Caspian Caviar Gold Cup – Race Preview
This Saturday sees the annual running of the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham. Run over a distance of two miles and five furlongs, the race is a Grade 3 National Hunt chase with 17 fences jumped. Fifteen runners are set to go to post for tomorrow’s race in what looks an exciting and competitive renewal.
There are at present three horses vying for ante-post favouritism – Annacotty, Buywise and Irish Cavalier, with all three running in last month’s Paddy Power Gold Cup at the track, finishing first, second and fifth respectively. Annacotty has been given a 5lb rise in the weight for his half-length victory over Buywise but with reports that he was only 90% fit for his Cheltenham success, he could well have the improvement to carry the extra weight to victory. Buywise, trained by Evan Williams, looked unlucky finishing runner-up in the Paddy Power, which has so often been the case for the talented but frustrating eight-year old. Another strong run is expected on Saturday and he should certainly be in the frame once more. Irish Cavalier travelled beautifully in the Paddy Power Gold Cup before idling in front, eventually beaten six and a half lengths by Annacotty. Like Buywise, Irish Cavalier will have a 5lb pull in the weights from Annacotty but it’s hard to justify where Irish Cavalier can find the necessary improvement from, with his stable not amongst the winners recently.
Champagne West trained by Phillip Hobbs had a strong novice season, the highlight being runner-up to the high-class Ptit Zig at Cheltenham in January. Not seen since falling at Sandown at the end of January, Champagne West is set to make his handicap debut on Saturday and with an opening mark of only 150 he could well put in a strong showing.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies Little Jon comes into Saturday’s race on the back of a game victory at Newbury at the end of November, tenaciously defeating Upepito by two lengths. Twiston-Davies won the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup two years ago with Double Ross and with the yard amongst the winners at present, Little Jon could well run a big race, despite a 6lb rise in the weights for his Newbury success.
Irish trainer Willie Mullins is set to send over Mozoltov for Saturday’s race as he looks to win the race for the first time. Not seen since April 2014, Mozoltov comes into the race on a mark of just 148 but does have wins at Naas, Navan and Punchestown. If Mullins has him at his best after his extended break, then he could well run a big race and it will be interesting to see if money comes for the horse on Saturday.
Other notable runners on Saturday are the Paul Nicholls trained Art Mauresque and Tenor Nivernais trained by Venetia Williams.
Annacotty, Buywise and Irish Cavalier are the current joint ante-post favourites at 9 (8/1) with Champagne West 10 (9/1), Little Jon 11 (10/1) and Molotov 21 (20/1). The horse racing tip for Saturday’s Caspian Caviar Gold Cup is Champagne West each-way at 10 (9/1).
By: Scott McGlynn