Cheltenham International Meeting Dates are December 13th & December 14th

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14 Races During 2 Days

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Trial Races for the Cheltenham Festival

Page Contents

General Race Info

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Runners & Tips

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Stats & Trends

Past Winners

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Cheltenham International Meeting General Info

Featuring not only the Unibet International Hurdle, a hugely important two-mile Grade 2 race on the road to the Champion Hurdle in March, the Cheltenham International Meeting is run across two fantastic days and also showcases such events as the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup and the December Handicap Chase.

This year’s meeting takes place over Friday December 13th & Saturday December 14th with fourteen races scheduled. Frodon, twice a winner of the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, and 2002 International Hurdle scorer Rooster Booster are just two of the horses to have won here before going on to Festival glory.

Cheltenham International Meeting 2019 Tips

Early entries are now up for the International meeting, including for the three main feature races.

BetVictor Handicap Chase

In Friday’s BetVictor Handicap Chase, things appear to be very close at the weights which is exactly how it should be. While a return to form for Singlefarmpayment or Rock The Kasbah would make them very competitive, there has been more interest in Cogry and Dandy Dan.

There are so many doubts about this bunch though that the solid one remains the likely favourite, West Approach. Already a winner at Cheltenham this season over a similar trip to this 3m2f, this race looks ideal for him and it seems he may be coming here off a handicap mark lower than expected given that he was favourite for the Ladbrokes Trophy last time but crashed out, i.e. if you believe he may have gone close to winning that, and we do, he would have been raised significantly in the weights making him well-handicapped for this at around the 7/2 mark.

BetVictor Handicap Chase Ante Post Bet: WEST APPROACH

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup

Saturday’s Caspian Caviar Gold Cup is another huge event, this time over 2½ miles, and it’s one in which we could see a very well-handicapped sort.

Not That Fuisse, 12/1 at best in the ante post market, put up a very strong performance behind Al Dancer here at Cheltenham in October and is expected to improve further now. He gets into this race off a mark of just 131 but it’s felt that he is a 140+ horse at least, something at double-figure odds we cannot afford to ignore.

Brelan D’As did extremely well when narrowly beaten here last time having had to be rerouted from a cancelled card, and while this trip looks ideal it could be that the ground isn’t soft enough for him. Warthog and Secret Investor are probably best of the rest.

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Ante Post Bet: NOT THAT FUISSE

The Unibet International Hurdle

The Unibet International Hurdle (Grade 2) is arguably the highest quality event of the week and a key trial for the Champion Hurdle, though some of the candidates this year are clearly better over 2½ miles or more.

While a few of them may be very close ability-wise at the weights, such as Elixir De Nutz, Ch’tibello and short-priced favourite Pentland Hills, the one who may well prove to be the joker in the pack is Nicky Henderson’s Call Me Lord. A Grade 2 winner already, some think he saves his best for Sandown but a closer look at his profile suggests this isn’t true. He is improving generally, is comfortable at this sort of trip and on ground that isn’t too soft so at a best-priced 5/1 he gets the nod.

Unibet International Hurdle Ante Post Bet: CALL ME LORD

Cheltenham International Meeting 2019 Runners

While Friday’s feature race is the BetVictor Handicap Chase, the main focus will be on Saturday when both the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup and the Unibet International Hurdle take place. Key runners for those feature races are listed below:

BetVictor Handicap Chase

Horse Age Jockey Trainer
Cogry 10 TBC Nigel Twiston-Davies
Dandy Dan 6 TBC Kim Bailey
Doing Fine 11 TBC Neil Mulholland
Onefortheroadtom 6 TBC Harry Fry
Rock The Kasbah 9 TBC Philip Hobbs
Singlefarmpayment 9 TBC Tom George
West Approach 9 TBC Colin Tizzard

 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup

Horse Age Jockey Trainer
Brelan D’As 8 TBC Paul Nicholls
Cepage 7 TBC Venetia Williams
Clondaw Castle 7 TBC Tom George
Not That Fuisse 6 TBC Dan Skelton
Riders On the Storm 6 TBC Nigel Twiston-Davies
Secret Investor 7 TBC Paul Nicholls
Warthog 7 TBC David Pipe

