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Trends Tips – Coral Cup

Last year’s contest was won narrowly by the Nicky Henderson trained Whisper, a six-year-old second-season hurdler who had previous Cheltenham experience.

Age and experience are both noteworthy as nine of the past 14 winners were aged either five or six, eight of the last 10 winners were second-season hurdlers and each of the last five winners had been at least placed in hurdle races around Prestbury Park prior to their efforts in the Coral Cup.

As you would imagine, good handicap form is essential and, although not applicable to last year’s winner, three Coral Cup winners have come out of the past nine runnings of the Betfair Hurdle in particular.

Finally, despite winning at odds of 14/1, Whisper was sent off joint fifth in the betting, which is worth noting in itself as eight of the past 10 winners were in the first six in the market. Furthermore, in the last 10 renewals of the race, only two of the winners were priced above 16/1.

With those trends in mind, it is no surprise to see that both Activial (10/1) and Quick Jack (10/1) currently head the market as part of a trio of joint favourites. The former is a five-year-old second-season hurdler who finished placed in this year’s renewal of the Betfair Hurdle, whilst the latter is a six-year-old second-season hurdler who has tasted previous success at Cheltenham.

Unlike his market partners; the final joint favourite, Regal Encore (10/1), looks worthy of opposition if the trends are to be believed. This seven-year-old has failed to place at the course over hurdles and has also failed to contest, let alone run well in, the Betfair Hurdle.

One that does appeal however is the Paul Nicholls’ trained CALIPTO (14/1). This five-year-old is a second-season hurdler who’s chance was severely hindered in last year’s Triumph Hurdle after his stirrup leather broke. He has two placed efforts at the track to his name and also finished placed in this year’s Betfair Hurdle. He represents a stable that has been in imperious form this season and should run well based on the trends.