Gold Cup Trends Bode Well For Buywise

With Paul Nicholls having won Saturday’s Grade 3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Cheltenham (1.50pm) on three occasions since 2009, it’s easy to see why his Art Mauresque (10/1) has proven popular this week.

Nicholls The Saturday Man
This 5yo went into last month’s PP Gold Cup over the same C&D with a chase record of 4-6, and ran an excellent race from the front before just getting tired late on under Sean Bowen. Beaten just under 7l, Art Mauresque will be re-united with Nick Schofield on Saturday (rode him on all four chase wins), while enjoying a 5lb pull with last month’s winner, Annacotty (8/1).

Annacotty To Win Again?
Annacotty scrapped home by just 1/2l from Buywise (7/1) on that occasion (Sound Investment a further 3/4l back in third, with Irish Cavalier over 5l back in fifth). Many thought Buywise should have won that day, having been blocked before finishing powerfully, and Evan Williams’ 8yo may get in front this weekend with a 1lb turnaround in the weights with Annacotty.

Sound Investment (10/1) also finished strongly into third, and is respected out of the Nicholls yard, but will need to find more carrying top-weight from a 3lb higher mark.

The record of PP runners appearing in Saturday’s similar handicap is also worthy of respect, as five of the last 10 winners emerged from the PP – four of whom finished first or second in that race.

Such evidence therefore bodes well for Annacotty and Buywise.

Buywise is also an 8yo, who have a decent record in the race…

Gold Cup Trends
Of the last 10 winners…
10 made the top five last time
9 were 6-8yo’s
9 ran during the last 21-45 days
9 were non-favourites
9 ran over 2m4½f or shorter last time
7 arrived via Ascot (2) or Cheltenham (5)
P Nicholls won it three times, N Henderson twice

Champagne Popular
As for the other leading contenders in the market, then Philip Hobbs’ 7yo, Champagne West (7/1) has attracted plenty of support during the build-up, which may prove significant on his seasonal return. A 6l runner-up to Ptit Zig in a Grade 2 novice over C&D in January, Champagne West then fell when last seen in a Grade 1 at Sandown a month later, but may have progressed during his absence.

Hobbs also has Village Vic (8/1), a winner of both outings this term, including a decent handicap at Musselburgh last month (2m4f, good). Conditions will be ideal for this improver, and he has been allocated a kind low weight.

Another in good form is Venetia Williams’ Tenor Nivernais (12/1) who has been upped 12lb for landing a six-runner handicap at Ascot last month (2m5f, soft). While that win was impressive, he may need more rain to slow down his rivals.

Little To Win Big?
There is also Nigel Twiston-Davies’ 7yo Little Jon (8/1) to consider who arrives in fine fettle following his valuable handicap win at Newbury last month (2m4f, soft). While he looks well treated at the weights, he hasn’t shone at Cheltenham in the past (unplaced in five previous visits).

Finally, you can’t ignore that man Willie Mullins, who sends over Mozoltov (20/1). A Grade 2 winning novice last season, he finished last season on a low note, but does go well very well fresh. He has to rate each-way material.

Recommended Bets
A wide-open renewal, but Buywise caught the eye in a similar race here last month when unlucky in running, and has a chance to make amends at decent odds of 7/1.

*Prices correct at time of publication