Everything you need to know about Coral Champions Club & Annie Mc
Our overview of all the details you need to know
It’s The International meeting at Cheltenham this weekend, with Coral Champions Club’s Annie Mc running in Saturday’s Grade 3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase.
But you may be wondering, what is the Coral Champions Club? And who is the Coral Champions Club-owned Annie Mc? We’re giving you all the key details you need to know.
What is the Coral Champions Club?
Launched in 2012, the Coral Champions Club is the only free to join club of its kind, giving members the once-in-a-lifetime experience of becoming a racehorse owner at some of the biggest horse racing meetings.
We want as many people as possible to have a greater involvement in the sport they’re passionate about, but without the cost.
Through the Coral Champions Club, we’re able to offer the complete racehorse ownership experience, including stable visits, racecourse hospitality, weekly training updates and much, much more.
Our stable visits include full behind the scenes access in the build-up to the big events, opening up stable doors which rarely get opened.
At this year’s Cheltenham Festival, six Coral Champions Club members enjoyed Annie Mc’s run in the Marsh Novices’ Chase as an owner, but that’s not the last opportunity there’ll be.
Keep your eyes peeled on all our social media channels for more news, as we’ll have plenty of opportunities to look forward to and get involved with throughout 2021. There’s ambassadorial content from the likes of Joe Tizzard, Tom Scudamore, Jim Crowley, Chris Hughes and more.
Who is Annie Mc?
Coral Champions Club’s Annie Mc is a six-year-old bay mare, who was bred in Ireland, a nation renowned for producing high class bloodstock. She is a daughter of the sire Mahler, who has sired some very useful sorts including Sutton Place, Ok Corral and Ms Farfois.
Her first run came as a four-year-old, in the Mares Maiden at Dromahane, an Irish point-to-point track well known for its part in producing quality horses. She jumped well overall though soundly beaten on by Honeysuckle, who was sold for €110k shortly afterwards.
She was the 5/2 favourite in her second start at Bertlemy, another credible point-to-point course. She missed out narrowly again, this time to a very useful mare in the form of Silver Forever, who has since joined Paul Nicholls’ yard.
Her first win came in her fifth run at Chepstow in January 2019, with four more career victories at Newbury, Wincanton, Wetherby and Bangor to follow since.
In what was her biggest career win to date, Annie Mc was the winner of the Grade 2 EDF & TBA Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle Series Final at Newbury in March 2019. That was followed by a positive first season over fences, which saw her win three times, before she ran with great credit at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, finishing ninth behind Samcro in the Grade 1 Marsh Novices’ Chase.
Annie Mc is trained at the state-of-the-art Jackdaws Castle training complex in the Cotswolds by Jonjo O’Neill, who has reached virtually every height there is to offer in this sport. Throughout his career, through the highs and lows, his love of horseracing, his affinity to his horses and thirst for success has never changed.
In his time as a jockey, he rode 901 winners in a stunning 16-year career, becoming one of the greatest jump jockeys of all time. He’s most widely remembered for his brilliant performances on Dawn Run, the only horse to win the Champion Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup.
As a trainer, he’s had the privilege of training the likes of the Grand National winner Don’t Push It and the Cheltenham Gold Cup hero, Synchronised. He also has a top-quality team of jockeys at his disposal and takes pride in developing the careers of young riders, including his son, Jonjo Jr, who is Coral Champions Club’s Annie Mc’s regular jockey, being on board her for the last 10 runs.
Who is Chris Hughes?
Chris Hughes is a leading TV personality who continues to act as an official ambassador for the Coral Champions Club.
Brought up in the Cotswolds, the heart of National Hunt racing country, Chris counts a number of leading jockeys and racing figures as close friends.
As a keen rider himself, Chris made his first appearance for Coral in 2018, where he finished fifth in his competitive debut as a jockey in a charity Flat race at York Racecourse. He has since been a regular member of the ITV Racing presenting team.
He’s gone on to form a close, emotional bond with Annie Mc, regularly riding her on the gallops at Jackdaws Castle, and documenting his love for her on his social media channels.
Chris attends many of the race meetings when Coral Champions Club horses are in action, giving members the opportunity to meet him at events.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.