It’s Friday and that means that it is time for another big Saturday race preview from our CEO and Founder Matt Mitter AKA Race Reader. Today Race Reader previews the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
Selection Cheltenham 1.55 SPLASH OF GINGE 1 Point Win 10/1 GUITAR PETE 1Point Win 12/1 (Free £100 Bet below)
Tomorrow Cheltenham stage the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at 1.55.It is a Grade 3 Handicap Chase over 2 Miles 4 Furlongs and 11 runners go to post. I always think of this race as the follow up to the Bet Victor Chase and the first time to test the form. We will find out if the handicapper is correct in his assumption that it was not all that good this year.
As a Race Reader you have the luxury with these big Saturday races that you start looking at them a couple of days before and this is one that I have studied then slept on then studied again. That is for a few reasons, as I will set out
CLAN DES OBEAUX is put in as the 4/1 favourite here and he carries top weight for Paul Nicholls. I cannot argue against him being favourite here but whether I think he should be 4/1 is another matter. This horse’s form has been widely advertised and in a 2 runner race he was beaten ½ a length at Kempton by WHISPER. That horse went on to be an agonisingly close second in the big Ladbroke Chase at Newbury. He was beaten by TOTAL RECALL with 9 lengths back to the third REGAL ENCORE. Now you have to say if you put WHISPER in here off a mark of 155 you would rate his chances so CLAN DES OBEAUX off 155 has to be of interest. Last time out he won seven lengths at Haydock in a Class 2 Chase on heavy ground. Those last two races were very different from what he will face here in this bigger field though and he will have to be seriously well handicapped as he has a lot of weight. Those factors are enough to make me look elsewhere.
Next in @6/1 is STARCHITECHT for David Pipe a horse who finished second in the BetVictor Chase here .He locks horns again with his conqueror that day SPLASH OF GINGE.i am scratching my head here as to why STARCHITECT is 6/1 and the winner SPLASH OF GINGE is 10/1.Both have been punished in the weights after the race and the handicapper has clearly taken the view that the Bet. Victor was not up to much this year .The winner SPLASH OF GINGE won the race off a mark of 134 and has only been put up 5 pounds. Now I personally think the Handicapper has under valued this form and I think it is stronger than he does.
Lets not forget though SPLASH OF GINGE came into the Bet Victor on the back of a lot of bad runs you have to assume that he has come back to his very best form to win .Now his very best form saw him win races like the Betfair hurdle and on that form he could still be very well handicapped. So in turn you must say the same for STARCHITECHT but for me they should be the same price here so the fact we can get 10/1 SPLASHOFGINGE to me is an insulting price and we must have 1 Point Win @10/1.On the back of that victory he should be favourite here not 10/1.He will be one of two bets I will be giving in this race.
LE PREZIEN was third that day in the bet Victor and he is here @13/2, he was my selection that day but yet again his jumping let him down. That would be my concern that day and also I do not think he got home up the hill. They are staying at the trip though on this the stiffer of the tracks here the New Corse and they are fitting a tongue tie for the first time. They may be feeling he is having trouble with his breathing and that will make the difference. I cannot be with him here as I have been with him on his last 2 runs when he has failed to win and at a best priced 13/2 he is tight enough in the market. With the jumping and stamina question marks I will be leaving him this time.
KINGS ODDYSEY has been well supported for this and is the selection of a couple of good judges I respect and is now best priced 13/2.He is not for me at that price and is a horse who has already been on the floor. With that in mind he is now far too short to be of interest for me.
We then have BALLYALTON who for me here will not get this trip and is best priced 8/1.He was on his knees at the end of the Bet victor and I just cannot see him getting home in this.
The other horse I am selecting here is GUITAR PETE for Nicky Richards. The horse has no weight at all in this right down at the bottom of the handicapper and jockey Ryan Day takes a further 3 Pounds off .The horse was beaten 25 lengths in the Bet Victor but you have to forgive him that because he was virtually carried out that day. After being seriously hampered through no fault of his own he could never get back into the race. Before that he won a Listed race at Wetherby beating SAMATEGAL by 7 lengths over 2 miles 3 furlongs. He surprised me there because I did not think he would have the speed to do that. Again he had a very low weight that day. Before that I watched him run in a listed race at Market Rasen when he really struggled to lay up in a race that was run over the same distance as today. This can be a problem with him and he can come off the bridle early in his races and it will be key here that he does not get too far behind in a race that should be run at a good tempo. The form of that race at Rasen has worked out extremely well where GUITAR PETE was a 4 length second to BALLYBOLLEY.The third MASTER DEE has come out and been very unlucky to be beaten by ON TOUR. With a massive gap back to the third. The fourth horse was PLAY THE ACE and he has won 3 times since. At 12/1 GUITAR PETE is a serious player here off a mark of 134.Lets not forget the horse is a Grade 1 winning hurdler albeit some time ago. That was at Aintree in 2014 so he certainly has shown he has class and I think even with the nagging doubt of him getting too far back he is definitely the value in the race @12/1.
In conclusion I think the Bet Victor win by SPLASH OF GINGE has been completely under rated and we will have 1 Point Win on him. Also GUITAR PETE is the best value in the race and @12/1 we will have 1 point Win on him as well. It is a fascinating race and the market seems in agreement with the handicapper picking holes in the Bet Victor form. I however believe it is better than they think and I have never seen a bad renewal of that race ever.