1pt ante-post win Finest Evermore @16/1, Coral Cup

The Coral Cup is my favourite betting heat of the Cheltenham Festival and, after putting up the second three times in the last four years, no race would give me more satisfaction from winning. There will be tonnes of value on the day so betting ante-post needs strong justification, but FINEST EVERMORE looks an ideal candidate for the race and the market hasn’t seen it yet. Her run behind Royal Kahala over 2m4f at Leopardstown over Christmas screamed Coral Cup as she left the impression the extra furlong and stiff finish at Cheltenham would suit after staying on in eye-catching fashion. Royal Kahala has since lowered the colours of former Stayers’ Hurdle ante-post favourite and multiple Grade 1 winner Klassical Dream, whereas all the right horses – including two 2021 Festival winners in Heaven Help Us and Telmesomethinggirl – finished in the places that day. The form looks really strong and, considering that was her first run after a year off the track and Mullins’ pre-race comments effectively wrote off her chances on the day, she could end up being way ahead of the handicapper. Her Irish mark of 137 looks lenient and will certainly get her into the Coral Cup off a relatively low weight – the BHA will likely slap on an extra 7lb to bring her into the low 140s – and it’s generally a good rule of thumb to try and find something that could be 10lb well in for a Festival handicap, which feels very plausible. She’s 16/1 non-runner no bet and is entered for the Mares’ Hurdle too, but Mullins already has a strong hand in that race and left Finest Evermore out of the entries for Wednesday’s Quevega Mares’ Hurdle at Punchestown, which might mean they are minding her rating for March. Non-runner no bet is essential as she does have a Mares’ Hurdle entry and she’s the same price in the ante-post markets.

1pt ante-post win Finest Evermore @16/1, Coral Cup (non-runner no bet with BetVictor)

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