Cheltenham Festival Day 2: 14:50 Coral Cup Betting Tips

14:50/Mar 15

Sports betting writer Bradley Gibbs highlights two each-way selections ahead of Wednesday’s Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.

14:50 Cheltenham (Coral Cup)

Taquin Du Seuil @ 20/1 (each-way)

Hawk High @ 33/1 (each-way)

Handicap races at the festival are just about as competitive as it gets and Wednesday’s Coral Cup is no exception. Of this field of 26, there really are any number who, for one reason or another, could be fancied. However, in my mind, there are two who really stand out at the prices. Both Taquin Du Seuil and Hawk High are previous festival winners, and, on their best form, are entitled to go well.

Things didn’t quite go to plan for Jonjo O’Neill’s runners on Tuesday – Holywell looked as though his time as a racehorse, an excellent one at that, may well have come to an end as he was pulled up, while Go Conquer ran respectably but was unable to get seriously competitive – but you can almost guarantee that he’ll pop up with a winner at some point over the next three days, probably when least expected.

Taquin Du Seuil, who has been an excellent servant to his connections over the last few years, comes here with a very likable profile indeed. Not only is the ten-year-old a previous festival winner, but he’s also unbeaten in handicaps at this venue. All of these may well have come over fences, but, off what could be a lenient mark, O’Neill’s charge could easily be well-in over hurdles.

Some of Taquin Du Seuil’s runs over the larger obstacles at this course have been very impressive, none more so than when winning the 2014 renewal of the JLT. Since then, he’s run with plenty of credit against some of the highest rated animals around. Although such form isn’t always easily transferred, a hurdles mark of 148, which is 13lbs lower than his mark over fences, could underestimate him.

We’re talking about an animal who loves this venue, stays this trip and has proven himself in better contests. If capable of reproducing anything like the level of form shown when winning over fences back in November, Taquin Du Seuil could be the first of the Jonjo O’Neill string to get seriously involved this week. At 20/1 with PaddyPower, who’re paying six places, this course-lover is well worth supporting each-way.

Hawk High, trained by Tim Easterby, is another former festival winner who looks as though he could run a big race at juicy each-way odds. The seven-year-old has been extremely lightly raced in recent years, and as a result could still be somewhat unexposed.

Having won the Fred Winter back in 2014, Hawk High has only made eight racecourse appearances in the last three years. You couldn’t exactly say he’s achieved anything that’s overly impressive during that time, but he’s clearly had his problems, and it would be a surprise if there isn’t more to come.

The step up in trip is something of a gamble, for punters at least, but he’s often performed as though this sort of distance would be ideal, particularly when finishing a very respectable 9th (staying on all the time) in last year’s County Hurdle. That performance is definitely something to cling onto and gives the impression that the step up could quite easily suit.

At big odds (33/1), the mount of Brian Hughes might be able to surprise a few by running another big race at this meeting. Worthy of each-way support.

Click here for more Cheltenham tips.

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