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Newbury’s Coral Gold Cup: Complete Unknown and Mahler Mission head 23 remaining in feature | Racing News

All of the major players have stood their ground as 23 remain in the hunt for a wide-open Coral Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday following Monday’s confirmations.

The sponsors were unable to split matters at the top of the market on Monday lunchtime, with Complete Unknown their 7/1 joint-favourite after Paul Nicholls’ seven-year-old finished second to Gerri Colombe at Aintree in the spring before getting the better of Might I on his return to action at Newton Abbot.

Joining him at the head of the betting is John McConnell’s Colin Parker Chase runner-up Mahler Mission, with Gavin Cromwell’s Stumptown also in the mix for Ireland judged on his previous raiding efforts last term. Francis Casey’s Max Flamingo is another poised to cross the Irish Sea.

“All the market principals remain in contention for Saturday’s Coral Gold Cup, and in what promises to be a classy and competitive renewal, we can’t split Complete Unknown for the champion trainer Paul Nicholls, and the Irish raider Mahler Mission, at the head of our betting,” said Coral’s David Stevens.

Others of real interest include Jonjo O’Neill’s Monbeg Genius, who disappointed at Ascot last month but saw the form of his Cheltenham Festival third in the Ultima receive another boost when Fastorslow claimed Punchestown’s John Durkan on Sunday.

David Pipe’s Remastered has unfinished business with this contest, falling when going well in 2021 before returning to finish a close-up second 12 months ago.

Ahoy Senor jumps to the front in the Cotswold Chase
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Ahoy Senor will carry top-weight at Newbury if he runs

Lucinda Russell’s Ahoy Senor is set to shoulder top-weight dropping into handicap company after fluffing his lines at Wetherby on his return.

Dan Skelton’s Midnight River was well held in that Charlie Hall Chase and is one of two for the handler, along with Sail Away, attempting to give him back-to-back victories in a race won by Le Milos 12 months ago.

Also among the confirmations are Nicky Henderson’s Dusart, easy Chepstow winner Stolen Silver and 2021 Coral Gold Cup hero Cloudy Glen, representing the Betfair Chase-winning Venetia Williams operation.

Dusart battled back past Sounds Russian to win at Ayr for Nicky Henderson
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Dusart’s trainer Nicky Henderson has also won the race three times previously with his last victory coming in 2013 with Triolo D’Alene

Meanwhile, officials at the Berkshire track are continuing to monitor conditions ahead of a variable week, although clerk of the course George Hill is optimistic that despite a few potential challenges, there will be no major threat to the meeting.

Hill said: “We’re currently good to soft on the chase course and good to soft, soft in places, on the hurdles track. We had 4mm of rain overnight.

“The forecast is a bit variable between now and Saturday and there are lots of different outcomes which we will just continue to monitor and see how the latest models are looking like as we move through the next 24 hours.

“It’s a bit early to tell [if the meeting would be in danger] really, to be honest. There is wintery showers in there and frost risks – multiple things, really.

“It’s too early to say, but we’re still in November and there will be mild, wet nights and mild enough afternoons. So, we will just keep an eye on the forecast and react accordingly.”

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