The highlight of day two of Cheltenham’s International meeting is the £130,000 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup or the December Golf Cup in old money, an enthralling two-and-a-half mile handicap chase.
Winners in the recent past including Village Vic, Frodon and Gutar Pete have had a propensity to be carrying lower weights so we certainly can’t discount those at the bottom of the handicap, though the field is littered with runners in with a shout so narrowing this down is no mean feat.
Narrow it down we have though so here are what we feel are the top six in the race all things considered, the selection hopefully going off at a nice value price.
His win in the BetVictor Gold Cup was not unexpected (tipped on this page), though he’ll need to take a significant step forward off a 6lb higher mark and while that is not beyond the realms of possibility it seems unlikely to me.
His form is solid but the down side to that is that we know his level and to be fair anything better handicapped should win this, though he remains solid.
Having been runner-up to Baron Alco in the BetVictor many will believe this chap had it all to do, though in truth he has plenty in his favour and should run a massive race.
The softer the ground the better for Frodon but truthfully he has a massive chance at these weights either way and would be long odds against to be out of the places under Bryony Frost – he is also a previous winner of the contest.
Having run third in the BetVictor Gold Cup, obviously Guitar Pete has very close form with both Frodon and Baron Alco and so is bound to be popular in the betting.
He did have every chance that day though and was beaten fair and square, so despite any weight disparities he in truth should not be up to beating the aforementioned two.
We’ve backed Robert Walford to good effect on these pages and would not discount this horse on the basis of his day to day residence, though on this occasion despite his good form it would appear he has some work to do.
The 7yo gelding does come into this on a hat-trick following wins at Ascot the last twice but at these weights he should really be fighting for place money under James Best.
Backed info favouritism for this, Nicky Henderson’s runner was doing extremely well last season before being brought down on his seasonal bow in guess what; the BetVictor Gold Cup.
Of course he has potential, but all things considered his price is based partly on his stable and doesn’t totally reflect his chance regardless of his obvious talent.
The combination of Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson usually means success to one level or another but on this occasion he should just find a couple too good.
A win at Aintree in November and a second at Sandown in April put this horse naturally near the top of most lists, though I’d be surprised if he could win off these weights.
The BetVictor Gold Cup is obviously the piece of form to concentrate on in this race, though rather than a follow-up for Baron Alco or revenge for Guitar Pete there should be a new/old champ in the shape of FRODON.
The Aintree winner and Cheltenham second has every chance of coming out on top this time and is a cracking price to do so, perhaps in turn retaking his Caspian Caviar Gold Cup crown.