Johns Spirit and Colour Squadron take each other on once again in the December Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday.

The pair were locked in a battle in the closing stages of the Paddy Power Gold Cup last month at the same course where Jonjo O’Neill’s runner just got the better of his rival by under a length.

The six-year old will be looking to pull off the big race double this weekend but he must defy a step up in the handicap this time around.

Bet365 make Johns Spirit 6/1 joint-favourite for the race, and if successful, will bring up his third straight win at Prestbury Park. He also scored there in October on his seasonal reappearance.

Colour Squadron was considered to be very unlucky on his last start. He was going well until he was hampered two fences from home. That meant he lost six lengths on Johns Spirit, which proved to be the difference in the Grade Three contest over 2m4f, despite rallying well.

This time around Philip Hobbs’ horse will be two pounds better off in the weights which could prove to be the difference. He is also available at 6/1 in the bet365 racing live betting markets ahead of the contest this weekend at the International meeting.

Trainer Paul Nicholls has started to hit some form after a slow start to the campaign. He saddles Grandioso in the feature. The horse made a return at Newbury last month where he finished third of 11 runners in a handicap.

Connections will be hoping for another successful campaign just like in 2012/13 where he won on three of his racecourse starts.

Gradioso is currently third is the market with the bet365 racing betting at 7/1. Home Farm and Cantlow are both in at 9/1, while it is 10/1 BAR.

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