Taquin du Seuil heads great entry for Cheltenham’s Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at The International on Saturday, December 10

A 44-strong entry (up from 41 in 2015 and 32 in 2014) is revealed today for the £100,000 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, which takes place at Cheltenham on Saturday, December 10, day two of The International.
The feature Grade Three handicap chase is run over two miles, four furlongs and 166 yards.
Taquin du Seuil (Jonjo O’Neill) heads the entries, having already secured the first major prize of the season at Cheltenham – the Grade Three BetVictor Gold Cup at The Open on November 12.
O’Neill nominated the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup as a likely target for Taquin du Seuil after that victory and, if successful on December 10, the nine-year-old would join a select band of three horses to have won both handicap chases in the same season – Pegwell Bay (1988), Senor El Betrutti (1997) and Exotic Dancer (2006).
O’Neill has also entered More Of That, the 2014 World Hurdle winner who was pulled up after starting the 7/2 favourite for the BetVictor Gold Cup, and recent Ascot runner-up Go Conquer.
Village Vic (Philip Hobbs), winner of the 2015 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, was the neck runner-up to Taquin du Seuil in the BetVictor Gold Cup last time out. The only dual winner of the Caspian Caviar Gold has been Poquelin in 2009 and 2010.
Other horses to have competed in the BetVictor Gold Cup and also holding Caspian Caviar Gold Cup entries include the third Buywise (Evan Williams), fourth Aso (Venetia Williams) and fifth Bouvreuil (Paul Nicholls).
One horse with the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup firmly in his sights in Aloomomo (Warren Greatrex). The six-year-old showed highly-progressive form last season, with victories at Warwick and in a valuable handicap chase at Newbury.
He rounded off the 2015/16 campaign by finishing a close sixth in the Listed Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase at The Festival in March and made a promising reappearance at Ascot on November 19 when third in a novices’ hurdle.
Upper Lambourn-based Greatrex reported: “The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup is the aim for Aloomomo.
“His run at Ascot last Saturday was very pleasing. He just got a bit tired after the last but wasn’t fully revved up and there should be a lot of improvement.
“He did very well over the summer physically and will appreciate softer ground than he encountered at Ascot.
“The trip should be fine and he has some experience around Cheltenham when he ran there at The Festival last season. The ground was a bit quick for him that day.
“The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup has been the plan for a while. If for some reason the ground did dry up, we would have to think again as he really does appreciate soft ground.”
The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup has gone to Ireland six times and there are two Irish-trained entries in 2016, both trained by Gordon Elliott – the 2016 G3 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate victor Empire Of Dirt and Killer Crow.
Other interesting contenders include Vaniteux (Nicky Henderson), Bristol de Mai (Nigel Twiston-Davies) and Three Musketeers (Dan Skelton), who were all Graded winners in novice chases last season.
Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson are jointly the most successful current trainers in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup with three wins apiece.
In addition to Bouvreuil, Nicholls could also be represented by Art MauresqueSaphir du RheuLe MercureyIrish Saint and Frodon. Henderson has three entries in total -Vaniteux, Volnay de Thaix and Full Shift.
Weights for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup will be revealed on Wednesday, November 30. The maximum permitted field size is 18.
The International takes place at Cheltenham on Friday and Saturday, December 9 and 10. Other highlights at the two-day meeting include the G2 £130,000 StanJames.com International Hurdle, a leading trial for the Stan James Champion Hurdle at The Festival in March, which is also run on Saturday, December 10.
Friday’s principal races are the £45,000 Grade Three Unicoin Group Handicap Chase over three and a quarter miles and the £35,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase.
Away from the racing, Mid Life Choir-Sis will be performing Christmas carols near the parade ring on the Saturday of The International.
The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
Grade 3 handicap chase, £100,000 total prize fund. Two miles and five furlongs (2m 4f 166y), 1.50pm, Cheltenham, Saturday, December 10, 2016. For four-year-olds and up. Penalties: after November 27, a winner of a chase 5lb; no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed November 22, entries revealed November 23 (44 entries). Weights revealed November 30. Five-day confirmations December 5, final declarations 10am, Thursday, December 8. Maximum field 18 plus two reserves.
