Five great winners of the Coral Hurdle at Ascot
David Metcalf | 19 November 2016
Five great winners of the Coral Hurdle
As proud sponsors of the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday (14.40) we look back at five great horses to have won the extended 2m 3f contest.
Among the 10 entries for this year’s renewal is Alan King’s exciting Yanworth, currently a 12/1 shot with Coral for the 2016 Champion Hurdle.
Can he land the spoils before going on to achieve great things like our famous five?
Annie Power, 2013
Annie Power stayed on strongly to beat Zarkandar by five lengths in the 2013, running and has since gone on to establish herself as one of the best National Hunt mares of all-time.
Trained in Ireland by Willie Mullins she has won 12 of her 14 starts over hurdles and tasted defeat on just one occasion when she has stayed on her feet.
The eight-year-old enjoyed her finest hour when storming clear to land last year’s Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival by 4 1/2 lengths and followed up with a facile 18 length success in the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle.
Trained in France by Francios Doumen, Baracouda came with a sensational late run to mow down Mr Cool and land back-to-back runnings of the race in 2002.
He went on to successfully retain his World Hurdle Crown at the Cheltenham Festival and was one of the best stayers of the modern era winning 18 times and being placed on seven occasions in 27 runs over the obstacles.
Faugheen made a winning seasonal reappearance in the 2014 running of the Coral Hurdle when making virtually all to win unextended by 3 3/4 lengths from Blue Fashion.
The Willie Mullins trained eight-year-old, who has been dubbed “Faugheen The Machine”, went on to land the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton and the 2015 renewal of the Champion Hurdle.
He was hot favourite to retain his Champion Hurdle crown after landing another Christmas Hurdle and the 2016 Irish Champion Hurdle, only to be ruled out of the race through injury. He has also tasted defeat in just one of his 12 starts over hurdles.
Hardy Eustace 2006/07
Trained in Ireland by the late Dessie Hughes, Hardy Eustace was one of the toughest and most popular hurdlers in training who landed back-to-back runnings of the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2004/05.
He strolled to a facile 15 length success in the 2006 running of the Coral Hurdle before following up 12 months later with a typically gutsy 1/2 length success over Afsoun.
Silviniaco Conti, 2010
Since registering an easy seven length success in the 2010 renewal of the Coral Hurdle, the Paul Nicholls trained Silviniaco Conti has developed into a top class steeplechaser.
The 10-year-old is a multiple Grade 1 winner over the larger obstacles, and they include back-to-back victories in the King George VI Chase at Kempton in 2013/14. Has failed in three attempts to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup but has won 11 of his 24 starts over fences and is a real credit to connections.