Jumps Season - At The Races

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup

    Cheltenham, Saturday 14th December 2019.
  • Stats Guides

Last Year's Winner: Frodon

Frodon
Jockey:
Bryony Frost
Trainer:
P F Nicholls
Age:
6
Weight:
11st 12lbs
Starting Price:
7/1
Season Form Figures:
12
Previous Best:
2nd - BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3), Cheltenham (Nov 2018)

A very good handicap for punters as 27 of the last 33 winners could be found in the first four in the betting, though surprisingly given that stat, just one favourite has won since 1996.
 
Six of the last 14 winners posted a top-five finish in the BetVictor Gold Cup, the latest being Frodon last season who went one place better than the previous month in winning the race for a second time emulating Poquelin, also for Paul Nicholls who also took the 2012 running with Unioniste meaning he has won five of the last ten runnings. As with the BetVictor Gold Cup, the major southern yards have proven very hard to beat here winning 16 of the last 19 renewals. Nicky Henderson has taken the prize three times, all with second-season chasers.

Do not restrict yourself to a top-five finisher though as the last two Caspian Caviar Gold Cup winners, Frodon and Guitar Pete, could only finish tenth and ninth respectively before winning here. It should be stated though that the 2017 BetVictor Gold Cup runner-up, Starchitect, was all set up to romp home here before breaking down fatally when galloping towards the final fence when in a clear lead.

A very good handicap for punters as 27 of the last 33 winners could be found in the first four in the betting, though surprisingly given that stat, just one favourite has won since 1996.

Not unsurprisingly given that this valuable handicap attracts many of the principals that contested the BetVictor Gold Cup being run over the same track (albeit this time on the New Course) over a trip only half a furlong longer in distance, three horses (Pegwell Bay, Senor El Betrutti and Exotic Dancer) have completed the double in the same season. Five other horses have won both races but in different seasons since 1983.

The 2004 winner, Monkerhostin, had finished third in the BetVictor Gold Cup the previous month therefore becoming the first Caspian Caviar Gold Cup winner to improve on a place position in the BetVictor during the same season since Addington Boy (also third) in 1996. Since then, Poquelin, Quantitativeeasing and Frodon have finished second in the BetVictor before winning this handicap. Walkon and Colour Squadron finished placed in both races in 2012 and 2013 respectively and Buywise finished second and fourth in both races four years ago.

Younger horses have dominated of late, in fact there has been no winner aged over eight since 1993 and novices have won three of the last seven runnings via Unioniste, Double Ross and Frodon, two of which were Paul Nicholls-trained, French-bred four-year-olds. There has been no winner aged ten or more since 1974 and only two have made the frame in over 20 years so they can confidently be overlooked.
Like so many of Cheltenham’s leading handicap chases, previous win-or-placed form at the course has been an important factor. Only the Irish-trained Go Roger Go and Niceonefrankie in a race that fell apart from half-way have bucked this trend since 1992 so make your first port of call a horse that has proven it can handle Cheltenham's undulations.

French-breds have a tremendous record in chase races up to and including 2m5f at the Cheltenham Festival (notably the Plate which is the equivalent race at that meeting) and it doesn’t end there as they have won ten of the last 17 runnings of this 2m5f handicap chase and supplied the 1-2-4 last season.

At a glance summary

Positives
The front four in the betting
Ran in the BetVictor Gold Cup
Horses officially rated 145+
Trained by a powerful Southern-based stable (notably Nicky Henderson or Paul Nicholls)
Novices
French-breds
Negatives
Yet to post a win-or-placed effort at Cheltenham
Aged 9+

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