Diamond King Top Of The Pack For Coral Cup
For those who like handicaps, then day two’s Coral Cup over 2m5f (2.50pm) is one of the best events to get stuck in to over the four-day festival, and punters stand a fair chance of nailing a decent-priced winner, as nine of the last 10 winners of this returned 7/1 to 16/1.
Mullins’ Field Looking Great
The evidence suggests sticking to those in the top third of the betting, where Willie Mullins’, Great Field, lines-up as the 10/1 favourite.
This ex-French 5yo made a big impression on his debut for the yard when landing a non-handicap by over 4l at Leopardstown recently (2m2f, soft). It was a victory that had Mullins licking his lips at which handicap to run him in here following the race, and the likely stronger pace will suit.
Cup No.3 For Henderson?
It’s worth remembering, though, that Mullins has yet win the Coral Cup, unlike Nicky Henderson, who sent out two winners since 2010. Henderson has several interesting runners this time around, including the top-weight, Different Gravey (16/1), who bolted up when landing a valuable handicap at Ascot recently (2m4f, soft). He’ll be 11lb higher here, but looks a classy performer.
Paul Nicholls also tasted success in this handicap 12 months ago, and goes for the follow-up with his 5yo, Politologue (12/1), who won an uncompetitive Listed event last month (2m1f, heavy). He has been left on the same mark, but was previously beaten over 2m4f, which is the main concern.
Elliott’s Pair To Go Close
Gordon Elliott is another who visited the winner’s enclosure following this race (in 2011), and his 8yo, Diamond King, remains interesting at 12/1. Having finished strongly in a valuable handicap at Fairyhouse in November (2m), he was then stepped up to 2m4f at the start of the year when he quickened to win a small race.
Elliott also has the 5yo, Squouateur (14/1), who is 3-4 this season, including a couple of decent handicaps over 2m4f the last twice. The manner of both victories was very impressive, barely coming off the bridle in the latest of those last month. The manner in which he arrives late and does only enough suggests he could have more up his sleeve.
Rockerfeller Up For The Cup
Also impressive last time was Neil King’s, Lil Rockerfeller (14/1), who was third in a valuable Ascot handicap behind Rock The Kasbah (20/1) in January (2m4f), before landing a Grade 2 last month (2m3f, good to soft). The manner of that 9l victory has earned him a big weight, but such burdens have been overcome in this race down the years.
As for Rock The Kasbah’s chances, then Philip Hobbs’ 6yo has a fair weight considering that valuable win at Ascot, and while connections feel soft ground is required, he has ran just as well on a drier surface.
A mouth-watering renewal, in which Gordon Elliott looks to have a strong hand with his pair, Diamond King and Squouateur.
Backing both should they line-up would be the advice, but at this stage, Diamond King is already in the handicap, unlike the latter, and gets the vote.
*Prices correct at time of publication.