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Spiritofthegames favourite as 42 entered for BetVictor Gold Cup

Press Release 30th October 2019 Cheltenham

Ante-post favourite Spiritofthegames is among 42 entries revealed today for the G3 BetVictor Gold Cup, the highlight of The November Meeting at Cheltenham on Saturday, 16 November.

Run over two and a half miles, the BetVictor Gold Cup is one of the most coveted handicap chases of the season and carries a total prize fund of £160,000.

Spiritofthegames is the market leader with BetVictor. Trained by Dan Skelton, the seven-year-old captured a Listed novices' chase at Chepstow on his first start last season before finishing third in a pair of handicap chases at Cheltenham later in the campaign.

The latest of those efforts at the Home of Jump Racing saw Spiritofthegames take third behind Siruh du Lac (Nick Williams) in the G3 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase at The Festival™ presented by Magners.

Spiritofthegames has not raced since finishing fifth behind Kalashnikov (Amy Murphy) in the G1 Devenish Manifesto Novices' Chase at Aintree's Randox Health Grand National Festival in April.

Siruh du Lac was one of the most improved chasers in training last season and, prior to his triumph at The Festival™ under Lizzie Kelly, had registered handicap wins at Newbury, Exeter and Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day.

Trainer Nick Williams said of the six-year-old: "All is fine with Siruh du Lac.

"He is ticking over nicely, there have been no issues, and the plan is to go for the BetVictor Gold Cup.

"I guess at the beginning of last season it would have been hard to envisage the rate of improvement he showed, but he has always been a horse with lots of potential.

"He is a young horse who loves jumping fences and I think the confidence he has was a big part of his progress last season.

"I would like to think he can pick up from where he left off. That is the idea anyway."

The class act among the entries is Aso (Venetia Williams) with an official rating of 168. Aso posted a career-best on his latest start when second to last year's BetVictor Gold Cup runner-up Frodon in the G1 Ryanair Chase at The Festival™.

Nigel Twiston-Davies has trained four winners of the BetVictor Gold Cup, including 2017 victor Splash Of Ginge, who could line up again. Twiston-Davies has also engaged course and distance scorer Count Meribel.

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has two BetVictor Gold Cups to his name and the Somerset handler has five entries, the joint-most alongside his great rival Nicky Henderson.

Nicholls' quintet features Galway Plate second Black Corton and Brelan d'As, one of three entries for owner J P McManus, while Henderson's team is led by Janika, who finished second to Siruh du Lac at The Festival™.

Colin Tizzard, chasing a first BetVictor Gold Cup, appears to have two live contenders in Slate House, a facile winner in novice company at The Showcase last weekend, and White Moon.

The three Irish-trained entries are The West's Awake (Edward O'Grady), Us And Them (Joseph O'Brien), who finished second in four G1 novices' chases last season, and Articulum (Terence O'Brien).

There have been three Irish-trained winners of the BetVictor Gold Cup, the most recent being the Edward O'Grady-trained Tranquil Sea in 2009.

Weights for the BetVictor Gold Cup will be announced at noon on Wednesday, 6 November.

Sam Boswell of BetVictor commented: "We are thrilled to have so many classy entries for the 2019 renewal of the BetVictor Gold Cup. For many, this race is seen as the Jumps season opener and we, like the racing public, are looking forward to watching it all unfold on 16 November.

"Our ante-post market has been popular with customers, with a few names already making moves. Dan Skelton currently has the ante-post favourite Spiritofthegames. The recent Cheltenham winner Slate House entered the betting at 33/1 and, prior to that victory, had already been well supported to make it back-to-back victories at Prestbury Park.

"We are delighted to offer five places to our customers ahead of the big race."

The November Meeting is Cheltenham's biggest meeting outside of The Festival and takes place over three days from Friday, 15 November and Sunday, 17 November.

