Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Coral Cup tips

A tricky handicap hurdle, but then that’s no surprise as it is sponsored by a bookmaking firm and tends to be one of the most hotly contested handicap hurdles at the entire Festival. However, like the handicap chase on the first day it can once again pay to keep last-time-out winners on your side. That statistic alone would have found you the last four winners and six of the last seven winners of the Coral Cup and there are a few other trends and patterns that can be really helpful in deconstructing this fiendish handicap.

First of all the age group statistics can really help with those aged 5-6-7 the group to concentrate on, horses above that threshold have really struggled in this event over the past 11 years returning a record that reads 1-93. Those placing Cheltenham 2012 bets should remember this.

The Irish have to be respected and when Carlito Brigante won very easily last season he was recording a seventh win for the raiders, which is terrific given that they have supplied less than one-fifth of the total runners since 1993. The home challenge has held their own in this race though but unlike the Irish raiders who seem to be able to come into the race off one race, no GB-trained horse has won this race having had just the one run and they also have a very poor record when they are absent for seven weeks or more. So in a nutshell the Irish horse can come into the race off a break and being lightly raced but we wouldn’t want to see that preparation repeated by a British challenger. People following the Cheltenham betting should remember this.

One of the stranger and more quirky facts about the Coral Cup is that horses that were second last time out have a terrible record in the race and they are 0-72 in the contest.

This being a tough handicap it usually pays to have had a reasonable amount of hurdling experience although ideally that should have come in handicap company and not as a novice hurdler, these handicaps at the Festival will be run at a much quicker pace than most novice hurdles and experience of that genre is important.

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