#startracking Ante Post
Caspian Caviar December Gold Cup Sat. Dec. 12th
1.50 Cheltenham 2m 5f Class 1 Grade 3 Chase
Go West No.1!
I’ve thought long and hard about this race and whether I should put forward a selection. All the statistics suggest that to find the winner your first port of call has to be the recent Paddy Power Gold Cup over course and distance. Well I was lucky enough to see that race in the flesh and I must put my hand up and admit I backed Generous Ransom who finished fifteenth of fifteen finishers! He is likely to run again as are Annacotty (1st), Buywise (2nd), Sound Investment (3rd), Irish Cavalier (5th), Art Mauresque (6th) and Johns Spirit (9th). Since then the handicapper has had his say and would once again expect a multiple dead heat! Concerning the first five home if you made a case for one to win, you could make as big a case for the other four! So we are going to fly in the face of the two biggest trends, ran in that years Paddy Power and run in last 28 days and put forward CHAMPAGNE WEST as the selection.
Course and distance form is crucial and Champagne West has won here twice. The horse has gone well fresh in the past, he will act on Soft ground, the yard is in fine fettle, jockey Richard Johnson is unstoppable and probably rides this track better than anyone else in the weighing room and there is a distinct possibility that he could be a better horse than the 150 mark the handicapper currently has him on. So Champagne West is a three star nap at 9/1 with William Hill BUT we are putting in a couple of savers.
Returning to the Paddy Power there is a possibility that JOHNS SPIRIT needed that run as a confidence booster having been badly hampered by a faller in his previous run as he never seemed to be put in the race. He was second in the 2014 Paddy Power off a pound more and then campaigned at Grade 1 level. A three time course and distance winner he is the first one star saver at 14/1 with Coral or Betfred.
The second one star saver is ART MAURESQUE. On the book he has no chance of turning the form round on those who beat him in the Paddy Power. However he is only a 5yo, races off the same mark of 147 and if Sam Twiston-Davies opts for Sound Investment then regular partner Nick Schofield takes the ride (they have won four times together including C&D) and Team Ditcheat may find the necessary improvement. Currently on offer at 10/1 with Ladbrokes and BetFred.
Champagne West 3* @ 9/1
Johns Spirit 1* @ 14/1
Art Mauresque 1* @10/1