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KING AND AYE; But Al's good lady gives nod in the wrong direction.

Byline: From Garry Owen at Cheltenham

TEN minutes before the start of the Coral Cup I was having a wee drink with Alan King's missus Rachel in Max McNeill's hospitality box.

The conversation went along the lines of: "Right Rachel, I've done my tank on Meister Eckhart in the Coral Cup, have I lost the plot?" To which the lovely Mrs King replied with a knowing smile: "No my dear, not at all."

A short while later her chap had indeed landed the Coral Cup. In fact he had the 1-2. Unfortunately for me, it was the wrong way round.

Much as I like Wayne Hutchinson, I thought I was doing the right thing in steaming into Aidan Coleman's mount. But as fate would have it, Medinas sprang a 33-1 surprise for Hutchinson and I was left greetin' into my Guinness again.

Hutchinson brought Medinas with a rattling run on the wide outside to challenge at the final flight, as stablemate Meister Eckhart and Fiveforthree from the Willie Mullins stable battled it out on the stands side.

Medinas proved too strong up the hill and swept to victory by two lengths from my life changer with Fiveforthree just a nose away. Master Of The Sea was fourth and Ericht fifth. A cool jockey 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."

Thanks for that Wayne, and thanks Rachel. A wee nod would've been nice.

I just knew things were not going to go smoothly when Rival D'Estruval came down at the second last, with the race at his mercy. There's no words in the English language can express the feeling only punters relate to.

Never one to roll over though, I was determined to take on Boston Bob in the RSA. After enjoying the hospitality of connections of Lord Windermere I was swaying to the value on offer on this game chaser.

JUMPER A few pints of Guinness later, I was confident the Lord would not be far away from the favourite come hell or high water.

and it It was a shame the favourite came down at the last, I still think the Lord would have won anyway, but fair play to one of the best jockeys on the National Hunt scene Davy Russell.

Winning trainer Jim Culloty told me: "He is an extremely good jumper and though he has been running over shorter I thought he would get the trip.

"He is a very good horse and this wasn't a fluke today."


OUTSIDER n IN Wayne and Medinas win it

HUTCH AND Z GO WIN IT The winning team, including jockey Hutchinson, celebrate the Medinas success
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 14, 2013
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