A full list of odds for the BetVictor Gold Cup will be available later today at www.BetVictor.com

The BetVictor Gold Cup

Grade 3 handicap chase, £160,000 total prize fund. Cheltenham, Saturday, 16 November. Two miles, four furlongs (2m 4f 44y). For four-year-olds and upwards. Penalties: after November 3, a winner of a chase 5lb. Entries closed October 29, entries revealed October 30 (42 entries). Weights revealed November 6. Five-day confirmation stage November 11, final declarations November 14. Maximum field size 20 runners plus 2 reserves.

Horse

Age

Owner

Trainer

Articulum (IRE)

9

Martin McDonagh/Paul Murphy/M Nixon

Terence O'Brien IRE

Aso (FR)

9

The Bellamy Partnership

Venetia Williams 

Belami des Pictons (FR)

8

Hills of Ledbury (Aga)

Venetia Williams 

Black Corton (FR)

8

The Brooks Family & J Kyle

Paul Nicholls 

Brelan d'As (FR)

8

J P McManus

Paul Nicholls 

Capeland (FR)

7

Mrs Kathy Stuart

Paul Nicholls 

Casablanca Mix (FR)

7

E R Hanbury

Nicky Henderson 

Cepage (FR)

7

The Bellamy Partnership

Venetia Williams 

Charmant (FR)

7

A Phillips & Mr&Mrs Sperling

James Ewart 

Count Meribel

7

Charles C Walker

Nigel Twiston-Davies 

Dead Right

7

J P McManus

Neil Mulholland 

Dell Oro (FR)

6

Galloping On The South Downs Partnership

Gary Moore 

Demi Sang (FR)

6

J P McManus

Ben Haslam 

Eamon An Cnoic (IRE)

8

The Angove Family

David Pipe 

Go Long (IRE)

9

William & Angela Rucker

Evan Williams 

Gold Present (IRE)

9

John & Barbara Cotton

Nicky Henderson 

Got Away (FR)

6

B McDonald and B Mellon

Oliver Sherwood 

Guitar Pete (IRE)

9

Mrs Pat Sloan

Nicky Richards 

Happy Diva (IRE)

8

Will Roseff

Kerry Lee 

Highway One O One (IRE)

7

Anthony Ward-Thomas

Chris Gordon 

Janika (FR)

6

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede

Nicky Henderson 

Kalashnikov (IRE)

6

Paul Murphy

Amy Murphy 

Knocknanuss (IRE)

9

Hail Sargent Evans

Gary Moore 

Magic Saint (FR)

5

John & Barbara Cotton

Paul Nicholls 

Mercian Prince (IRE)

8

Paul Murphy

Amy Murphy 

O O Seven (IRE)

9

Christopher Hanbury

Nicky Henderson 

Potterman

6

James & Jean Potter Ltd

Alan King 

Royal Village (IRE)

7

R Triple H

Ian Williams 

Saint Calvados (FR)

6

Kate & Andrew Brooks

Harry Whittington 

Secret Investor

7

Hills of Ledbury (Aga)

Paul Nicholls 

Siruh du Lac (FR)

6

John White & Anne Underhill

Nick Williams 

Sky Pirate

6

Lady Bamford & Alice Bamford

Jonjo O'Neill 

Slate House (IRE)

7

Eric Jones, Geoff Nicholas, John Romans

Colin Tizzard 

Spiritofthegames (IRE)

7

N W Lake

Dan Skelton 

Splash of Ginge

11

J D Neild

Nigel Twiston-Davies 

Springtown Lake (IRE)

7

Tim Syder

Philip Hobbs 

The West's Awake (IRE)

8

Sue Magnier

Edward O'Grady IRE

Us And Them (IRE)

6

Burnham P & D Ltd

Joseph O'Brien IRE

Warthog (FR)

7

Professor Caroline Tisdall & Bryan Drew

David Pipe 

Western Miller (IRE)

8

The Pantechnicons IV

Charlie Longsdon 

Whatswrongwithyou (IRE)

8

5 Hertford Street Racing Club

Nicky Henderson 

White Moon (GER)

7

Brocade Racing

Colin Tizzard 

 

42 entries

3 Irish-trained

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17 November 2019

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