Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle, 2m 5f,2.50pm
Key Stat: Just one outright winning favourite in 23 years
Just one outright winning favourite (Xenophon in 2003) and one joint-favourite (Olympian in the inaugural running) have justified their market support.
A decent punting angle has been to combine second-season hurdlers with horses that won last time out as that has come up trumps on six occasions in the last 13 years. The stronger of those to trends is nine of the last 11 winners were second-season hurdlers.
Irish-based horses are averaging one winner under every three years having won the Coral Cup on seven occasions which is an excellent return given that they would fall some way short of 33 per cent representation.
Irish horses were second and fourth last year after being responsible for two more placed horses in 2014. Four of Ireland’s last five winners had not run since early January, with two of those not seen for over three months and another for over four months.
Philip Hobbs has the most consistent record of the home defence winning it twice as well as posting five other top-six finishers from 22 runners.
As for the best guide, the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury has rowed in with three winners and two runners-up in the last 10 contests. Also note the Welsh Champion Hurdle which has featured two of the last three winners and Medinas and Whisper broke the record-high BHA official rating of winners beforehand when successful here.
Horses aged 10 years old plus are just 2 from 26 to place since 1999 so stick with thye younger brigade.