Caption: Fiddlerontheroof (L) and Oscar Elite (R) – Credit Steve Cargill photo

Joe Tizzard will saddle two fancied runners in the inaugural running of the £250,000 Coral Gold Cup, a race his father Colin won under previous sponsorship with both Native River in 2016 and Sizing Tennessee in 2018.

Tizzard, who has made a bright start to his new career, intends running Fidderontheroof (11st 5lb) and Oscar Elite (10st 3lb), who were among five intended Coral Gold Cup runners to gallop on a wet morning which Newbury opened to members of the media and 200 of their Annual Members.

Although neither was extended in a steady workout in which the pair finish upsides, Tizzard was delighted with what he saw. Both are prominent behind 6-1 co favourites Corach Rambler and Remastered in the sponsor’s ante-post list, with Oscar Elite at 12-1 and Fiddlerontheroof at 12-1.

Tizzard said: “We weren’t really here to get them fit as they’ve both had lovely prep runs. It’s just a nice ‘away day’ for them. The journey up and the mile-and-three-quarters leg stretch does them the world of good. They don’t get bottomed like they might in a race. It’s a nice experience for them, and I was chuffed to bits with them.”

He added: “There’s not much between them and I haven’t yet spoken to Brendan (Powell, stable jockey) about which one he’ll want to ride. They are very close in the betting, and I expect Brendan will leave it as late as he can.

“Fiddlerontheroof hasn’t won his big race yet, but he ran well in the race last year. He’s 5lb higher, but he was only beaten half a length into second (by Cloudy Glen), and when Remastered fell four out he just had to sidestep him, just as he was making ground. I think that cost him.

“I think there’s a big one in him, he just hasn’t had his day yet. This has long been his target and I was chuffed with the way he ran over hurdles at Kempton last week. I loved the way he galloped through the line, but I might stick some headgear on him, because as a Grade 1 winner over two miles over hurdles he can travel better than he has been doing. He’s tightened right up and I think he’s got a great each-way chance.

“Oscar Elite ran a blinder last season when third in the Ultima at Cheltenham, and we’ve tweaked his wind since. He’s tightened right up too for his run over hurdles at Wetherby, and I think he’s well handicapped. He’s still a novice, but he showed at Cheltenham that he can handle a big-field handicap. He was just unlucky not to get his head in front. This morning’s rain was needed and it should be beautiful ground for them both.”

Paul Nicholls was among the other trainers to take advantage of the opportunity of a gallop on Newbury’s well-watered ground, which took a more natural drenching when the forecast rain arrived right on cue.

Nicholls won the race twice as a jockey and he has since won it again with Strong Flow (2003) and Denman (2007 and 2009). He is due another win and believes that Threeunderthrufive (11st 1lb), who was a four-time winner as a novice, ticks the right boxes. He is an 10-1 chance with Coral.

The trainer said: “I always think this is a good race for a second-season novice, and Threeunderthrufive has been progressive. He stays well, jumps well and looks to have the right profile.

“He’s been trained for the race and he had a lovely run over hurdles at Wetherby the other day, where the idea was to sharpen his jumping up. He didn’t actually jump very well there, but he jumps fences better than he does hurdles, that’s for sure. He ran exactly as I expected and he’s improved since then.

“He showed his wellbeing in today’s gallop, and I’m very happy with him. If it keeps on raining I’ll be even more delighted. He’s rated 151, so he’s not a Denman, who won off 174, but it’s a good race for him. He’s an out-and-out stayer, and if he gets in a good rhythm he’ll have a good chance.”

Nicky Henderson admits that the Coral Gold Cup has not always been the plan for Chantry House, who galloped with Shishkin and Champ, but it’s looking increasingly likely that the former Marsh Chase winner will run. He has 11st 8lb, and suitable options are few and far between.

Henderson, who has won the race with Trabolgan (2005), Bobs Worth (2012) and Triolo D’Alene (2013), said: “We’ve always thought Chantry House was a horse who is better off in a small field, and the hurly burly of a race like this doesn’t always fill me with confidence. He won’t be an easy horse to ride in this sort of race, but we have no options and he is in very good form so we’ll have to see.

“He needed that gallop more than I thought he would do, but he’s got to run somewhere and so this is the plan.”

It was State Of Play’s win in 2006 In what was then the Hennessy Gold Cup that put Evan Williams on the map, and this year Williams has another live chance with Annsam, who was a good winner of the Silver Cup at Ascot last December. He admits Annsam is a very different type to State Of Play, but he feels that he will have every chance if he can get him right.

Having watched Annsam pull some seven lengths or so clear of gallops companion Coole Cody in the most vigorous workout of the morning he said: “He’s a difficult horse to get right and he needed to come and work well. He also had to work well with a horse I was confident could make him work, as he was half asleep at Ascot and he’s been going through the motions somewhat at home.

“He’s a nice horse and I think the race could suit if I can get him right. He’s a much better horse with a couple of runs under his belt, so that’s why today was important. I wanted to see him quicken up the straight if he was to come back for the Coral Gold Cup.”

He added: “He’s the complete opposite of State Of Play, who came here first time out, trained by somebody nobody had ever heard of. That was the way he needed to be trained, but Annsam is a big stuffy horse and a free sweater. It’s not just the physical with Annsam, he needs to be switched on mentally, and you can’t flick that switch too often.”

Joseph O’Brien, who joined by telephone, plans to run the five-year-old Busseltown, who was a winner last time at Listowel and has 10st 13lb.

Speaking on the telephone from Ireland he said: “We think that the race will suit him well. In an ideal world we wouldn’t want the ground too heavy, but he’s fit and well and this is the plan. The track should suit him well and a big field will suit him fine too. He’s a consistent horse and a hardy horse, and the track should suit him well. He’s got plenty of weight, but we are hoping for a good run.”