Coral Trophy Day Betting Tips – The Coral Trophy

Coral Trophy Day Betting Tips – The Coral Trophy

The 12-runner Coral Trophy takes centre stage at Kempton on Saturday, and winning connections will take home a cool £85,000.

There are three Grade 2 contests on the undercard as well, with the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle preceding the Pendil Novices' Chase and Dovecote Novices' Hurdle.  

Clive Gildon provides his analysis on the big race as well as some other selections at the Surrey track, where they race from 1.15-4.45, with the Coral Trophy itself due off at 3.37.


3.37 – Coral Trophy Handicap Chase (3m) 

Backing horses who are based with good target trainers is vital in major handicaps, and AL DANCER, who represents the shrewd Sam Thomas, is a good runner to have on your side in the Coral Trophy.

Thomas landed this last year with Our Power, who was returning from a layoff when scoring at Kempton, and Al Dancer comes back from 54 days off the track for what has reportedly been his long-term aim. 

Al Dancer might be 11 but has been keeping his form well, bolting up at Chepstow on his return before finishing third in the Old Roan. Heavy ground probably wouldn't have been his cup of tea at Cheltenham last time, but he ran okay and is down 2lb in the weights.

He is unexposed as a three-miler, and Dylan Johnston, who is good value for his 5lb claim, is an eye-catching jockey booking. 

Bowtogreatness, who represents the excellent Ben Pauling fresh from the trainer's three-timer at Ascot last Saturday, is feared most. He appears to be slowly recapturing his form, and a reproduction of his Aintree second in a better race than this in April could be good enough. 



1.15 - Coral Racing Club Handicap Hurdle (2m5f)

One of the more interesting runners on the card is SEA INVASION for Chris Gordon in the 2m5f handicap hurdle.

Sea Invasion debuted in a point-to-point in May and managed to finish within two lengths of the top-class Slade Steel, who is second favourite for the Grade 1 Baring Bingham at the Cheltenham Festival.

The six-year-old failed to justify strong market support on his introduction in a bumper for Gordon but has been a steady improver over hurdles, following home Supreme fancy Jeriko De Reponet before progressing again to claim fourth in a maiden hurdle here over two miles on Boxing Day. That form looks strong, with the second and third winning in good style since.

An opening mark of 114 could easily underestimate the bottom-weight, while an extra five furlongs is an avenue worth exploring. Former Lanzarote third Up For Parol can never be ruled out at this course and is next best.    



1.50 - Coral Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2, 2m)

It seems harsh that Adonis favourite Kalif Du Berlais is slapped with a 5lb penalty despite his never having won a Graded race. He looked good over course and distance on his debut, but he looks a short enough price in relation to PEKING OPERA for the Gary Moore yard.

Peking Opera was top class on the Flat at three for Aidan O'Brien. He finished fourth to Auguste Rodin in the Irish Derby and is a soft-ground Listed winner who wouldn't have minded the recent rain to hit Kempton.

While the form of his debut hurdling success at Sandown three weeks ago needs improving on, he is expected to have learned plenty from the experience and should step forward significantly.

The 5lb he gets from the market leader could make all the difference, while the fact he is rated 35lb above second favourite Givemefive on the Flat, and indeed the others who raced in that code, suggests he could be the value play. 



2.27 - Coral Pendil Novices' Chase (Grade 2, 2m4½f)

Blow Your Wad will have a massive chance in the Pendil Novices' Chase if bouncing back to the form that saw him land a good handicap chase here on Boxing Day.

He didn't appear to be in love with Cheltenham last time when struggling behind Turners favourite Ginny's Destiny, but returning here will help, as could the application of first-time cheekpieces.

However, perhaps he will struggle to live with ARCLIGHT for Nicky Henderson. This five-year-old has been a revelation in three starts over fences, jumping impressively, and the form of her Wincanton Listed victory in December received a boost when Marsh Wren beat the Irish in their own backyard in a Listed heat at Thurles on Thursday.

Seemingly versatile regarding ground conditions, this course winner looks like a big player in a race that was blown wide open by the omission of short-priced ante-post favourite Nickle Back.



4.10 - Play Coral Racing-Super-Series For Free Handicap Chase (2m4½f)

Another bottom-weight catches the eye here, with CHAMPAGNE MYSTERY looking an interesting proposition for Tom George.

In his first two chases back in 2019, Champagne Mystery ran second to Grade 1 performers Greaneteen and Dashel Drasher. He has spent a large proportion of his time racing in France since, and the handicapper could be treating him quite leniently, given he is now rated 128 and 2lb lower than when an eye-catching fifth behind Ga Law in a top handicap chase at Cheltenham recently.

He made a big move around the field three from home before those exertions told, and he faded out of the places.

That was his stable debut for George following 62 days off, just two runs after his fourth-placed finish in a Grade 2 French chase at Compiegne in October. The influx of rain that hit Kempton on Thursday will be welcomed by his team, and Jonny Burke taking over in the saddle is a positive. 

Golden Son is well regarded by Paul Nicholls and is no forlorn hope if able to rediscover his form after two pulled-up efforts, with a 56-day break and first-time cheekpieces making him an interesting alternative.   




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