Outside bet Medinas springs surprise in Coral Cup
MEDINAS sprang a 33-1 surprise for jockey Wayne Hutchinson and trainer Alan King in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham.
Hutchinson brought Medinas with a rattling run on the wide outside to challenge at the final flight, as the winner's stablemate Meister Eckhart and Fiveforthree from the Willie Mullins stable battled it out on the stands side.
Medinas, winner of the Welsh Champion Hurdle on his previous start, held the aces and swept to victory by two lengths from Meister Eckhart with Fiveforthree just a nose away. Master Of The Sea was fourth and Ericht fifth.
Hutchinson said: "He has such a big heart.
"He won off 140 (at Ffos Las) and has gone up to 148 - I didn't think he had anything to play with.
"He's like a little pony, but he fought like a terrier down to the last."
King said: "We've forgotten what it's like to have a winner here.
"The handicapper kept putting him (Medinas) up and up, but my goodness he's tough.
"I thought they were going too quick up front so full marks to the second to stay on.
"It's been a tough year - I haven't made any secret of that.
"We haven't had a vintage season, but the team have worked extremely hard - hopefully it's onwards and upwards.
"To be honest, I fancied the second horse more as I thought Medinas was handicapped out of it, but he's just kept improving.
"The second horse will be very exciting over a fence next season."