Racing Post guide to finding winners on Saturday

Bouvreuil (pink jacket) looks to hold fair claims in the Caspian Caviar

PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos) The Racing Post guide
to finding winners By Tony McFadden 7:00aM 10 DEC 2016

It's another great, action-packed afternoon of racing on Saturday, headlined by the competitive Caspian Caviar Gold at Cheltenham. Here are some points bearing in mind when making your selections.

Amount of rain will have big impact in Caspian Caviar Gold Cup

Punters hoping to crack the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (1.50 Cheltenham) may be looking at last month's BetVictor Gold Cup for inspiration as both races are ultra-competitive handicaps, run over similar distances and contested at Cheltenham – albeit on different courses.

However, whether or not that form works out could all come down to how much rain arrives at Cheltenham on Saturday. The going at the course on Friday was good – much faster than the testing conditions under which the BetVictor Gold Cup was run.

Should the rain not arrive in huge quantities there is reason to suspect that the principals from the Open meeting highlight may struggle to make such a big impact on this occasion. Runner-up Village Vic – who won this race last year – is on a career-high mark and at the age of nine has an older profile than the majority of winners of this contest, and, while he is effective on a sound surface, the very pick of his efforts have come with plenty of cut.

Third-placed Buywise is a regular in these type of races but is a frustrating, quirky type who often drops himself out of contention down the hill before staying on. They may not be stopping quickly enough for him unless the ground deteriorates markedly. Aso is another horse that made the frame in the BetVictor who needs to prove himself as effective on faster ground.

Bouvreuil, who finished fifth last month and an excellent second on a sound surface in the novice handicap chase at the Festival, may be best equipped to cope with the emphasis being more on speed should the rain not come in time.

UNIONISTE Cheltenham 15-12-12.

Unioniste slogs through the mud to win the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup

PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)

Handicap king Nicholls has good record

Another potential positive for the claims of Bouvreuil is the good race record of trainer Paul Nicholls, who has saddled three winners and two placed horses in the past ten years.

Nicholls struck twice with Poquelin in 2009 and 2010 before sending out four-year-old Unioniste to strike in 2012.

This time Nicholls is double-handed with Bouvreuil and Frodon, who was a leading fancy for the BetVictor but blundered at the fourth-last when still travelling well and looking a threat.

Younger horses are generally favoured in this race – no winner in the last ten years has been older than eight – and in four-year-old Frodon and five-year-old Bouvreuil Nicholls has a couple of progressive, unexposed chasers to call upon.

Cliffs Of Dover 360

Cliffs Of Dover: sets the form standard among the juvenile hurdlers

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

Triumph Hurdle clues on offer in the Summit

Fox Norton – now rated 167 as a chaser – subsequent Triumph Hurdle winner Peace And Co and impressive Gerry Feilden Hurdle winner Who Dares Wins are the last three winners on the Grade 2 Summit Juvenile Hurdle's (3.15 Doncaster) rich roll of honour.

Extra spice has been added to this year's race by the presence of two Joseph O'Brien-trained three-year-olds in Zig Zag and Lord Justice. Neither horse appears to be a leading light but should they manage to topple Cliffs Of Dover, who sets the form standard among the juveniles, it would offer something of a boost for the Triumph Hurdle claims of stablemate Landofhopeandglory, who has looked the best juvenile prospect in Ireland so far.

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