Coral Trophy: Trio dispute Kempton favouritism
Defending champion Cap Du Nord is one of three horses disputing favouritism in the Coral Trophy betting odds for Saturday’s feature race at Kempton.
Christian Williams sends the 10-year-old back into a battle just seven days after winning a valuable prize at Ascot. He carries a 5lb penalty for that success, a burden that is offset by the booking of talented Irish conditional Cian Quirke.
Williams said: “We’ve been very lucky with Cap Du Nord, I bought him off a good friend of mine and he’s looked after me. He’s been a wonderful horse from the day we got him, a great horse – he wins a big race for me every year. It’s wonderful prize money and we try to support the race with a runner.”
Back-to-back Cap? 👀
2022 @Coral Trophy winner CAP DU NORD heads the market for tomorrow’s 2023 renewal…
Who wins it? 👇
— The Jockey Club (@TheJockeyClub) February 24, 2023
The Evan Williams-trained gelding was pulled up 12 months ago and must contend with a 7lb rise in the weights for winning by 17 lengths over the course and distance on his latest appearance.
“He’s grand – he’s in great old form. He was pretty impressive the other day and we’ll have another go,” said the Llancarfan handler.
“We know he likes it round the track. He made a very bad mistake early last year – he stretched for the second and it was game over after that.
“We said before his last run that if we ran well, we wanted to try to get here. It’s a very competitive race, it’s full of very good horses and all we can do is have a damn good go.”
Having previously claimed the race with Gungadu (2008) and Rocky Creek (2015), champion trainer Paul Nicholls has a strong hand in his bid for a third success, with Saint Calvados also 11/2 while top-weight Frodon (8/1) and Enrilo (22/1) also feature.
Frodon drops in grade after finishing third in the King George and fifth in the Cotswold Chase on his two most recent outings, as does Saint Calvados after a fourth-placed finish in the Silviniaco Conti Chase. Enrilo, meanwhile, has not completed in his last three races.
Clondaw Castle has some big boots to fill as he bids to become trainer Tom George’s second dual Coral Trophy winner.
Clondaw Castle cruises to the Close Brothers Handicap Chase
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) February 27, 2021
The three-mile contest has a prestigious roll of honour, with the great Desert Orchid (1990), the ill-fated Gloria Victis (2000) and two Grand National heroes in Rhyme ‘N’ Reason (1988) and Rough Quest (1996) all previous winners.
Only two horses have won the race twice, with Docklands Express claiming back-to-back victories in 1991 and 1992 before George’s popular grey Nacarat struck gold in 2009 and 2012.
Nacarat also won the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby and the Aintree Bowl for the Slad-based trainer, who has high hopes for Clondaw Castle in this weekend’s feature event.
He subsequently spent 14 months on the sidelines but made a promising return when second in Kempton’s Silviniaco Conti Chase in January, setting him up for a bid to regain his Kempton crown.
“He had a good comeback run. It was a nice run over what was probably an inadequate trip for him and on ground that was a bit softer than ideal,” said George.
“We know he likes the track and three miles and this has been our target. His comeback run proved he retains his ability and he’s been in great form since, so fingers crossed. Nacarat won it twice, so let’s hope Clondaw Castle can follow suit.”
— Kempton Park Racecourse (@kemptonparkrace) February 24, 2023
Jacamar won at Kempton on Boxing Day last season and was victorious on his most recent appearance at Leicester. His trainer Milton Harris believes he could outrun his Coral Trophy betting odds of 22/1.
He said: “He’s not without a chance. He’s consistent, he ran well in a competitive race at Cheltenham before winning at Leicester and we’ve always had it in the back of our minds that he might be a three-miler.
“The ground conditions will be right for him and he seems in a really good place. It’s going to be hard to win, but it’s a very open race I would say.”
Coral Trophy betting odds
5/1 Cap Du Nord
11/2 Annsam, Saint Calvados
7/1 Our Power
9/1 Clondaw Castle
10/1 Flegmatik, Killer Kane
12/1 Killer Clown
View the latest horse racing odds
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication