Smith hoping for Coral Cup run
Trainer Michael Smith is hoping his stable star Orsippus creeps in at the bottom of the weights for the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.
The seven-year-old has run at the meeting twice before, finishing third to Sanctuaire in the 2010 Fred Winter and filling the same spot 12 months later in the Coral Cup.
Orsippus was absent from the Festival last season but after a fine comeback behind Peddlers Cross at Musselburgh, Smith is confident he will go close once more, if he gets in.
Smith's charge is currently rated 2lb lower than his last appearance at the meeting on 134, a mark which would have guaranteed him a run in the race 12 months ago.
"He's absolutely flying at home and I'm just crossing my fingers that he gets in," said the Northumberland-based handler.
"He gave Peddlers Cross a real fright and they'd had the benefit of a run in a bumper.
"We'll improve a good deal for that and he'll go close in the Coral Cup if he gets in.
"He absolutely loves it there. He's been placed in a Fred Winter and a Coral Cup before."