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Killer Clown to land the Coral Trophy crown? Big race preview, plus three to follow

24 Feb 2023
One of the season’s most competitive handicaps, the Coral Trophy, has once again attracted a stellar line-up, and while numbers are down slightly, the race is certainly not lacking in depth.
The horse that punters have come for all week leading up to this has been the Paul Nicholls-trained Saint Calvados. Available at 16/1 earlier this week, he’s now been backed into a third of that price, and while Harry Cobden taking over in the saddle is certainly a positive, there could be some more favourably treated rivals in opposition.
Evan Williams’ Annsam will have been on plenty of people’s minds for this after winning by 17 lengths over C&D last month. A 7lb rise in this more competitive race certainly makes life tougher, but that was a career best last time, and if he steps forward again, he could be capable of getting involved.
Following his victory at Ascot last Saturday, Cap Du Nord has a quick turnaround to overcome if he’s to become the first back-to-back winner of this since Docklands Express in 1992. He slipped back down to his last winning mark before his win last weekend, and with the talented Cian Quirke’s claim offsetting his 5lb penalty, he’s another who should be involved at the business end.
Frodon will undoubtedly have his supporters off top-weight at a course that he excels at, but away from the head of the market, the one that makes the most appeal is Emma Lavelle’s KILLER CLOWN. Two of his three career wins have come at Kempton, and he’s slipped back down to a very tempting mark, so with his stable hitting top form in recent weeks, he makes plenty of appeal at a double-figure price.
Three to follow
14:18 Newcastle – Heroique De Maulde
Brian Hughes and James Ewart form a formidable partnership when teaming up, as was apparent when Heroique De Maulde got off the mark for the yard at Doncaster earlier this month.
Despite idling late on, he always looked in control, and a 2lb rise for that victory looks very generous indeed. If he can get into a good rhythm once again, a stiff two miles round Newcastle should play to his strengths, so he should take some stopping in the first-time cheekpieces.
15:25 Newcastle – Kitty’s Light
Christian Williams won this last year with the progressive Win My Wings, and he looks to have a huge chance of making it back-to-back Eider Chases with the well-handicapped Kitty’s Light.
He showed a real aptitude for marathon trips when a staying-on second behind the aforementioned Win My Wings in last year’s Scottish National, and incredibly he’s now 11lb below that mark. Admittedly he’s struggled so far this season, but this stiffer test will certainly suit, and barring an accident, I’ll be amazed if Kitty’s Light doesn’t go extremely close here.
15:40 Kempton – Ukantango
Gary Moore’s horse Hansard has shown a very useful level form since joining from Charles O’Brien, and although he could take plenty of stopping, at the prices, Ukantango makes much more appeal for the Olly Murphy team.
All his wins to date have come on decent ground, so it was no surprise to see him struggle in testing conditions in the Grade 1 Tolworth at Sandown last time. Prior to that he was a creditable second behind Fennor Cross in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham when bidding for a four-timer, so with conditions likely to be in his favour, he looks capable of getting back on track at a course that should suit him well.

Lewis Knowles, Coral PR Executive
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