20th Jan, 2021

Coole Cody could return to Cheltenham as 37 entries unveiled for Caspian Caviar Gold Cup

Liam Moakes 30th Nov, 2020

PADDY Power Gold Cup winner Coole Cody is among 37 entries revealed for the G3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup – with connections hoping he can become only the fourth horse in history to win both races in the same season.

The prestigious handicap chase takes place over an extended two-and-a-half miles on the New Course at Cheltenham on the second day of The International on Saturday, December 12, with a total prize fund of £105,000.

Coole Cody, a winner over hurdles at Cheltenham in 2017 for Michael Blake, has been revitalised since transferring to trainer Evan Williams earlier this year.

The nine-year-old has won two of his four starts for the Llancarfan handler and his victory in the G3 Paddy Power Gold Cup on November 14 is by far his biggest success to date.

Only three horses have captured the Paddy Power Gold Cup and Caspian Caviar Gold Cup – first run in 1963 – in the same season. They are Pegwell Bay (1988), Senor El Betrutti (1997) and Exotic Dancer (2006).

Williams said: “Coole Cody has come out of the Paddy Power in great form. We have been really pleased with him and everything seems to be grand.

“The Paddy Power Gold Cup win was just fantastic. It is seldom that plans like that come together and it was just a really special day.

“It really was wonderful and we were over the moon to have a big winner at Cheltenham.

“The Paddy Power is one of the most prestigious races in the calendar and it meant a lot to us.

“At the moment, anything is possible with Coole Cody. We have put in an entry for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup and, while nothing is set in stone, it is great prize money.

“The Caspian Caviar is run on the other course at Cheltenham, which is another thing to consider.

“I am not going to commit to the race at the moment, but we have made the entry and we will see how he is.”

Five of the six other finishers in the Paddy Power Gold Cup form are also engaged, namely Al Dancer (Nigel Twiston-Davies), Kauto Riko (Tom Gretton), Sky Pirate (Jonjo O’Neill), Simply The Betts (Harry Whittington) and Aso (Venetia Williams).

Paul Nicholls is the most successful trainer in the history of the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup with five wins – the latest of those successes coming with top class performer Frodon (2016 and 2018).

Nicholls’ five contenders are headed by the classy Master Tommytucker, who had Good Boy Bobby (Nigel Twiston-Davies) 15 lengths in behind when sauntering to victory in a graduation chase at Haydock Park on November 21.

Fellow Nicholls inmate Saint Sonnet was a leading fancy for the Paddy Power Gold Cup but was beaten when falling at the last. The Nicholls quintet is completed by Modus, Grand Sancy and Southfield Stone.

Champion trainer Nicky Henderson, who has landed the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup on three occasions, has Mister Fisher headlining five entries. Mengli Khan, a recent recruit to Seven Barrows having won a G1 in Ireland for Gordon Elliott, is also engaged.

Other eye-catching entries include First Flow (Kim Bailey), who completed a four timer over fences in a competitive handicap chase at Ascot on November 21 and 2019 Paddy Power Gold Cup heroine Happy Diva (Kerry Lee).

Chatham Street Lad (Michael Winters) is the sole Irish-trained contender and was in winning action on his latest start in a handicap chase at Cork on November 22.

Weights for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup will be announced on Wednesday.

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