The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup is today’s highlight from day two of Cheltenham’s December Meeting and the first five home in the BetVictor Gold Cup reoppose. The winner Splash Of Ginge is just 5lbs higher in their weights today and is 10/1 at to do the double last achieved by Exotic Dancer back in 2006.


I thought the ground was no worse than good to soft yesterday and I am reluctantly going to swerve my selection Starchitect in favour of Ballyalton (1.55) who is 6lbs better off with Splash of Ginge for the 6l he was behind the winner last time.

The selection is 10-years-of-age and the statisticians will tell you no 10-y-o has won this since 1974 but the Ian Williams charge is lightly-raced for his age and I think at the revised terms on better ground the Lee Westwood owned former Festival winner can turn back the clock.

The selection is  and he is the each way recommendation in a cracking race where I can also pass on a good word for Long House Hall at .

Apple’s Shakira (12.10) is the 4/1 market leader for the Triumph Hurdle and she can make it two out of two over timber in the opener for Nicky Henderson. The selection has only won on very soft ground but she won a Grade 2 in a canter last time and is impossible to oppose.


The form of Movewiththetimes second at Cheltenham at the last meeting was done no favours with the winner’s (Finian’s Oscar) poor run at Sandown last weekend. The Paul Nicholls-trained runner is likely to be all the rage this afternoon but I am going to give the vote to Coo Star Sivola (12.45) despite the fact that the selection has 6lbs to find with the favourite.

The selection jumped very well last time and I hope jockey Lizzie Kelly makes plenty of use of her charge who is taken to cause a bit of a shock in a fascinating little race.

Harry Skelton has a rare outside ride aboard the front-running Gino Trail for Kerry Lee but I am looking forward to seeing Knockgraffon (1.20) have his first start for Olly Murphy stepping back down in trip to 2m in first-time cheekpieces. There are any number of dangers but I think first time out might be the time to catch Bun Doran and Ciran Gethings takes off a valuable 3lbs.

It wouldn’t surprise me if another 10-year-old My Tent Or Yours lands The International Hurdle for Nicky Henderson but Melon (3.05) is half the age of the Lambourn runner and the Supreme Novice Hurdle runner up gets the vote. The selection must give 5lbs to all but The New One but the Willie Mullins-trained runner is open to considerable improvement and his reappearance success at Down Royal was impressive albeit not the strongest of Grade 2 contests.



Apple’s Shakira 

Coo Star Sivola 




Irish Roe (1.40) did us a favour two weeks ago and can defy a 6lbs rise back in a cracking handicap hurdle. The mare has a potent turn of foot on decent ground and the hope is that it is no worse than good to soft at Town Moor this afternoon.

Saturday girl Bryony Frost can land the Grade 2 December Novices’ Chase for Nicholls aboard Braqeur D’Or (2.10) who ran such a cracking race in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury last time. The selection is and has been on the go for some time but the selection is a wonderful jumper of a fence and gets the vote.

Sego Success (3.20) won today’s corresponding 3m chase two years ago from a 3lbs higher mark and finished fourth twelve months ago for Alan King. The selection ran well from this mark at Warwick on his reappearance and that should put him spot on for this afternoon.


Irish Roe 

Braqeur D’Or 

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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