Taquin set for Cheltenham rematch with Village Vic

Taquin Du Seuil: will carry top weight in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup

PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos) Taquin Du Seuil set for rematch with Village Vic By Andrew King 9:00AM 6 DEC 2016

THE Jonjo O'Neill-trained Taquin Du Seuil is on course for the Grade 3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday when he will bid to emulate the stable's Exotic Dancer, who ten years ago doubled up in the valuable handicap after winning the Paddy Power Gold Cup.

Taquin Du Seuil finished with gusto up the hill last month to deny longtime leader Village Vic close home and the pair are set to clash again.

O'Neill's assistant Guy Upton said: "Taquin Du Seuil is in great form and is all set for Cheltenham on Saturday but, like many others, we could have done with a drop more rain. However, there aren't that many options for a horse rated as high as him coming up, so he'll take his chance.

"Exotic Dancer won the Paddy Power ten years ago and went on to take this race, so it can be done, and the hope is Taquin Du Seuil can emulate him. I think the more galloping nature of the New course, which they'll be using at the weekend, will be in his favour."

Watering in December

Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse said on Monday: "We're selectively watering the chase and hurdles courses on the New course, with the forecast ahead of Friday and Saturday stating we'll get only 2mm of rain this week.

"It's only the second time in 18 years since I've officiated at the course we've had to do so. That was in December 2003, when we had to race on the Old course as the ground was so dry and cracked on the New.

Claisse said there is no chance of Friday's cross-country race being cancelled, as was the case last month.

"We've watered the cross-country course significantly since then and the race will be staged this time around," he said.

Read all the build up to the International meeting in Tuesday's Racing Post, available on iPad now

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