No Buts To Dine On Caviar At Cheltenham
Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
Cheltenham on Saturday provides a good opportunity for backers looking to grab some Christmas cash ahead of the festive period, courtesy of the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase (2.00).<--more-->
Caid Du Berlais
This cracking handicap is a race that often attracts runners who participated in a similar handicap staged here last month (Paddy Power Gold Cup), in which this year’s winner, Caid Du Berlais (7/2), returns in an attempt of the “double”.
The feat of winning these two competitive handicaps in the space of several weeks is no easy achievement, as John’s Spirit found out 12 months ago when only fifth in this race having won the Paddy Power. Not that the “double” is impossible, as both Exotic Dancer (2006) and Senor El Betrutti (1997) demonstrated, though both were top-class performers.
Clearly, Paul Nicholls’ 5yo, Caid Du Berlais, will need to be very good if following-up from a 5lb higher mark on Saturday, but he is still open to improvement with just two wins from four chase outings. He does have another stat hanging over his head, however, namely that only one of the last favourites of this race delivered…
Of the last 10 Gold Cup winners…
10 made the top five last time – others were 0-53
9 were 4-7yo’s (12%) – others were 1-77 (1%)
9 ran in the last 21-45 days – others were 1-66
9 were non-favourites
9 stepped up in trip 0.5f-4f from last time – others were 1-49
8 won 31-50% of their career chase runs – others were 1-73
7 returned 8/1 or shorter (16%) – others were 3-106 (3%)
7 arrived via Ascot (2) or Cheltenham (5)
P Nicholls won it three times, N Henderson twice
While three of the last five Caspian Caviar Gold Cup winners finished in the top five of the Paddy Power Gold Cup, there is no such representative this time around, bar the top-weight, Edgardo Sol (16/1), who was beaten 14l into eighth here last month.
A lack of such runners may therefore pave the way for David Bridgwater’s, No Buts (8/1), who arrives having recorded a career best in a valuable handicap at Newbury last time (2m4f, soft).
This improving 6yo beat Sound Investment an impressive 8l that day and has a likeable profile for this race.
Meanwhile, Malcolm Jefferson’s, Attaglance (8/1), was fourth in last year’s Paddy Power, before coming on to finish a disappointing ninth in this race, though he has been kept fresher this time around with just the one outing, 77 days ago (beaten just 5l). He should come on for that return and is respected.
Last Time Out Winners
Kim Bailey’s, Darna (14/1), is another last time out winner having won a small handicap at Sedgefiled last month (2m4f, soft) but needs more here, while Venetia Williams’, Niceonefrankie (12/1), has been hiked up 13lb for winning a decent handicap at Ascot last month (2m3f, soft).
Fancied runners have performed well in the last 10 renewals of this race, which points up the chances of No Buts, who emerges from the right end of the market and is clearly an improved performer this season.