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Aintree 1-2 headline 16 in Saturday's Caspian Caviar Gold Cup

Riders Onthe Storm and Cepage, who were first and second in a valuable handicap chase at Aintree last month, feature among an excellent field of 16 for the £130,000 G3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (1.55pm) on day two of The International, Saturday. 
 
Six-year-old Riders Onthe Storm (Sam Twiston-Davies) made an exciting debut for his new trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies when scoring by a length and three-quarters in the Virgin Bet Handicap Chase at Aintree on 9 November - a victory that saw him raised 13lb. 
 
Cepage (Venetia Williams/Charlie Deutsch) is 5lb better off at the weights on Saturday and last year's Caspian Caviar Gold Cup runner-up is aiming to become the second consecutive top-weight to win the extended two and a half-mile handicap chase following Frodon 12 months ago. 
 
Paul Nicholls, the most successful trainer in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup with five wins, is doubly represented. Secret Investor (Harry Cobden) was runner-up in the G2 Daily Mirror Chase at Down Royal at the start of November, while Brelan D'As (Barry Geraghty) went down by a neck to Happy Diva in the G3 BetVictor Handicap Chase at The November Meeting. 
 
Dan Skelton also has two contenders in unexposed novice Not That Fuisse (Harry Skelton) and Spiritofthegames (Bridget Andrews), who was third in the G3 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase at The Festival™ presented by Magners in March. 
 
Clondaw Castle (Tom George/Jonathan Burke) was fourth in the G1 Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase at The Festival and finished second on his seasonal return in a dramatic renewal of the Listed Byrne Group Handicap Chase at Ascot at the start of November. 
 
Other leading contenders include G3 BetVictor Handicap Chase third Warthog (David Pipe/David Noonan), recent Haydock Park winner Keeper Hill (Warren Greatrex/Adrian Heskin) and the Gary Moore-trained duo of Benatar (Joshua Moore) and Knocknanuss (Jamie Moore). 
 
Generous Day (James Davies) has won three of his four most recent starts over fences for Henry Oliver, including when posting a six-length success in a handicap chase over an extended two and a half miles at Kempton Park on 25 November. 
 
Worcestershire-based Oliver said: "Generous Day won nicely at Kempton and we were delighted with the way he jumped and how he saw out the race.
 
"This is another step up, but he is an improving horse and hopefully there is more to come.
 
"He does not want proper winter ground, hence why we want to get another run into him now. It is a very competitive race, but we are looking forward to running."
 
Lalor (Kayley Woollacott/Aidan Coleman), a G1 winner over hurdles, captured the G2 Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices' Chase at The November Meeting in 2018 and steps up in trip after coming home fourth in the G2 Coral Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter on 5 November. 
 
Richard Johnson, who has partnered three winners of the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, rides the Philip Hobbs-trained Imperial Presence, while Robin Des Foret (Willie Mullins/James Bowen) is aiming to be the first Irish-trained horse to win the race since Sir Oj in 2005. Last season's G2 Pendil Novices' Chase third Good Man Pat (Alan King/Tom Cannon) completes the line-up. 
 
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