Taquin Du Seuil won the BetVictor Gold Cup chase last month
PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
By Alex Wiltshire 11:34AM 8 DEC 2016
HIGHLY-FANCIED BetVictor Gold Cup winner Taquin Du Seuil was not among declarations for Saturday’s Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham, however the second, third, fourth and fifth-placed finishers all take their place.
Jonjo O’Neill, trainer of Taquin Du Seuil, tweeted on Thursday: “Instead of carrying top weight on ground that might not favour Taquin Du Seuil, we have decided to look at other options around Christmas.”
A 16-strong field is declared to line up for the feature handicap, but that could shrink further after Warren Greatrex warned that Aloomomo is unlikely to take part unless there is significant softening of the currently good ground.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Bouvreuil is now 13-2 favourite to claim the bulk of the £100,000 prize after finishing fifth in the BetVictor Gold Cup last month, and the Ditcheat trainer is also represented by Frodon, who saw his unbeaten run of three come to an abrupt end when finishing tenth in the race.
Defending champion Village Vic will line up for Philip Hobbs, who was just denied at the course last month when finishing second to Taquin Du Seuil, while Paul Moloney has chosen to ride Cheltenham regular Buywise in the race over Evan Williams’ other runner King’s Odyssey. Buywise will also wear a visor for the first time.
Venetia Williams saddles Aso, who finished fourth in the BetVictor, while Colin Tizzard is doubly represented with Quite By Chance and Sizing Codelco.
For Friday’s card, Josies Orders, last year’s winner of the Glenfarcas Cross Country chase, was not declared for the race as eight go to post, headed by the Gordon Elliott-trained Bless The Wings.