Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Tips – Who Will Win the Big Handicap Chase At Cheltenham In December?

Runners fly past the stands at Cheltenham's December meeting

Runners fly past the stands at Cheltenham’s December meeting

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Preview

The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham in mid-December is one of the most prestigious two and a half mile handicap chases of the season. It was formerly run as the Massey Ferguson Gold Cup and is a natural target for horses who ran in the BetVictor Gold Cup over course and distance at the November meeting. Notable past winners include Flyingbolt (1965), Pendil (1973), Pegwell Bay (1988) and Frodon (2016 and 2018) and you can check out our December Meeting Tips below

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Betting Trends

The last ten favourites have all been beaten in this race. The average winning SP over the same period is around 10-1. Only three horses carried more than 11 stone to victory. Seven of the last eleven winners had run in the BetVictor Gold Cup last time out.

French imports Unioniste (2012) and Frodon (2016) both won as four-year-olds but the most successful age range has been from six to eight. Paul Nicholls is the most successful trainer in the history of the race with five winners in the past eleven seasons. 

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup form guide

Last month’s BetVictor Gold Cup has been the key form guide for Caspian Caviar Gold Cup tips in recent years and that race is strongly represented again on Saturday. Coole Cody led from the third fence that day and ran on bravely to beat Spiritofthegames by three and a quarter lengths. Al Dancer was a length further back in third with Sky Pirate fifth. The well-backed Saint Sonnet was beaten when falling at the last while Mister Fisher was pulled up.

The handicapper has raised Coole Cody by 6lbs and the going is unlikely to be as testing this weekend. Prior to winning the BetVictor Gold Cup, the Evan Williams-trained gelding had been beaten a length and a half by Southfield Stone at level weights. He is set to receive 2lbs from that rival who has since been put firmly in his place by Protektorat over course and distance.

Al Dancer made eye-catching progress approaching the third last in the BetVictor and is certainly one who will appreciate better ground. Sky Pirate also loomed up menacingly behind the leaders before making a bad blunder at the second last. That knocked the stuffing out of him and he could only plug on at one pace in the closing stages. He is yet to win in ten races over fences but remains on a dangerous handicap mark.

Paul Nicholls bids for a record sixth win in the race and could run Master Tommytucker, Saint Sonnet and Southfield Stone. The former has been given top weight after two wide-margin victories in small fields. He was beaten by Al Dancer at Newton Abbot in October and looks to have a very difficult task reversing that form on 9lbs worse terms.

Windsor Avenue is a popular Caspian Caviar Gold Cup tip following his excellent second to Imperial Aura at Carlisle. Fourth-placed Black Op did little to advertise the form when well beaten in the Ladbrokes Trophy next time. Clondaw Castle was well-backed last year but finished a remote ninth and is difficult to fancy off an 11lbs higher mark.

Huntsman Son quickened impressively to win a competitive handicap at Wetherby on his first start for 538 days. The handicapper has raised him 9lbs as a result. He missed his intended engagement at Aintree last weekend due to the rain-softened ground. He could go well at long odds if conditions do not deteriorate.

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Tips

The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup is due off at 1.50 on Saturday 12th December, the second of five live races screened live from Cheltenham on ITV4.

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup ante-post bets are further complicated by the re-arranged Peterborough Chase on Friday. Al Dancer, Mister Fisher, Master Tommytucker and Clondaw Castle all have the option to run there in preference to Saturday’s big handicap. That leaves Sky Pirate and Huntsman Son as each-way alternatives in a typically competitive renewal.

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