big-race-preview-National-HuntWe look at every runner in this weekend's big handicap; the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham. Can Baron Alco win again? Can Rather Be make up for a luckless effort or is there one lurking down the weights?

FrodonPaul Nicholls’ likeable six-year old is top weight for a reason; he’s the classiest horse in the race and not without a chance of defying his welter-burden. He has conditions in his favour and could turn around the form with Baron Alco, but he may just fall short of one with more in-hand of the handicapper.

Baron Alco – Winner of the BetVictor Gold Cup and making up for lost time after spending last season on the sidelines. Unlikely to have things his own way this time around.

Rather Be – Second in the Close Brothers novices handicap chase at the Festival, Nicky Henderson’s chaser was tanking along when brought down three out in the BetVictor and is the worthy favourite to gain a deserved success. He looks short enough at 100/30, however.

War Sound – Ultra impressive on his seasonal reappearance after hitting the crossbar numerous times last season, a rise of ten pounds in the handicap is enough to put you off for Saturday.

Cobra De Mai - Regular winner for connections but looks exposed stepping up in class, looks one for the Spring.

Mr Medic – Dangerous to underestimate after very impressive win at Ascot which took his recent record to three wins from his last four, has been hit with a nine pound rise but travels like a classy animal through his races.

Cepage – Winner of a decent handicap on his penultimate start at Kempton, but will need a big effort to win this race on his first start of the campaign. Others preferred.

Casablanca Mix – The second string for champion trainer Nicky Henderson and looks weighted to her best off a mark of 143.

Full Glass – An intriguing runner for Alan King and Daryl Jacob having run just twice in the UK so far. He unseated last time at Haydock and it’s not certain he’ll be suited to the hustle and bustle of a race like this.

Catamaran De Seuil – Took a heavy fall at Aintree last weekend and he’s passed over on the back of that and his nine pound rise in the handicap from the Wetherby success two starts ago.

Splash Of Ginge – Last year’s BetVictor Gold Winner has a great record at Cheltenham, but has run poorly on both starts this campaign and you’d like to see more signs of life before backing him again.

Casse Tete – Poor recent form and the prospect of decent ground is enough to pass on this Gary Moore runner.

Romain De Senam – Has yet to recapture the form that saw him win twice in October 2017 and doesn’t look a winner waiting to happen.

Foxtail Hill – Front-runner who showed signs of coming back to form on seasonal return. Will appreciate the decent ground and is now three pounds lower than when winning a strong course handicap just over a year ago.

Guitar Pete – Winner of this race last year defeating the classy Clan Des Obeaux, dangerous to write off after a nice prep in the BetVictor Gold Cup when finishing best of those held up in a messy race. Trainer Nicky Richards is in flying form.


VERDICT: GUITAR PETE can go back-to-back and win a second Caspian Caviar Gold Cup off just a three pound higher mark for the red-hot Nicky Richards. Foxtail Hill and Rather Be can follow him home and fill the places.

Back GUITAR PETE at 9/1 with Unibet for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup


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