The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup is the feature race at Cheltenham at the weekend and Riders Onthe Storm is the 7/2 favourite with BetVictor to follow up last month’s Aintree success from a 13lbs higher mark. That was his first start for Nigel Twiston-Davies having previously been trained by Tom Taaffe in Ireland. The market leader is 5lbs worse off with runner up Cepage (5/1 at BetVictor) and do note the latter finished runner up in the corresponding race in 2018.
Leicester must pass an inspection at 8am to see if Wednesday’s card can go ahead although the executive are optimistic they will give the meeting the green light. Town Parks did not get the clearest of passages at Hereford last time and I would not be surprised if he went very close in the handicap chase over two-and-a-half-miles. Marginal preference, however, is for Chambard (2.30) who caught a tarter at Sandown on his chase debut and is entitled to come on for the run and experience.
Keppage (3.00) may have won his sole point but for coming down two out but made no mistake on his first start for David Pipe when making all at Chepstow in a Bumper last month. Connections look to have found a very winnable opportunity for his hurdles debut.
At Hexham Legends Ryde (1.20) finished runner up in a listed Cheltenham Mares’ Bumper and she is bred to make her mark over obstacles. BetVictor brand ambassador Jamie Snowdon’s filly receives 6lbs from C&D winner Miah Grace who lost little in defeat when second at Wetherby last time and sets the standard.
Espoir Moriviere (2.20) looked ready for a return to further when second over 2m4f here last month having finished a close third over today’s C&D on his seasonal reappearance. Rose Dobbin trained the winner of the Borders National at Kelso on Sunday with Bigirononhiship and this lightly-raced maiden gets the vote.
Jolie Crickette was badly hampered at the first at Sedgefield last time and that appeared to affect her confidence. I suggest we put a line through that run. She must go close, but I just favour the chance of Lastin’ Memories (2.50) who finished second on his seasonal reappearance over today’s C&D last month.
The selection does get further which will be a plus on today’s heavy ground and he is entitled to come on for last month’s run given that was his first start in over 200 days.
At Kempton Kahoof (4.10) is not one of William Haggas’s stable stars but the Newmarket handler will be keen to get a win next to her name for connections and she looks to have been given a fair mark for her handicap debut. The selection finished third at Chelmsford over 7f last time and the second Corvair ran a very good race when runner up at Newcastle earlier in the week.
Joe Fanning is unbeaten on Astromachia (6.40) for Amanda Perrett but I hope Jim Crowley can get a similar tune out of the four-year-old who was a fluent winner over C&D here from a 6lbs lower mark back in October. Indeed, the selection is unbeaten in two starts here and is open to further improvement given he has only had nine career starts.
Sherrifmuir has been a beaten favourite in his three starts but should get his head in front in the Novice Stakes for John Gosden and Rab Havlin although he is unlikely to make much of an appeal as a betting medium.