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Coral Cup tips – Mijhaar a lively outsider in graveyard for favourites

Take on the market leaders with this unconsidered 33/1 shot

Coral Cup, 2m5f, Old Course (due off 2.40pm)

Who’s favourite?
Only one outright and one joint-favourite has won in the race’s 21-year-old history, so those punters who’ve piled into Paul Nicholls’ Aux Ptits Soins in the last few days are brave souls. With no British form to go on, the handicapper has taken a guess in allotting the ex-French gelding a mark of 139 and we’re totally in the dark as to whether that is a true measure of his ability. The winner of a conditions hurdle at Auteuil when last seen out, he’s clearly useful and Nicholls knows a good horse when he sees one, but the gelding’s lack of experience has to be a big worry in a race of this nature. Top price: 8/1 Betfred.

Who else is fancied?
Supporters of Activial will be hoping Harry Fry’s charge doesn’t go off favourite, given that has proved a poisoned chalice. He’s been plying his trade in 2m big-field handicaps, twice finishing third, including in the Betfair Hurdle last time, and has given the distinct impression he’s crying out for the step up to today’s trip. Rated 147, he might just have a few pounds in hand over the handicapper, but not much.

Any decent outsiders?
It’s 14/1 bar the front two which is a measure of just how competitive this race is. There has to be some each-way value amongst them and you can make a good case for Blackmail, who was an easy winner at Galway last summer and wasn’t knocked around on his return at Punchestown, while you wouldn’t rule out a big run from Un Atout given his trainer Willie Mullins is carrying all before him at the meeting. Baradari needed every yard of the 2m3f when getting home at Ascot last time and it’s not hard to see him relishing today’s longer trip. At a bigger price, John Ferguson’s Mijhaar makes some appeal as he was Group class on the flat and was very impressive when winning on his hurdles debut at Doncaster last season. He’s not won again since but soft ground has contributed to most of those defeats and he may have snook in here on 10st 7lb, with Richard Johnson an eye-catching jockey booking. The way he was finishing when third to Dawalan over 2m4f at Aintree suggests he’ll have no problem with the trip.

Trainer quote: “”His first run of the season was in the Greatwood at Cheltenham, where he finished seventh. He has then finished third at Aintree, second at Ayr and ninth at Sandown, all on ground he hated. This will be the first chance he has had to get decent ground and that will help him run a good race.” – John Ferguson on Mijhaar.

Best bookie offer
Most firms are offering five places instead of the standard four and they should be your first port of call if doing the sensible thing and backing one each-way.

This is hard but the race’s history suggests we should steer clear of those at the head of the market and MIJHAAR looks to have plenty going for him considering he’s an unconsidered 33/1 shot.

Selection – Mijhaar each-way @ 33/1 bet365

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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