Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle Betting Tips

Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle Betting Tips

The Coral Cup is always a spectacle and an incredibly tough betting race.

Worth £100,000, with £56k going to the winner, the race features a maximum field of 26 runners charged with taking on 2 miles, 5 furlongs and ten hurdles of the Old Course.

Punting wise, we have the same issues as yesterday. 2m5f on soft ground means stamina comes into play, but in the general 2½ to 2¾-mile bracket these horses need to show some speed to be successful on the Old Course, so that’s taken into consideration as well.

There are a fair few chasers here and those proven over this trip and further, but what is needed is the speed to get into contention early or when the race gets going in earnest, or both, and many don’t have that.

There is a good spread of winning ages and weights, meaning that it’s simply the best horse who wins at the handicap weights and so no process of elimination can be used. Every horse needs to be thoroughly checked and rated on its merits. With that in mind, here’s our top half-dozen: 

Main Contenders


Sandy Thomson’s runner has won or finished runner-up in half of his sixteen hurdle races to date. He has won his last two, and while his latest win was on faster ground over two miles, the one before was over 2½ and on soft ground so we’re not too worried about his stamina.

His versatility is what gets him onto this list and despite moving up in the weights, he still looks handicapped well enough to be competitive.

Good Risk At All 

Sam Thomas’s seven-year-old ran in seven hurdle races between November 2021 and November 2022, but none since. That tells us that overall, there is improvement to come from him that we need to be mindful of when handicapping him.

His 6th four months ago at Haydock wasn’t that impressive, so we’re better off judging him on the race before at Carlisle.

There, he stayed on very well on a stiff course to score by nearly five lengths over 2½ miles on heavy going and it’s that experience that will stand him in good stead for this race. Natural progression from that run would give him a big chance.

Icare Allen

It is very strange to see a JP McManus owned, Willie Mullins trained runner at such big odds and that could prove to be a gift.

Icare Allen is only a five-year-old with his best days well ahead of him, so considering his decent third when favourite for a Grade A handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse in December can be improved upon he’d enter calculations anyway.

What may put some people off is the trip, given that he’s raced over two miles so far.

Bear in mind then that he is a son of Cokoriko. That stallion’s top progeny other than Icare Allen, the likes of Coko Beach and Fakir D’Alene, have stayed much further, even right up to Grand National trips and it’s a fair assumption that this horse will improve markedly for jumping up now to near 2¾ miles.

Red Risk 

Red Risk is also a big price, but perhaps shouldn’t be considering his most recent form is a short-head second in the Lanzarote Hurdle in very similar conditions to this race.

He also won at Newbury before that and is clearly going the right way, so even him going up in the weights isn’t too big a deal.

Run For Oscar 

As the 2022 Cesarewitch winner at Newmarket on the Flat, Run For Oscar would be a very interesting scorer here and that is a real possibility.

He was in decent hurdling form in November and December but will need to improve, something we suspect he will do having probably been aimed at this race for some time.

San Salvador 

Two wins from six, scoring last time in a big race at Punchestown and with loads to come, San Salvador is a relatively obvious type who will be well backed on the day.

His form is very solid, he stays the trip and handles the ground, the only question at all being whether or not he’s handicapped well enough which we think he most likely is.


On our private ratings things are very close between Red Risk, Good Risk At All and San Salvador at the weights, in fact the race is very tight overall as expected.

Given the prospect of major improvement over this trip however, a chance can be taken at large odds about ICARE ALLEN who is the suggestion for major connections.

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