With several fancied contenders unlikely to make the cut for the Coral Cup the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Ballyandy can prove the value at 25-1.
BALLYANDY – 25-1 with Betvictor (nrnb). 2.50pm Cheltenham Wednesday 13th March.
With a maximum field of 26 it is hard to see current ante-post favourite Uradel (as short as 6-1 in places) making the cut for the 2m 5f Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle. Standing at number 80 in the current pecking order on a rating of 137, the Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old needs over 50 horses above him to drop out between now and the final declaration stage, an unlikely outcome. Several other entries high up in the betting also need an element of luck to make the final line-up including Getaway Trump, Dallas Des Pictons and Rhinestone but one horse who is guaranteed his place is the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Ballyandy who rates a decent each-way bet at the 25-1 available with Ladbrokes and Betvictor (nrnb) in the latest Cheltenham betting odds.
Winner of the valuable 2017 Betfair Hurdle (formerly the Schweppes) the Kayf Tara gelding went on to finish fourth in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle before going over fences the following season. Despite making a winning start over the bigger obstacles at Perth the horse never really took to the new discipline, causing connection to switch the eight-year-old back over hurdles towards the end of last year. After finishing a close fourth when trying to concede lumps of weight to the improving Erick Le Rouge the mount of Sam Twiston-Davies got back to winning ways with a comfortable victory in a Uttoxeter handicap.
Third last time under 11st 12lb in a competitive Ascot handicap Ballyandy is clearly more at home over the smaller obstacles and in a race that should suit down to the ground with a fast pace almost guaranteed the gelding looks sure to run a big race at a decent price. With a maximum field guaranteed potential dangers come thick and fast. One horse who is also guaranteed his place is Vision Des Flos from the Colin Tizzard stable who took the scalp of If The Cap Fits in the Grade 2 National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell last time and looks overpriced at 16-1 (nrnb) with Ladbrokes.