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Frodon top weight for Cheltenham's Caspian Caviar Gold Cup

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The Paul Nicholl's-trained Frodon has been given top weight for Cheltenham's (Grade 3) Caspian Caviar Gold Cup on Saturday 15th December.

Frodon heads the weights on 11st 12lb for the £130,000 (Grade 3) Caspian Caviar Gold Cup later this month, a race which is to be run over an extended two and a half miles on day two of The International at Cheltenham.

Having landed this race as a four-year-old in 2016, Frodon ran a gallant race under top-weight on his latest start when held by a distance of two lengths to the Gary Moore-trained Baron Alco (11st) in the (Grade 3) BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham's November Meeting on November 17.

Baron Alco could become the fourth horse to win both the BetVictor Gold Cup and Caspian Caviar Gold Cup in the same season, after Pegwell Bay (1988), Senor El Betrutti (1997) and Exotic Dancer (2006).

Baron Alco's trainer Gary Moore is also represented by the (Grade 1) JLT Novices' Chase  third Benatar (10st 11lb), who recently finished fourth behind Politologue in the (Grade 2) Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot on November 24, and three-time chase winner Casse Tete (10st).

West Sussex-based Moore said: "I have been very pleased with Baron Alco since the BetVictor Gold Cup and the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup is his big target now.

"He is 6lb higher in the handicap and whether or not he can cope with that will depend on what else turns up on the day. If it is a similar sort of race to the BetVictor Gold Cup, I don't think 6lb would stop him.

"Having said that, I am well aware the way he ridden last time was an advantage because he was kept out of trouble in what was an incident-packed race, and there was probably a couple of hard luck stories in behind.

"The ground all comes the same to him. He is in amazing horse with a great attitude and he will go on anything bar extremes.

"Benatar is still under consideration for Caspian Caviar Gold Cup after his run at Ascot, but I am 99 per cent sure that Casse Tete won't run."

Guitar Pete (9st 13lb) represents trainer Nicky Richards, who stayed on to take third behind Baron Alco last month. The 8-year-old gelding gained his biggest success over fences so far when victorious in the 2017 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, taking the race by a distance of two and three-quarter lengths.

Guitar Pete and Frodon both have the opportunity to emulate Poquelin, who is currently the only multiple winner of the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup thanks to back-to-back successes which came in 2009 and 2010.

Frodon's trainer Paul Nicholls has seven entries in total, the most of any handler. They also include (Grade 3) Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase winner Le Prezien (11st 2lb) and Grade 1-winning chaser San Benedeto (10st 12lb).

Rather Be (Nicky Henderson, 10st 11lb) and the mare Happy Diva (Kerry Lee, 10st 2lb) both contested the BetVictor Gold Cup and were travelling well when being brought down four fences from home.

Trainer Venetia Williams has three entries to choose from, headed by 2017 (Grade 1) Ryanair Chase third Aso (11st 6lb) who was back in the winner's enclosure on November 30 when running out a comfortable handicap chase winner at Newbury.

Other in-form entries include recent Aintree scorer, War Sound (Philip Hobbs, 10st 8lb), and Mr Medic (Robert Walford, 10st 5lb) who triumphed at Ascot recently, plus impressive Wetherby victor Catamaran Du Seuil (Dr Richard Newland, 10st 4lb).

The five-day confirmation stage for the 2018 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup is at noon on Monday, December 10.

 

37 entries and designated weights:

FRODON - 11-12

ASO - 11-06

LE PREZIEN - 11-02

GOLD PRESENT - 11-00

BARON ALCO - 11-00

WILLOUGHBY COURT - 10-13

FOREST BIHAN - 10-12

MODUS - 10-12

BEGGAR'S WISHES - 10-12

SAN BENEDETO - 10-12

BENATAR - 10-11

RATHER BE - 10-11

TOP GAMBLE - 10-08

WAR SOUND - 10-08

COBRA DE MAI - 10-05

MR MEDIC - 10-05

CEPAGE - 10-05

CASABLANCA MIX - 10-05

FULL GLASS - 10-04

CATAMARAN DU SEUIL - 10-04

DIVINE SPEAR - 10-03

BARNEY DWAN - 10-03

MERCIAN PRINCE - 10-03

HAPPY DIVA - 10-02

MOVEWITHTHETIMES - 10-02

GARDEFORT - 10-02

HENRYVILLE - 10-02

SPLASH OF GINGE - 10-01

CASSE TETE - 10-00

DEAUVILLE DANCER - 9-13

ROMAIN DE SENAM - 9-13

FOXTAIL HILL - 9-13

GUITAR PETE - 9-13

MAGIC SAINT - 9-12

MARIENSTAR - 9-09

EAMON AN CNOIC - 9-09

THEATRE TERRITORY - 9-08

 

Published at 12:05 05/12/18

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