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2020 Coral Cup Betting Tips: Trend guide and key pointers

| 06.03.2020

How to approach one of Cheltenham’s biggest Handicaps

There may be 28 races at the Cheltenham Festival but not many will produce quite as much betting attention as the Coral Cup.

The 2m5f Handicap is notorious for its unpredictability and its record for producing big priced winners, including 2019 winner William Henry at 28/1 and 2018 victor Bleu Berry at 20/1.

With that in mind, let’s take you through some of the key trends and pointers we can take from the last 10 winners ahead of the 2020 Coral Cup

8/10 were priced 14/1 or greater

You’ll often get big-priced horses gambled in to a short price in a competitive Handicap like this. But the first rule about the Coral Cup is to avoid the market principals.

The last 13 horses to have gone off favourite and joint-favourite have a record of 7400035727000 in the race.

Only one of the last 10 winners was sent off at a single-figure price, with the last three winners coming in at 28/1, 20/1 and 16/1 respectively.

7/10 had won that season

A good run of form isn’t imperative coming into the race, although ideally your pick will have won at least once in the season leading up to the Coral Cup.

Although William Henry and Bleu Berry in 2018 and 2019 both failed to win a race leading up to the contest, only one of the eight prior winners got home first with a similar record.

Bleu Berry, Coral Cup winner

6/10 had 3+ seasonal runs

It’s important that your pick has had a decent level of prep. While the last two winners have claimed the Coral Cup off the back of just two seasonal runs, they’re very much the outliers.

Seven of the last eight winners prior to those two had raced three or more times in the season leading up to the Coral Cup.

6/10 had raced within the last two months

While getting runs into the horse is important, so too is ensuring they’ve had a nice break.

Six of the last 10 winners had raced within the last two months, with seven of the last 10 enjoying a break between 33 and 69 days.

William Henry in 2019 (78 day break), Supasundae in 2017 (25 day break) and Aux Ptits Sons in 2015 (335 day break) are the exceptions.

6/10 were English-trained

There’s not a great deal to be gleaned from whether a horse is trained in England or Ireland.

The English trainers hold a marginally better record over the last 10 years, although the Irish won all three runnings between 2016 and 2018.

Nicky Henderson, trainer

Keep an eye out for Nicky Henderson, too. The Seven Barrows handler has won the race three times in the last 10 years with William Henry, Whisper and Spirit River.

6/10 had an official rating of 141-149

A lot of people tend to look down the bottom of the weights in a Handicap. But the Coral Cup lends itself to the better horses found from the top to the middle of the Handicap.

Only William Henry and Whisper have won off 150+ in the last decade, while Son of Flicka and Aux Ptits Sons remain the only two to have taken the race off 139 or lower.

With the weights getting even more compressed for competitive Handicaps like this, finding a winner is becoming even tougher.

3/10 had won last time out

Don’t worry if the horse you’re eyeing up failed to win last time out. Only three winners of the Coral Cup tasted success prior to the Festival in the last decade.

This can in large part be put down to trainers trying to protect their Handicap mark ahead of Cheltenham. Don’t be put off if your fancy doesn’t have a 1 immediately next to its name.

View the latest Coral Cup odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of date of publication.



Nick Murphy