Baron Alco made all to beat Frodon by two lengths in the BetVictor Gold Cup on the Old Course at Cheltenham in November and the pair are among 15 declared runners in Saturday’s Caspian Caviar Gold Cup run on the new course.
If successful on Saturday, Baron Alco would become the ninth horse to win both of the prestigious Cheltenham handicap chases, but only the fourth to do so in the same season after Pegwell Bay (1988), Senor El Betrutti (1997) and Exotic Dancer (2006).
Our experts analyse the BetVictor Gold Cup
Gary Moore, who is based in West Sussex, said: "Baron Alco has been in good form at home following the BetVictor Gold Cup.
"The BetVictor Gold Cup had a lot of fallers and it was beneficial to be up front, but he still won well.
"He came out of the race very well and he is a horse who has a great mind.
"He has been raised 6lb and we're looking forward to seeing how he gets on."
Moore also runs three-time chase winner Casse Tete.
Paul Nicholls is the most successful trainer in the history of the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup with four victories.
Frodon provided the 10-time champion Jump trainer with his most recent win in the contest when successful as a four-year-old two years ago.
The chaser is 3lb better off at the weights with Baron Alco and Bryony Frost, riding him for the seventh time, has yet to finish out of the first three.
Somerset handler Nicholls said: "Frodon came out of the BetVictor Gold Cup in good form.
"It was a fantastic run and he likes the ground and the New Course at Cheltenham.
"He has to carry top-weight again and is up another 3lb. He has it all to do, but we are happy with him."
Nicholls is also set to saddle Romain De Senam who unseated his rider at the first fence in the BetVictor Gold Cup.
The market is headed by Nicky Henderson’s Rather Be, narrowly denied at the Festival in March and travelling ominously well in the BetVictor Gold Cup when brought down four from home.
Rather Be finished a close second in the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase at the Festival
“He has come out of the BetVictor Gold Cup well and the Caspian Caviar was the plan,” said Henderson.
“He had no luck whatsoever in the BetVictor where he was brought down, but I have been happy with him since the race.
“He has schooled really well since.”
Moore has also declared Casse Tete, while Henderson has a second string in Casablanca Mix. Nicholls also runs Romain De Senam.
Robert Walford will bid for big-race wins on successive weekends with Mr Medic after Walk In The Mill landed the Becher Chase for him last Saturday.
Walford said: "Mr Medic is in great form and we are looking forward to running him in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.
"It will be his biggest test so far, but we are hoping for a good performance.
"He jumps and travels so well. Hopefully, the track will suit him.
"We will see if Mr Medic is good enough to win a race like this.
"He has been raised 9lb, but he won easily at Ascot and it was to be expected."
War Sound was an impressive winner at Aintree last month for Philip Hobbs – but has a 10lb rise to overcome – while Catamaran Du Seuil is out again quickly after being an early casualty over the National fences last week in the Grand Sefton.
Guitar Pete won the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup 12 months ago
Last year’s winner Guitar Pete is back for a repeat bid from a 3lb higher mark, while Nigel Twiston-Davies runs both Splash Of Ginge and Foxtail Hill.
Cobra De Mai, Cepage and Alan King’s French import Full Glass complete the field.
Rather Be heads the betting for the Grade Three contest at 3-1 and has been well supported in recent days.
Baron Alco is a general 6-1 chance and Frodon is available at 9-1 with William Hill and the remainder are 10-1 or bigger.