Unibet International Hurdle

Horse Age Jockey Trainer
Ballyandy 8 TBC Nigel Twiston-Davies
Call Me Lord 6 TBC Nicky Henderson
Ch’tibello 8 TBC Dan Skelton
Elixir De Nutz 5 TBC Colin Tizzard
Gumball 5 TBC Philip Hobbs
Monsieur Lecoq 5 TBC Jane Williams
Pentland Hills 4 TBC Nicky Henderson

Cheltenham International Meeting Stats & Trends

Market leaders have done pretty well in the Unibet International Hurdle, six of the last 10 favourites going in with the average SP of winners being 4/1 in that time. 

Nicky Henderson has won the race five times since 2000, so anything he enters should be watched carefully, while the ages of winners is a wide spread, the last ten being aged between 4 and 10 with no real pattern emerging as to what age is best.

Things are a little different in the 2½-mile Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, a race in which 8 of the last ten have been aged 6-8. Paul Nicholls has taken no less than five of the last 10 renewals too and over this trip, you’d fancy him to have some leading candidates once again.

Naturally this is a more competitive race and as such, the average SP in the last ten years has been more than 9/1, with only one favourite winning in that time and even then, at a fair 7/2. So, keep an open mind and do not concentrate too much on the market leaders.

Cheltenham International Meeting Betting

Best Odds Guaranteed is basically a given for the Unibet International Hurdle and the other top races at this meeting where the bigger firms are concerned, so accept nothing less, while bookmakers will also be offering ‘money back’ deals and ‘non-runner, no bet’ offers too.

As the race sponsor, Unibet should be one to keep an eye on for the International Hurdle as bonuses should be abundant while Paddy Power too should be lively during this meeting, something wise punters can take full advantage of.

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Past Cheltenham International Meeting Winners

The 2018 Unibet International Hurdle was a competitive affair as we went 4/1 the field with Western Ryder heading the market. Warren Greatrex’s runner could do no better than fourth though as Nicky Henderson took the spoils with his 7/1 shot Brain Power, the mount of Nico de Boinville who was subsequently aimed at the Champion Hurdle.

Course favourite Frodon was a different proposition however; Bryony Frost’s ultra-tough mount won for the second time in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup before going on to win the Ryanair Chase in March. Here are the last ten winners of the two big races, along with how well they did at the subsequent Festival.

Unibet International Hurdle 

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer Festival Performance
2018 Brain Power 7 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson Pulled-up in Champion Hurdle
2017 My Tent Or Yours 10 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson Did not race
2016 The New One 8 Richard Johnson Nigel Twiston-Davies 5th in Champion Hurdle
2015 Old Guard 4 Sam Twiston-Davies Paul Nicholls Did not race
2014 The New One 6 Sam Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies 5th in Champion Hurdle
2013 The New One 5 Sam Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies 3rd in Champion Hurdle
2012 Zarkandar 5 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls 4th in Champion Hurdle
2011 Grandouet 4 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson Fell in Champion Hurdle
2010 Menorah 5 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs 5th in Champion Hurdle

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer Festival Performance
2018 Frodon 6 Bryony Frost Paul Nicholls 1st in Ryanair Chase
2017 Guitar Pete 7 Ryan Day Nicky Richards 6th in Stable Plate
2016 Frodon 4 Sam Twiston-Davies Paul Nicholls Did not race
2015 Village Vic 8 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs 9th in Ryanair Chase
2014 Niceonefrankie 8 Aidan Coleman Venetia Williams Did not race
2013 Double Ross 7 Sam Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies 3rd in JLT Novices’
2012 Unioniste 4 Harry Derham Paul Nicholls 4th in RSA Chase
2011 Quantitativeeasing 6 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson 7th in JLT Handicap
2010 Poquelin 7 Ian Popham Paul Nicholls 4th in Ryanair Chase