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Hutchinson celebrates Coral Cup victory
6:00am Thursday 14th March 2013 in Sport
SWINDON jockey Wayne Hutchinson branded Medinas a “warrior and a terrier” after claiming the Coral Cup on day two of the Cheltenham Festival yesterday.
Hutchinson led Alan King’s horse home ahead of stablemate Meister Eckhart and Willie Mullins’ Fiveforthree to take the £45,560 prize in the fourth race of day two of the Festival, after outrunning an outstanding field.
The pair produced a sensational final burst down the home straight to win by two lengths in front of around 70,000 spectators at the world’s most prestigous jump racing spectacular.
After being heavily hit by the handicapper following a tremendous showing in the Welsh Champion Hurdle in Ffos Las recently, neither Hutchinson nor King expected Medinas to perform quite how he did on the biggest stage of them all.
Hutchinson said: “He’s been a great pony. He won off 1.40, he went up eight pounds after the Welsh Champion Hurdle and I thought it might have been too much. “He’s such a warrior and a terrier. He probably only stands at 15.1. He has plenty of ability and the heart to go with it.”
Hutchinson, number two jockey to Robert ‘Choc’ Thornton in the King yard, has had the pick of the rides at the Festival after his colleague was ruled out for the rest of the season through injury.
“It’s horrible for Choc,” he said. “Fortunately I was going to ride this lad anyway. It’s horrible but it’s part of the sport. I hope my dad had a pound each way on it.” Hutchinson has previously enjoyed victory at Cheltenham onboard Oh Crick, in the Grand Annual in 2009, but for him this was a little more special.
On his Sporting Life blog last night, he wrote: “For the whole crowd to still be there and welcome me in was amazing. This is what everybody gears up to all year and these are the days at the Cheltenham Festival that you do it all for and get your real kicks.”
King was delighted with the victory after a difficult year at his stables. The Barbury Castle trainer has lost star assets Salden Licht and Bobbyjack to illness and injury respectively in recent months.
He said: “It was amazing. I just felt the handicapper had him but he keeps coming back for more. He’s an incredibly tough horse.
“We’ve had a tough season, it’s not been going great, and they’ve been working so hard – from my head lads to my assistants – huge credit to them.”