Taquin Du Seuil tops weights for Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham on December 10

 BetVictor Gold Cup hero Taquin Du Seuil (11st 12lb, Jonjo O’Neill) heads the weights for the £100,000 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham on day two of The International, Saturday, December 10.

 

The prestigious Grade Three handicap chase is run over two miles, four furlongs and 166 yards at 1.50pm, mid-way through the excellent seven-race card, and received a high entry of 44, up from 41 in 2015 and 32 in 2014.

 

Taquin Du Seuil bids to become the first horse since Exotic Dancer (2006), also trained by O’Neill, and the third in all to lift the BetVictor Gold Cup and Caspian Caviar Gold Cup in the same season.

 

O’Neill is also responsible for More Of That (11st 5lb), who was pulled up when sent off favourite for the BetVictor Gold Cup, and recent Ascot runner-up Go Conquer (10st 1lb).

 

Village Vic (Philip Hobbs, 11st 9lb), second to Taquin Du Seuil earlier this month, made all to win the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup decisively in 2015 and could bid to become just the second two-time winner of the race alongside Poquelin (2009, 2010).

 

Buywise (Evan Williams, 11st 2lb), Aso (Venetia Williams, 10st 9lb) and Bouvreuil (Paul Nicholls, 10st 11lb), who were third, fourth and fifth in the BetVictor Gold Cup, are also likely to re-oppose.

 

Roman Flight (David Dennis, 10st 9lb) is under consideration for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup after producing a career-best to capture a valuable two and a half mile handicap chase at Newbury on November 25.

 

The eight-year-old had plenty to do jumping the last but picked up strongly to win by a snug half-length from Red Spinner (Kim Bailey, 10st 8lb) at the line.

 

Dennis said: “Roman Flight has come out of last week’s race fine. He went up two pounds for winning, which is par for the course when you consider the first three were in a bit of a heap.
“He is a good ground horse, so if the weather stays dry, the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup will be considered.

 

“He was staying on strongly over two and a half miles at Newbury and seemed to want every yard of it. He was running over two miles at Ascot before that but maybe longer trips are the way to go with him now.”

 

Aloomomo (Warren Greatrex, 10st 5lb) is the ante-post favourite in most lists after a promising reappearance third over hurdles at Ascot on November 19.

 

Gordon Elliott is responsible for both the Irish-trained entries in Empire Of Dirt (11st 11lb), who was successful in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate at The Festival in March and captured the valuable Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan last Sunday, and Killer Crow (9st 9lb).

 

Other contenders include Bristol De Mai (Nigel Twiston-Davies, 11st 5lb) and Kylemore Lough (Kerry Lee, 11st 7lb), both Grade One-winning novices last season, plus the Nicky Henderson-trained pair of Vaniteux (11st 5lb) and Volnay De Thaix (11st 1lb).

 

The International takes place at Cheltenham on Friday and Saturday, December 9 and 10. Highlights at the two-day meeting include the G2 £130,000 StanJames.com International Hurdle (3pm), 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 (1.30pm) over three and a quarter miles and the £35,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase (2.05pm).

 

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 Wgt Owner Trainer
TAQUIN DU SEUIL (FR) 9 11-12 Martin Broughton & Friends 1 Jonjo O’Neill
EMPIRE OF DIRT (IRE) 9 11-11 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
VILLAGE VIC (IRE) 9 11-09 Alan Peterson Philip Hobbs
KYLEMORE LOUGH 7 11-07 M J McMahon & Denis Gallagher Kerry Lee
ART MAURESQUE (FR) 6 11-06 Mrs Johnny de la Hey Paul Nicholls
BALLYNAGOUR (IRE) 10 11-06 Allan Stennett David Pipe
VANITEUX (FR) 7 11-05 Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes Nicky Henderson
MORE OF THAT (IRE) 8 11-05 J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill
BRISTOL DE MAI (FR) 5 11-05 Simon Munir & Isaac Souede Nigel Twiston-Davies
SAPHIR DU RHEU (FR) 7 11-04 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
LE MERCUREY (FR) 6 11-03 Chris Giles & Colm Donlon Paul Nicholls
OTAGO TRAIL (IRE) 8 11-02 Marie Shone Venetia Williams
BUYWISE (IRE) 9 11-02 T Hywel Jones Evan Williams
IRISH SAINT (FR) 7 11-01 Mrs Johnny de la Hey Paul Nicholls
TENOR NIVERNAIS (FR) 9 11-01 Boultbee Brooks Ltd Venetia Williams
THREE MUSKETEERS (IRE) 6 11-01 Mrs G Widdowson & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes Dan Skelton
VOLNAY DE THAIX (FR) 7 11-01 Judy Wilson Nicky Henderson
MODULE (FR) 9 11-00 Simon Clarke Tom George
THE DRUIDS NEPHEW (IRE) 9 10-13 The Stonehenge Druids Neil Mulholland
QUITE BY CHANCE 7 10-12 T Hamlin, J Dare, J Snook, J Warner Colin Tizzard
KING’S ODYSSEY (IRE) 7 10-12 William & Angela Rucker Evan Williams
BOUVREUIL (FR) 5 10-11 J P McManus Paul Nicholls
COLD MARCH (FR) 6 10-10 A Brooks Venetia Williams
SOLAR IMPULSE (FR) 6 10-10 Andy Bell & Fergus Lyons Christopher Kellett
REGAL ENCORE (IRE) 8 10-09 J P McManus Anthony Honeyball
ASO (FR) 6 10-09 The Bellamy Partnership Venetia Williams
ROMAN FLIGHT (IRE) 8 10-09 Favourites Racing Ltd David Dennis
DOUBLE SHUFFLE (IRE) 6 10-08 Crossed Fingers Partnership Tom George
TURBAN (FR) 9 10-08 Turbanators Paul Henderson
RED SPINNER (IRE) 6 10-08 Paul & Clare Rooney Kim Bailey
SHANAHAN’S TURN (IRE) 8 10-08 Ann & Alan Potts Colin Tizzard
THOMAS BROWN 7 10-07 The Corse Lawners Harry Fry
FRODON (FR) 4 10-07 P J Vogt & Ian Fogg Paul Nicholls
DEFINITLY RED (IRE) 7 10-06 P J Martin Brian Ellison
ON TOUR (IRE) 8 10-05 T Hywel Jones Evan Williams
ALOOMOMO (FR) 6 10-05 The Large G & T Partnership Warren Greatrex
SIZING CODELCO (IRE) 7 10-04 Ann & Alan Potts Colin Tizzard
GO CONQUER (IRE) 7 10-01 Paul & Clare Rooney Jonjo O’Neill
SPLASH OF GINGE 8 9-11 J D Neild Nigel Twiston-Davies
MYSTIFIABLE 8 9-10 Graham and Alison Jelley Fergal O’Brien
KILLER CROW (IRE) 7 9-09 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott IRE
FULL SHIFT (FR) 7 9-09 J P McManus Nicky Henderson
UN NOBLE (FR) 6 9-07 Mrs C A Torkington Nicky Richards
SI C’ETAIT VRAI (FR) 10 9-01 James Nicholson Neil Mulholland

44 entries, 2 Irish-trained 

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