Coole Cody takes on 16 in search of Cheltenham double

Coole Cody will face 16 rivals in his quest to become only the fourth horse to complete Cheltenham’s big handicap chase double in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup on Saturday.

Evan Williams’ nine-year-old lifted the Paddy Power Gold Cup last month and will now try to emulate Pegwell Bay (1988), Senor El Betrutti (1997) and Exotic Dancer (2006) as winners of both races in the same season.

The opposition includes Al Dancer, who was third in the Paddy Power, and Saint Sonnet, who fell.

The latter is one of three from the Paul Nicholls’ stable as the Ditcheat handler attempts to improve on his record five wins in the race. Master Tommytucker and Southfield Stone are his other representatives.

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Others in the mix include the Venetia Williams-trained Cepage, Brian Ellison’s Windsor Avenue and Chatham Street Lad from Michael Winters’ Irish stable in County Cork.

With a maximum field of 17, there are also two reserves – Musical Slave and Ibis Du Rheu.

Goshen has the chance to atone for his final-flight fall in the Triumph Hurdle when he returns to action for the first time over jumps in the Unibet International Hurdle.

Gary Moore’s exciting four-year-old takes on seasoned campaigners, including the Alan King-trained Sceau Royal, in a 10-runner field.

Williams will be hoping Silver Streak has better luck after being carried out by the loose Not So Sleepy at the second hurdle in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle on his latest start.

Last year’s winner Call Me Lord is one of two runners from Nicky Henderson’s stable with Verdana Blue.

Ballyandy, Song For Someone, Summerville Boy, Ch’tibello and Stormy Ireland complete the line-up.

Summerville Boy, winner of the 2018 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, drops back in distance after finishing fourth over three miles in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.

Trainer Tom George said: “He’s been travelling strongly in his races and there aren’t many two-and-a-half-mile races for him, so we thought we’d step him back to two miles and see how we get on.

“He hasn’t quite been getting home over three miles – he’s too strong a traveller, really.

“I think he might enjoy coming back in trip and he has some very good form at Cheltenham.”

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