Friday, 06th Jul 2018
Horsebetting.com experts give their 2018 Coral Challenge betting tips for the valuable 1m handicap at Sandown on Saturday, 7 July. The progressive Daira Prince appeals as the most likely winner and rates the main bet. Escobar is feared most, while at bigger odds Manson looks a lively outsider and each-way value. Read our 2018 Coral Challenge betting tips preview to find out more.Daira Prince can prove up to the Challenge at Sandown Daira Prince looks worth a bet to defy a rise in the weights and land the 1m Coral Challenge handicap at Sandown on Saturday (12:55). The four-year-old hails from the red-hot yard of Newmarket handler Roger Varian and is unbeaten in two starts this season.
After scoring cosily by three-quarters of a length at Nottingham, Daira Prince showed a good attitude to follow-up off 6lb higher in a better grade affair at Ripon.The beautifully bred son of Dubawi raced too keenly in the early stages and was denied a clear run when making a move two from home.
Jockey Jack Mitchell had to switch left to get daylight and Daira Prince then ran on strongly to beat Mikmak by half-a-length. He was well on top at the finish and – given how the race panned out – value for more than the winning margin.
It makes a further 4lb rise in the weights look more than fair and a revised rating of 95 may still seriously underestimate his ability. Varian has a tremendous record with similar types, with many going on to make an impact in pattern company as their career successes.
Daira Prince could well do that himself given his progressive profile and, with Andrea Atzeni now taking over in the saddle, he looks to have the perfect profile for this test – his stiffest task to date bit one he can prove up to.Escobar capable of a big runIn a typically wide-open and fierce renewal, Escobar is another worth considering having shaped better than the bare result suggests last time out when 11th of 30 to Settle For Bay in the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot.
After being held-up in the centre travelling strongly, the David O’Meara trained gelding was denied a clear run two from home before throwing down a challenge at the furlong marker. He then only weakened late on to be beaten just over six lengths in one of the most competitive, if not the hottest, 1m handicaps of the season.
Prior to that, Escobar could not have been more impressive when coming from off the pace and quickening smartly to score easily by two lengths at Haydock. Although he has been raised a few pounds to 102 following his run at Royal Ascot, a revised rating of 102 should not be beyond him given that he had some smart form as a juvenile when in the care of Hugo Palmer – winning twice and finishing third in a Group 3 – to be officially rated 106 at his peak.
So, with the yard firmly among the winners, and Danny Tudhope in the saddle who is one from two on him, Escobar looks a leading contender in this.Manson makes plenty of each-way appealOf those at bigger odds, Manson makes plenty of each-way appeal having run a blinder on seasonal reappearance when runner-up over course and distance last month. The five-year-old stayed on strongly from well off the pace to be nearest at the finish and beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Via Serendipity.
He now meets that rival, who was race fit, on 4lb better terms so that should be enough to turn the tables. Manson also had the re-opposing Chiefofchiefs just over half-a-length behind him in fourth, and there is no reason why that one should gain his revenge as they meet on the same terms.
The worrying factor is that he has not scored since May 2016, but that win did come over course and distance and Manson has posted some really solid efforts in defeat to make the frame off marks of 94 and 95.
So, if he can build on his latest effort, he is weighted to run a big race in this off a rating of 92 and looks capable of hitting the frame at least in a race where bookmakers are paying four places.Your Next Bet