ITV Racing Tips: Will Cepage be tasting Caspian Caviar Gold Cup victory?
There’ll be no expense spared at Cheltenham on Saturday as an ultra-competitive field go to post for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup and Goshen bids to right the wrongs of the Festival in the International Hurdle.
It’s a cracking line up on Day 2 of the International Meeting, and with action from Doncaster as well, it means there are seven races for punters to enjoy on ITV. We’ve previewed the best of the afternoon’s fare in our ITV Racing Tips.
13:50 Cheltenham – Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
Paul Nicholls has won this contest a record five times, including with Cheltenham specialist Frodon in 2018, and he’ll fancy his chances of making that six with ante-post favourite Master Tommytucker. The nine-year-old always goes well fresh and has won four of his five starts when he’s managed to complete, but therein lies the problem.
He’s fallen three times in his last seven runs and each time it’s been with his first major mistake of the race. Those errors came in one four-runner and two seven-runner contests, so there are question marks over whether he can hold it together in a competitive 17-runner field such as this.
If he can, then on the form he has a fantastic chance of winning. But if he doesn’t, then we think Prestbury Park specialist Cepage could be an interesting alternative. The Saddler Maker gelding has a record of 1222 following a significant break since joining Venetia Williams and will relish a challenge such as this.
He won a similarly red-hot Grade 3 contest over course and distance in January, and after running well for a long way over an unsuitable trip in the Ultima at the Festival, this should be much more to his liking with ground conditions firmly in his favour.
Elsewhere, Paddy Power Gold Cup winner Coole Cody and third-place Al Dancer will also hope to be in the mix, while Romain De Senam and the well-handicapped Good Boy Bobby are interesting outsiders who could get involved each-way at a price.
14:25 Cheltenham – Albert Bartlett Novices‘ Hurdle
Nigel Twiston-Davies has an excellent record in this race, so it could be worth taking a chance with exciting prospect Took The Lot. The trainer has won the race three times since 2014, including with fellow outsider Redford Road who went off at 14/1 in 2019.
Took The Lot is available at a similar price and has shaped well so far this term with a second-place on reappearance at Fontwell prior to a pair of wide-margin victories at Bangor. This is a big step up on those runs but nonetheless he has a progressive profile and warrants plenty of respect for a yard who know what it takes to win this event.
Ashtown Lad had plenty in hand when scoring comfortably off a mark of 123 at Uttoxeter and should go well for our man Dan Skelton, while Wynn House will need to show more to land the hat-trick after being pushed hard at Bangor last time out. Danny Kirwan also has plenty of potential, but this might not be the race for him.
15:00 Cheltenham – International Hurdle
Popular names like Rooster Booster, Harchibald, Binocular and The New One have won the International Hurdle over the years, and now Goshen is looking to add his name to that illustrious list.
Gary Moore’s popular hurdler was practicing social distancing long before the rest of us when he was 10l clear in the Triumph before unseating Jamie Moore at the last with the race sewn up. Two spins on the flat since haven’t shown him to best effect, but on his return over obstacles there’s no doubting he’s the one to beat.
There are plenty in the field who could throw down a challenge if he’s not quite up-and-running just yet, though, in particular Song For Someone, who won the Kingwell last term and followed up with a convincing 5l win in the Coral Hurdle on his seasonal reappearance.
Tom Symonds’ raider is only going one way, and another good showing here could catapult him right into the picture for the Champion Hurdle. Likewise, Silver Streak had no luck at all when he was carried out in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle through no fault of his own last month.
The seven-year-old should get conditions to suit at Cheltenham, and following an impressive seasonal reappearance at Kempton, there’s every chance he could run well again at a nice price.
ITV Racing Schedule 12th December
15:00 Cheltenham – Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
14:05 Doncaster – December Novices’ Chase
14:25 Cheltenham – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
14:40 Doncaster – Summit Juvenile Hurdle
15:00 Cheltenham – International Hurdle
15:15 Doncaster – bet365 Handicap Chase
15:35 Cheltenham – Close Brothers Mares‘ Handicap Chase
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing