Feature on the card at Cheltenham is the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at 1.50, which is almost a re-run of the BetVictor Gold Cup from just short of a month ago. Apart from the winner of that race, the second, third, fourth, fifth and tenth all do battle again and it is quite possible that the winner will come from that group.
For the betVictor we recommended each way bets on dear old Buywise and the Fragrant Venetia trained Aso and followers were rewarded when both made the frame at double figure odds.
However, they are much shorter in the market this time around and represent little of the value that they were last time, although both may place again.
It’s possible that Paul Nicholls holds the key to this race with his two runners Bouvreuil and the 4-y-o Frodon who finished fifth and tenth respectively and here’s why:
Bouvreuil was quite markedly in need of the run, having been slightly slow in coming to hand, yet was only beaten 6+ lengths at the business end and competes off the same mark. This means that the gelding is slightly better off with the second and third and could improve another 7lbs for the run. Also bear in mind that Bouvreuil was just touched off in the Close Brothers Novices Handicap Chase at the Festival in March over course and distance, so is proven on the track.
Frodo had proved a revelation over fences since joining Mr Nicholls, racking up a hat-trick of novice events, including a Grade 2 and was sent off at only 6-1 for the BetVictor. Travelling really well and yet to be asked any questions, Frodon ‘banked’ the open ditch and was immediately done for, but an avoidance of any bone-shuddering errors this time should see a different scenario.
In their wisdom, the bookmakers have reversed the odds on the Nicholls pair from the previous race, so we recommend a win bet on Bouvreuil at 15-2 BetVictor and an each way punt on Frodon at 12s.
The race after the ‘big ‘un’ at 2.25 is the Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle which could have a bearing on the real thing in March. Worthy favourite is the Nigel Twiston-Davis trained Wholestone which has won and been second at this course on its last two starts, beating the re-opposing West Approach both times. The weights say it should be no different this time either, with the step back up to 3miles greatly in favour of Daryl Jacob’s mount. At 9-4 10Bet, we say: “lump on!”