and I would struggle to split the pair both for this contest and moving forward. They are definitely horses of immense promise but can't be tipped antepost with participation in doubt. 

Shan Blue put in one of the most memorable performances of last season when looking set to romp to the Charle Hall Chase before taking an untimely final flight tumble when many lengths clear. He had a long time out after this and then was no match for the relentless Allaho in the Ryanair, which is no disgrace. He was sent off favourite for the Betway Handicap Chase at Aintree next time out and although finishing second was no match for Sam Brown who romped to a 15 length success. After a summer on his back he could have been primed by the canny Skelton team for this race and he is not one to rule out lightly.

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Gericalt Roque would be a very interesting runner for David Pipe were he to take his chance, with the still relatively lightly raced six year old looking a horse of promise last season while still learning on the job. He was a good second in the Ultima when last seen and Pipe could easily have been minding him with a big pot such as this one in mind for his 2022/23 season opener. Dusart is another of the market leaders that would be intriguiging if lining up for the Seven Barrows yard, as he is undoubtedly talented but as has been proven by his lack of activity very fragile. Henderson would not send him here if not cherry ripe but he is not an option antepost to me. Gericalt Roque's conqueror Corach Rambler is in the odds grids and would be a live contender, although I'd prefer Pipe's runner to reverse the form, while Fiddlerontheroof is a wonderfully consistent horse for Joe Tizzard but finds winning difficult.

Hewick would be a fascinating Irish raider for Shark Hanlon if sent over, with the improving bet365 Gold Cup and Galway Plate winner looking to add another famous prize to his collection. He would undoubtedly be one of the best backed horses on the day so keep an ear out for anything about his running intentions and if hearing he is being aimed at Newbury it could be wise to take the price. There are other interesting contenders in the entry list, none more so than Remastered who looked like coming with a winning run in last season's race before a fall, but I am going to side with one of the outsiders at this stage, OSCAR ELITE.

His first appearance over fences last season saw him impress many people, including myself, with his bold jumping and travelling style. The son of Oscar was always bred to be a chaser and his cracking hurdling form was a bonus, but the crashing fall he took at Cheltenham on chasing debut seemed to knock the stuffing out of him. He never returned to that level throughout the rest of the campaign and his connections have revealed they think he had a wind issue that went undetected after his fall. It is a leap of faith to suggest he will be back to his very best now that is sorted this season, but he is still only young and was putting in his career best performance on seasonal reappearance last winter so clearly goes well fresh. Joe Tizzard has issued bullish reports of his rude health over the summer and I think he looks too big at odds of 25/1 for this prize when factoring in his obvious class and the suitability of a track like this to a relentless galloper like Oscar Elite.. 

Coral Gold Cup
Oscar Elite silk

Oscar Elite (EW)

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