Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
Handicap Chase, Cheltenham 13:50
Grade 3, £100,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 4f 166y, Class 1  
Saturday 10th December 2016

1 Frodon 14/1
2 Aso 13/2
3 Village Vic 6/1J
4 Quite By Chance 20/1
16 ran Distances: 1½l, hd, ½l
TIME 5m 18.00s (slow by 15.00s)

A jubilant Sam Twiston-Davies celebrated an "important" winner as Frodon became only the second four-year-old to win the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup when outpointing older rivals in the valuable handicap chase at Cheltenham.

© Racehorse Photos

Trainer Paul Nicholls sent out Unioniste at that tender age to score in 2012 and repeated the trick with Frodon (14-1), who was providing Twiston-Davies with a welcome big-race success following his recent return from injury.

Last year's winner Village Vic made a brave attempt to make all the running and stuck to his task for minor honours when the pace hotted up.

Kylemore Lough took the lead before the second-last, but Frodon, who had run better than his 10th place suggested in the BetVictor Gold Cup last month, ranged up menacingly.

Twiston-Davies drove him right out to land the spoils by a length and a half from Aso. Village Vic was a head away third and Quite By Chance fourth.

Twiston-Davies said: "I said he had a good chance, and it's important for me coming back from injury to get a big one on the board for the boss - I couldn't be happier.

"If he hadn't made a mistake at the ditch down the back the last time, you wonder what might have been.

"I was happy with my position and that's what we wanted to do today, give him a bit of space and the right horses to aim at.

"He jumped the last really nicely, but when the ground is like this it's a long old run-in."

He added: "These days are very important. He's brave and it's a very special day."

Nicholls - who had an across-the-card four-timer on the day with three winners at Doncaster - said: "I enjoyed that, I thought he was awfully unlucky the last day.

"The rain suited him and I thought he'd go close today."

Nicholls went on: "The rain suited him rather than Bouvreuil, who didn't stay on the ground.

"Frodon's a good horse, he jumps well. They can all make the odd mistake, he's only a novice, but we put that right in the last month and he was a lot fresher today. He'd only run seven days before the BetVictor.

"The great thing is he is still a novice, we will mix and match but today was the day.

"It was great for Sam to have a winner on the big stage. It will have done his confidence the world of good."

Venetia Williams, trainer of runner-up Aso, said: "He's winged the last and beat all the horses from the BetVictor apart from Frodon, who didn't run his race."

Village Vic's trainer Philip Hobbs said: "He's a 100 per cent trier. He ran on very well in the end. He's run fantastic again.

"The great thing about him is he gets into a rhythm and jumps well. Although his jumping was good, I don't think it was quite as good as last time.

"He was very brave and is good at organising himself."


The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 4f 166y, Class 1
16 ran
Going: Soft (Good to Soft in places)

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Frodon (FR) 14/1 Sam Twiston-Davies
P F Nicholls 4
2nd Aso (FR) 13/2 Charlie Deutsch (5)
Miss V Williams 6
3rd hd Village Vic (IRE) 6/1j R Johnson
P J Hobbs 9
4th ½ Quite By Chance 20/1 T J O'Brien
C L Tizzard 7
5th ½ Kylemore Lough 9/1 J E Moore
Kerry Lee 7
6th Bouvreuil (FR) 13/2 B J Geraghty
P F Nicholls 5
7th 11 Buywise (IRE) 10/1 Paul Moloney
Evan Williams 9
8th 11 Thomas Brown 6/1j N D Fehily
H Fry 7
9th 14 Solar Impulse (FR) 50/1 Sean Bowen
C N Kellett 6
10th 2 Full Shift (FR) 16/1 J McGrath
N J Henderson 7
11th 16 Roman Flight (IRE) 33/1 J M Davies
David Dennis 8
PU Module (FR) 20/1 A P Heskin
T R George 9
PU Turban (FR) 80/1 Nick Scholfield
P Henderson 9
PU Sizing Codelco (IRE) 25/1 Aidan Coleman
C L Tizzard 7
F King's Odyssey (IRE) 11/1 D A Jacob
Evan Williams 7
F Aloomomo (FR) 10/1 G Sheehan
W Greatrex 6