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2016 Cheltenham Festival ante post plays: Cup Final the Pertemps choice

David Metcalf | February 10, 2016

Cup Final has great value

Cup Final looks potentially well-ahead of the assessor and decent value at 10/1 with Coral in the ante post betting for Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday, March 17th.

The Nicky Henderson trained gelding has always been held in the highest regard, and was sent off odds-on to make a winning debut over hurdles at Taunton back in November 2013.

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Cup Final ran a blinder to finish a four length runner-up to the now 162-rated Irving, despite cutting his hind leg during the race.

The seven-year-old went on to shape with bags of promise when third on handicap debut at Cheltenham, before opening his account in good style when cosily beating Drum Valley by two lengths at Sandown off a mark of 127.

Form of Sandown victory very strong

Drum Valley is now rated 140, and the third home Uknowhatimeanharry – who was beaten a further 3 1/2 lengths – is unbeaten in three runs this season and rated 138.

That gave the form a rock solid look, and Cup Final duly took advantage of what looked a very workable mark of 132 to make a winning return to action at Musselburgh earlier in the month following a lengthy lay-off.

After being held-up in midfield, the son of Presenting made good headway three from home before challenging at the last and staying on strongly on the run-in to score by 1 1/2 lengths.

Cup Final only had to be driven out by jockey Barry Geraghty to score with more in hand than the winning margin suggests, and is sure to come on a bundle for the outing.

Musselburgh success guarantees a run

That race was also a qualifier for the Pertemps Final, and although Cup Final only had to finish in the first six to automatically get a ticket for it, he really needed to win it to get a high enough rating to ensure a place in the starting line-up.

The lowest rating needed to get in the last three runnings of the Pertemps Final has been 135, and Cup Final is likely to go up at least 6lb to 138 following his latest success.

Sandown Saturday

That will get him in nicely at the bottom of the handicap, and Cup Final remains unexposed and open to stacks more progress after just six turns over the obstacles.

Ideal profile to provide McManus with another big race winner

Cup Final also carries the famous green and gold colours of leading Irish owner J P McManus, who has won the race three times with Danny Connors (1991), Creon (2004) and Kadoun (2006).

McManus loves nothing more than than landing a punt in the big handicaps at Cheltenham Festival, and Cup Final has the ideal profile for the Pertemps and looks to have been plotted up to try and give him another.

Related

Coral’s ante post play: Cup Final at 8/1 in the Pertemps Final.

Read more previews and news on our dedicated Horse Racing section.

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