Horse
Age
Owner
Trainer
ALOOMOMO (FR)
6
The Large G & T Partnership
Warren Greatrex
ART MAURESQUE (FR)
6
Mrs Johnny de la Hey
Paul Nicholls
ASO (FR)
6
The Bellamy Partnership
Venetia Williams
BALLYNAGOUR (IRE)
10
Allan Stennett
David Pipe
BOUVREUIL (FR)
5
J P McManus
Paul Nicholls
BRISTOL DE MAI (FR)
5
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Nigel Twiston-Davies
BUYWISE (IRE)
9
T Hywel Jones
Evan Williams
COLD MARCH (FR)
6
A Brooks
Venetia Williams
DEFINITLY RED (IRE)
7
P J Martin
Brian Ellison
DOUBLE SHUFFLE (IRE)
6
Crossed Fingers Partnership
Tom George
EMPIRE OF DIRT (IRE)
9
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
FRODON (FR)
4
P J Vogt & Ian Fogg
Paul Nicholls
FULL SHIFT (FR)
7
J P McManus
Nicky Henderson
GO CONQUER (IRE)
7
Paul & Clare Rooney
Jonjo O’Neill
IRISH SAINT (FR)
7
Mrs Johnny de la Hey
Paul Nicholls
KILLER CROW (IRE)
7
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
KING’S ODYSSEY (IRE)
7
William & Angela Rucker
Evan Williams
KYLEMORE LOUGH
7
M J McMahon & Denis Gallagher
Kerry Lee
LE MERCUREY (FR)
6
Chris Giles & Colm Donlon
Paul Nicholls
MODULE (FR)
9
Simon Clarke
Tom George
MORE OF THAT (IRE)
8
J P McManus
Jonjo O’Neill
MYSTIFIABLE
8
Graham and Alison Jelley
Fergal O’Brien
ON TOUR (IRE)
8
T Hywel Jones
Evan Williams
OTAGO TRAIL (IRE)
8
Mrs Marie Shone
Venetia Williams
QUITE BY CHANCE
7
T Hamlin, J M Dare, J W Snook, J T Warner
Colin Tizzard
RED SPINNER (IRE)
6
Paul & Clare Rooney
Kim Bailey
REGAL ENCORE (IRE)
8
J P McManus
Anthony Honeyball
ROMAN FLIGHT (IRE)
8
Favourites Racing Ltd
David Dennis
SAPHIR DU RHEU (FR)
7
The Stewart Family
Paul Nicholls
SHANAHAN’S TURN (IRE)
8
Ann & Alan Potts
Colin Tizzard
SI C’ETAIT VRAI (FR)
10
James Nicholson
Neil Mulholland
SIZING CODELCO (IRE)
7
Ann & Alan Potts
Colin Tizzard
SOLAR IMPULSE (FR)
6
Andy Bell & Fergus Lyons
Christopher Kellett
SPLASH OF GINGE
8
J D Neild
Nigel Twiston-Davies
TAQUIN DU SEUIL (FR)
9
Martin Broughton & Friends 1
Jonjo O’Neill
TENOR NIVERNAIS (FR)
9
Boultbee Brooks Ltd
Venetia Williams
THE DRUIDS NEPHEW (IRE)
9
The Stonehenge Druids
Neil Mulholland
THOMAS BROWN
7
The Corse Lawners
Harry Fry
THREE MUSKETEERS (IRE)
6
Mrs G Widdowson & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes
Dan Skelton
TURBAN (FR)
9
Turbanators
Paul Henderson
UN NOBLE (FR)
6
Mrs C A Torkington
Nicky Richards
VANITEUX (FR)
7
Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes
Nicky Henderson
VILLAGE VIC (IRE)
9
Alan Peterson
Philip Hobbs
VOLNAY DE THAIX (FR)
7
Judy Wilson
Nicky Henderson
44 entries
2 Irish-trained
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