One must respect Coachella. At the last Borrowdale Park race meeting the seven-year-old son of Alado (GB) recorded his 11th win in the 1100m Pinnacle Plate – and once again Coachella was giving plenty of weight to all his rivals.
The start of this race was farcical with two false starts being called. According to the Stipendiary Board Report:’ a) The Starter called a false start when COACHELLA (J Penny) starting stall gate opened slower than the rest of the field. COACHELLA (J Penny), CHRISTOFLE (R Satombo), ARMSTRONG (N Takawira), TWILIGHT TRIP (T Gould) and WHITE WINTER (N Sibanda) were returned to the start, checked by the Veterinary Surgeon, passed fit to race and reloaded. All runners were restrained with the exception of VERDIER (B McNaughton) which bolted and was subsequently scratched by the Veterinary Surgeon.
‘Another false start was called when COACHELLA (J Penny) starting stall gate opened slow again, all horses were restrained and checked by the Veterinary Surgeon, passed fit to race and reloaded.’
After that I felt anything could happen and 200m from the finish did not rate Coachella’s chances. However, the plucky campaigner beat Armstrong, receiving 6kgs, by three-parts of a lengths, with White Winter and Christofle in the minor places.
Congratulations to the winning connections, including owner John Koumides and trainer, Bridget Stidolph.
Coachella is among the 10 horses nominated for the 1200m National Foods Gold Cup (Gr3) due to be run on Friday, December 11. Whether or not he will stand his ground remains to be seen but he has a sparkling Gold Cup history, having won this race in 2017 when he beat Super Good giving away 6kgs.
Coachella won his first race, a 1260m Maiden Plate, on 2016 Gold Cup Day, when he got the better of Roberta’s Passion. The following year he won the Gold Cup, and since then has given a good account of himself in each Gold Cup despite the handicapper’s best efforts.
Twilight Trip and What A Dandy finished in front of Coachella in 2018, both in receipt of at least 10 kgs. In 2019 this race was won by Verdier, who beat Coachella by 0.05 lengths when receiving 11 kgs.
The weights and draws for the 2020 Gold Cup are out, with acceptances on Monday. Coachella is set to carry 62 kgs and Verdier 52 kgs…
At this stage one can but wonder.