Caspian Caviar Gold Cup tips – Cheltenham Saturday ante-post best bets

The scene at Cheltenham as a packed field passes the standsThe scene at Cheltenham as a packed field passes the stands

Competitive handicap action goes to post on Saturday’s Cheltenham racecard and we’ve picked out our Caspian Caviar Gold Cup tips with two against the field.

One of the features of Cheltenham’s International Meeting goes to post on Saturday with the latest renewal of the competitive Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase which gets underway at 1.50pm as the fourth race on a cracking racecard at the home of jumps racing.

A maximum field of 17 runners will head to post to compete for a first prize of almost £60,000 and top trainer Paul Nicholls has a good record in the contest having saddled five winners of the race since 2009, latterly with subsequent Grade One winner Frodon who was winning the race for a second time when successful two years ago.

TV punters can catch the action on ITV Racing on Saturday and we’ve picked out two against the field who could post big runs in Saturday’s competitive handicap as we give our Caspian Caviar Gold Cup tips.

CHELTENHAM SATURDAY BEST BETS – CASPIAN CAVIAR GOLD CUP TIPS

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Venetia Williams’ charge has run well in each of the last two renewals of this contest, chasing home Frodon on his seasonal reappearance in 2018 and then fourth to Warthog twelve months ago; the Saddler Maker gelding could be worth chancing then as he bids to win this race at the third attempt.

A tough and consistent performer he ground out a welcome success over course and distance on Cheltenham Festival Trials day in January where he got the better of Spiritofthegames by a half-length. He then tackled the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Festival where he travelled well and looked the likeliest winner turning in only for his stamina to give out.

That run came from this rating of 155 – only 1lb above the mark from which he had struck the time before and he ought to appreciate this drop back to a more suitable trip having probably failed to get home when last seen.

He has proven he can go well when fresh and while rain would boost his chances having shown his best form on softer ground he acts on a better surface as he proved when chasing home Frodon in this race two years ago.

With a record reading 51222 on starts when returning from breaks in excess of six months and with a win and two places from five outings over course and distance he can deliver a big run once more in this contest for a yard that is in decent form at present.

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup tips. Cepage has run well in the last two renewals of this race and should feature prominently again.

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup tips. Cepage has run well in the last two renewals of this race and should feature prominently again.

BENATAR


Gary Moore’s charge went from strength to strength over fences as a novice, winning his first three starts in good style which included a Grade Two defeat of Finian’s Oscar at Ascot when taking the 2017 Noel Novices’ Chase.

The Beneficial gelding then went to the Cheltenham Festival where he ran a blinder in finishing third to Shattered Love in the then-known JLT Novices’ Chase where he was found to be lame post-race.

Things didn’t go to plan for him the following season and he failed to win in four starts although he did run decent races behind Politologue in the 2018 Christy 1965 Chase and Valtor in the Garrad Silver Cup where he finished third to Valtor although he shaped as if amiss when only seventh to Cyrname at Ascot when last seen out last January and he hasn’t been seen since.

He has a long absence to overcome as a result with this being his first outing in almost 700 days assuming he takes his chance; but he’s come a fair way down the weights and his current 142 rating is 6lbs below the mark from which he won that Grade Two contest earlier in his career.

As a result he remains with handicapping scope then assuming his ability remains intact following his time away from the track and while siding with him after such a lengthy absence in a strong renewal is definitely a risky tactic he’d be representing a yard in good form. It is easy to forget he was a very promising novice prior to injury and if he were to recapture his best form then he could post a big run for each-way backers.

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup tips. Benatar was an exciting novice prior to injury and could post a big run on his belated reappearance.

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup tips. Benatar was an exciting novice prior to injury and could post a big run on his belated reappearance.