RACING journalist James Stevens (@JanesStevens180) casts his eye over the fiendish Coral Cup handicap on Wednesday.
Cheltenham 14:50 | Coral Cup | ITV1
Nicky Henderson’s Consul De Thaix has bumped into stable rival and Champion Hurdle contender Brain Power on his last two starts, so it may be worth keeping an eye on how well he runs. He is still a maiden, but he’s on a very competitive mark. What better way to get off the mark than at the Cheltenham Festival.
Gordon Elliott charges
Tombstone has been dropped onto a nice mark for Gordon Elliott. The seven-year-old lowered the colours of former Festival hero Jezki last time out at Gowran Park and returns to the Festival as a leading contender. He finished fourth in last year’s Supreme Novices’ and he’s looked good against better opposition in his two starts this season.
Elliott is also represented by Automated who returned to form last time out winning well at Navan. This is only his second run in the UK, last time he crossed the Irish sea he finished second in handicap company at Aintree.
Modus will carry top weight for Paul Nicholls, the seven-year-old was an encouraging winner at Kempton last time out and has been upped 11lb for January’s victory.
Jonjo O’Neill runs former Festival hero Taquin Du Seuil, the ten-year-old won the BetVictor Gold Cup at this track in November before finishing fifth in the Grade One Lexus in Ireland. Last time out he could only finish a lengthy fourth behind Gold Cup contender Cue Card in the Ascot Chase.
Kalondra has been steadily improving all season for Neil Mulholland, but will face a 12lb rise up the weights following an impressive victory at Huntingdon last month.
I think Mister Miyagi is an astounding price. The worry is coming back from a break, however he’s got class and goes on the track and ground. If he brings his best, he’s in with a chance.