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Twiston-Davies wants rain for Kaylif Aramis in Coral Cup

The Coral Cup is one of the most competitive races of the Cheltenham festival and has attracted a massive 136 entries. The race is over two miles and five furlongs and is usually won by a thorough stayer.

Kaylif Aramis certainly fits into that category after grinding out a five-length victory at Ascot in soft ground recently. The handicapper has raised him 7lbs to a mark of 138 but he looked value for more than the winning margin.

Nigel Twiston-Davies plays his cards pretty close to his chest but there is little doubt he will fancy the horse strongly if he gets similarly testing ground on 12th March. Kaylif Aramis was heavily backed for the Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton but faded into fifth behind Saphir Du Rheu on his previous outing.

The money was probably based on his promising sixth place in the Ladbroke Hurdle but it had only been loaned. He was backed down from 12-1 to 11-2 at Ascot when collecting earlier this month and his new mark should be enough to guarantee a place in the field.

Whisper is another horse to catch the eye in the entry list after just losing out to Saphir Du Rheu in the Welsh Champion Hurdle. The Ffos Las raced produced the winner of the Coral Cup 12 months ago with Medinas and it would be no surprise to see Whisper among the favourites here.

Dunguib is a fascinating entry at the age of eleven. Philip Fenton’s gelding on the Champion Bumper back in 2009 but has been plagued with injury since. Connections are waiting to see how the handicapper treats the former Champion Hurdle hope.

Champagne West is among the early favourites but he has other possible engagements at the meeting. Paul Nicholls has a host of entries including Irish Saint, Lac Fontana and Far West.

Alan King was delighted with the run of Meister Eckhart at Fontwell on Sunday and he could attempt to go one better than when second to stable companion Medinas last year. Betfair Hurdle winner Splash Of Ginge and promising novice Un Temps Pour Tout are also among the entries.