Not That Fuisse looks decent value to land the spoils in the feature race at Cheltenham on Saturday, the 2m 4f Grade 3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (13:55).
This Dan Skelton trained six-year-old was a useful hurdler last season when winning three times and also ran well in defeat at this meeting when chasing home Al Dancer in a competitive handicap hurdle.
He had his attention switched to chasing at the start of this season and ran really well on debut over the larger obstacles when finding only Erick Le Rouge a length too good at Uttoxeter.
Not That Fuisse then put in a very eye-catching effort in a class 3 novice contest over 2m here in October when a four-length runner-up to Al Dancer.
After being held-up at the rear and making a mistake at the second, the son of Fuisse got outpaced when clouting the third last.
He then rallied strongly under a hand and heels ride, and stayed on strongly on the run-in to be nearest at the finish.
It was a really solid effort against a rival rated 19lb his superior and one which suggested there was a decent pot to be won with him this season.
Although not so good last time out, when a well-beaten fourth to Torpillo at Warwick, Not That Fuisse looks to have been brought along with handicaps in mind.
He now makes his debut in this sphere off what looks a very workable mark of 131, judged on his aforementioned effort behind Al Dancer two months ago.
The step back up in trip is also sure to suit and Not That Fuisse looks to have been laid out for the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup. So, at 8/1 with Coral, he looks well worth a wager.
Brelan D’As primed for big run in Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
Brelan D’As ran a blinder when runner-up here last time out, so can make a bold bid to go one better.
This Paul Nicholls trained eight-year-old won twice last season and also posted some really solid effort in defeat.
They include when fifth of 11 to Siruh Du Lac in a Grade 3 handicap at this venue and a cracking third of 19 to Croco Bay in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival.
After tracking the leaders racing keenly, Brelan D’As made a costly mistake three from home, but stuck to the task well on the run-in to go down by five lengths.
He was then far from disgraced on his final start of the campaign when fifth of 13 to Moon Over Germany in the Grade 3 Red Rum Handicap Chase at the Aintree Grand National Festival.
The form of those races read extremely well in relation to this. Brelan D’As comes into the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup on the back of a really solid effort last month when a neck second of 22 to Happy Diva in the Grade 3 BetVictor Gold Cup here off a mark of 138.
He made stealthy headway from off the pace to hold every chance two from home and then kept on strongly on the run-in to be gaining all the way to the line.
That is again strong form and a 5lb rise in the weights does not look harsh, given that the front two pulled eight lengths clear of the third home Warthog.
Brelan D’As also has a fine record over the trip having won twice and been placed on three occasions in seven starts over it. Therefore, at odds of 8/1 with Bethard who pay four places, he looks a solid each-way contender.
Spiritofthegames also appeals each-way at huge odds
Not That Fuisse’s handler Skelton also saddles Spiritofthegames. This one has not been at his best in two starts this season, but if bouncing back looks a lively outsider capable of outrunning his odds.
This seven-year-old has some very strong form in ultra-competitive hurdles contests in 2017-18.
Spiritofthegames finished a fine third to Kalashnikov in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and an excellent 4 3/4 lengths seventh of 19 to Jester Jet at the Aintree Grand National Festival.
He looked the type to come into his own when sent chasing. That view was confirmed when he made a winning debut over the larger obstacles in a Listed contest at Chepstow first time up last season.
Spiritofthegames then ran no sort of race when finding Grade 2 company too hot and last of four to La Bague Au Roi at Newbury.
Following a break, however, he duly showed that running to be all wrong when a 2 1/2 lengths third of eight to Kildisart at this venue.
He then finished a cracking third of 22 to Siruh Du Lac in the Grade 3 Brown Advisory Plate over course and distance at the Cheltenham Festival off a mark of 147.
Spiritofthegames is now able to race off 1lb lower (146), so that gives him a big shout from a handicapping perspective.
His two outings this season have seen him pulled-up in the BetVictor Gold Cup when sent off a well-backed 8/1 shot and beaten miles by stable companion Oldgrangewood at Newbury, but he is now back down to a handy mark as a result.
Hence at 22/1 with William Hill, Spiritofthegames had to feature as another potential each-way punt and thus completes this 2019 Capsian Caviar Gold Cup preview.