Coral Cup Tips – Day 2 – Cheltenham 2015

Coral Cup

Outright Betting

One of the most anticipated handicaps of the Cheltenham Festival is Wednesday’s Coral Cup over 2m5f (2.40), which could see another big priced winner could be on the cards – after all, the last 10 favourites of this event all lost.

Forget The Fav?
It’s a fact worth bearing in mind before tackling this handicap, in which the current 8/1 jolly, Aux Ptits Soins, looks to have been laid out for the race. Not that anyone in Britain has seen this 5yo on a racecourse, as he makes his debut for Paul Nicholls following three outings in France.

The last of those came when landing a decent conditions hurdle at Auteuil (2m1f, soft), and while he has talent, this would be some training feat to get Aux Ptits Soins to win this event on his stable bow, on the fastest ground experienced, following a 181-day break.

That final stat may also count against Aux Ptits Soins, as each of the last 10 winners raced during the previous 31-90 days…

Trends Summary
Of the last 10 Coral Cup winners…

10 were non-favourites
10 ran in a Grade 3, Listed, Class 2 or 3 last time – others were 0-90
9 ran during the last 31-90 days
8 came from the top seven in the betting – others were 2-191
8 won during their last three runs – others were 2-69
N Henderson won it twice

Activial To Finally Strike?
Runners with form in similar big-race handicaps can often be trusted to go well in these big races, and one with that profile is Harry Fry’s 5yo, Activial (10/1), who has been third in two of the biggest handicaps this season, namely The Ladbrokes at Ascot and Newbury’s Betfair Hurdle. The question is whether Activial will stay the extra half-a-mile?

Not that the trip will be a problem for Willie Mullins’ Arbre De Vie (14/1), who won over it in making it 2-3 over hurdles at Warwick last month (soft). That may have only been a small novice, but he showed big improvement to win by 11l and there looks more to come.

Follow The Market
Arbre De Vie also comes from the right end of the betting according to past records, which could similarly bode well for Tony Martin’s, Quick Jack (12/1), should he scrape in the bottom of the handicap. David Pipe’s, Unique De Cotte (14/1) will also need plenty to pull out if getting in the handicap, but he commands respect if making the cut.

As for those already in the top half of the handicap, then Nicky Henderson’s, Bear’s Affair (16/1) has a solid 4-8 hurdles record, though his two runner-up efforts in handicaps suggest he may need to drop a few pounds, while stablemate, Volnay De Thaix (16/1), will have to pull out a career best off top weight. He may have found 3m too much in the Fixed Brush at Haydock, but got to within 2l of Rock On Ruby in a Grade 2 back at 2m4f here last time.

Recommended Bets
Arbre De Vie was impressive in winning by 11l last time and Willie Mullins looks to have got him into the right end of the handicap.