Cheltenham Festival Wednesday Tips: Craigneiche the Coral Cup choice

In the 2m 5f Grade 3 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle on day two if the Cheltenham Festival (4.30), the progressive and unexposed Craigneiche makes plenty of appeal at 10/1.

This Nicky Henderson trained seven-year-old won his sole start in a bumper by six lengths and then shaped very promisingly on debut over the obstacles when a keeping on 8 1/4 length third of 11 to The Big Breakaway.

The winner is a smart sort who went on to finish a fine fourth to Envoi Allen in the Grade 1 Ballymore at this meeting 12 months off an official rating of 144 and is now rated 148 over fences.

Craigneiche duly built on that to land a 10-runner maiden hurdle over this trip at Doncaster where he got outpaced after clouting the second last before rallying strongly to win going away by 3 1/4 lengths from Ulverston.

The selection was allotted an opening handicap mark of just 127 on the back of that and made a mockery of it on seasonal reappearance at Ascot over 2m 3f back in January when landing a competitive 12-runner Grade 3 contest.

After always racing handily in the hands of Tom Cannon, Craigneiche took up the running two from home and when asked to put the race to bed after the last forged clear to easily beat Arrivederci by seven lengths.

It was a most taking display and my immediate thought was that he was the ideal type for this contest.

Craigneiche does have to race off 12lb higher (137), but is unexposed after just three starts over the obstacles, clearly going the right way and appeals as the type that has stacks more to offer.

The step back up in trip will also suit, so with Cannon once again in the saddle everything looks in place for a huge run.

Daily Sport recommended bet: 2pts each-way Craigneiche (10/1 Betfair, Paddy Power – paying 7 places)

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