Monday 23 October 2017

Jonjo considers 'Gold Cup' double for Taquin Du Seuil

Trainer Jonjo O'Neill. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Trainer Jonjo O'Neill. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Thomas Kelly

Jonjo O'Neill could ask Taquin Du Seuil to follow up his BetVictor Gold Cup victory in next month's Caspian Caviar Gold Cup back at Cheltenham.

Only three horses have won both races - Pegwell Bay (1988), Senor El Betrutti (1997) and Exotic Dancer (2006) - the last of which was trained by O'Neill who has also entered the beaten favourite from the BetVictor, More Of That, as well as Go Conquer.

Others which may run again having turned out in the first leg include Aso, Bouvreuil, Buywise and runner-up Village Vic.

The two Irish entries are both trained by Gordon Elliott - Cheltenham Festival winner Empire Of Dirt and Killer Crow. Other interesting contenders include Vaniteux (Nicky Henderson), Bristol De Mai (Nigel Twiston-Davies) and Three Musketeers (Dan Skelton), all smart novices last season.

Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri heads the weights for the £140,000 Betfred Becher Chase over the famous fences at Aintree on December 3. Trained by Kim Bailey, the eight-year-old was a creditable fifth on his comeback in the Champion Chase won by Valseur Lido at Down Royal earlier this month.

Owners Ann and Alan Potts look to have two leading contenders in Colin Tizzard's recent Cheltenham winner Viconte Du Noyer (11st 7lb) and the Jim Dreaper-trained 2015 Irish Grand National third Sizing Coal (10st 3lb).

Last year's winner Highland Lodge (Jimmy Moffatt, 10st 4lb) is on course to try to become the first back-to-back victor after his triumph from Dare To Endeavour (10st 2lb), which is in line to reoppose.

The latter is trained by Eric McNamara and was last seen finishing fifth in the Munster National at Limerick. He is one of 14 Irish possibles in total.

McNamara said: "The Becher Chase is Dare To Endeavour's big target for the season. He schooled over fences this week and jumped super, so all being well he will be there.

"I thought he ran well at Limerick in a very competitive race, especially given the ground was quick enough."

Elliott has a team of six headed by includes National sixth Ucello Conti (11st 1lb), while Mouse Morris has three - including last season's Irish Grand National hero Rogue Angel.

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