Coral Hurdle betting tips: If The Cap Fits fancied to confirm Elite form at Ascot

The 2018 Coral Hurdle betting tips at Horsebetting.com say If The Cap Fits is the one to be on at the weights in this 2m 3f Grade 2 feature contest at Ascot on Saturday, 24 November. We Have A Dream was behind him in the Elite Hurdle last time out, so is feared most. Old Guard, meanwhile, is another turned out quickly after placing in the Greatwood Hurdle last weekend and looks an each-way alternative. For further details, read out full 2018 Coral Hurdle betting tips preview below.

Betfair logo
Odds
11/10
Selection
If The Cap Fits
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Boylesports logo
Odds
13/8
Danger
We Have A Dream
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Odds
15/2
E/W
Old Guard
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If The Cap Fits the Coral Hurdle choice

Harry Fry won the Coral Hurdle in 2015 with Rock On Ruby and saddles If The Cap Fits in this year’s renewal of the 2m 3f Grade 2 feature race at Ascot on Saturday (14:40). As he was a gallant runner-up on reappearance last time out, he looks capable of going one better and landing the spoils for his in-form handler.

The six-year-old is very light-raced, winning five of his seven career starts, and looks sure to come on for his most recent outing. After landing back-to-back bumpers either side of Christmas 2016, If The Cap Fits went to Aintree for their Grade 2 National Hunt Flat Race and was far from disgraced when beaten just 2 3/4 lengths and fourth to Lalor.

As the winner went on to be a Grade 1 winning hurdler and landed the Arkle Trial at Cheltenham last weekend on his debut over fences, that form is very strong indeed. His bumper runs meant If The Cap Fits was definitely a horse to follow last season and he won all three starts at Exeter, Bangor and Kempton.

On the latter occasion, he led before two out and was clear at the last. All regular rider Noel Fehily had to do then was shake If The Cap Fits up and he stayed on well for a five-length win over Diesse Des Bieffes. As the runner-up has since landed a novice event at Cheltenham, this too has a decent look form-wise.

Fry gave this son of Milan the rest of last term off with underfoot conditions too soft for him. If The Cap Fits then ran really well when giving 3lb away to Verdana Blue on his return to action in the Elite Hurdle – a similar grade affair to this – at Wincanton just two weeks ago.

After tracking the leaders, he was produced to challenge when not putting in the most fluent leap two out. Although If The Cap Fits then briefly got his head in front, the winner went past him before the last, but he kept on to be beaten just 2 1/4 lengths.

As this was his first outing for 318 days, he’s should strip fitter for that run and the step up in trip should pose no problems as he has already won over an extended 2m 2f earlier in his career. Off joint-bottom weight of 11st, with Fehily aboard as ever and Fry on a better than one-in-five win percentage since he last raced, If The Cap Fits has everything going for him in this and so had to be the main selection in our 2018 Coral Hurdle betting tips.

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We Have A Dream feared most

The ratings in this field of six are topped by the Nicky Henderson trained, Simon Munir and Isaac Souede owned four-year-old We Have A Dream, who was a place behind If The Cap Fits in the aforementioned Elite Hurdle. They re-oppose off exactly the same terms, however, and although there’s no reason why that form shouldn’t be confirmed, the son of Martaline is unexposed stepping up in trip and is thus still feared most.

We Have A Dream was unbeaten since joining Henderson before his reappearance at Wincanton, landing two Grade 1 juvenile contests at Chepstow and Aintree. Although putting in some superb displays against his fellow four-year-olds, like many stepping into open company, this season might be frustrating for him and connections.

On the Elite Hurdle form, We Have A Dream has seven lengths to find on If The Cap Fits but is bred to get this trip and possibly further. He tried to make all at Wincanton and different tactics may be called for under Barry Geraghty, who takes the mount for the first time.

If ridden with the kind of restraint where he lets others make the running, as was the case in those Grade 1 victories, We Have A Dream should be able to give a better account of himself. There’s plenty of reasons to take him on, however, and our 2018 Coral Hurdle betting tips recommend punters should do just that!

Old Guard the each-way play

As is his wont, Old Guard carries top weight due to a penalty for his National Spirit Hurdle success at Fontwell in February, but trainer Paul Nicholls is in flying form at present and he therefore appeals as the only each-way alternative. The seven-year-old has placed third in the last two renewals of the ultra-competitive Grade 3 Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham, having previously landed the race in 2015.

Old Guard has a near 50 per cent win and place ratio from 28 hurdles starts and clearly acts on the forecast good-to-soft ground. This son of Notnowcato is also race fit and had three outings already this season, hitting the frame on every occasion.

After giving Verdana Blue 13lb and chasing her home in a Listed affair at Kempton on reappearance, Old Guard was a 1 1/2 lengths runner-up to Nautical Nitwit in the Grade 2 West Yorkshire Hurdle on fast ground over 3m at Wetherby. This highly versatile horse dropped back in trip for a third crack at the Greatwood last time out and reversed form with Verdana Blue.

Taking advantage of a huge 17lb swing in the weights, thanks in part to Lorcan Williams’ claim, Old Guard stayed on well without matching the pace of the front two to finish beaten three lengths, but half-a-length in front of the Henderson trained mare.

He still carried a welter burden but, provided this does not come too soon, Old Guard is the only alternative to We Have A Dream and If The Cap Fits because the others have mountains to climb on official figures. Our 2018 Coral Hurdle betting tips are thus completed by his tentative each-way suggestion.

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