Irish Champion Trainer Willie Mullins believes Sir Des Champs’ previous experience of Cheltenham will be a big advantage when he runs in the Betfred Gold Cup next month.
Sir Des Champs is unbeaten at the Prestbury Park track, after victories at the last two Festivals, in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle in 2011 and the Jewson Novices’ Chase last season. The horse, owned by Ryanair supremo Michael O’Leary, is one of the leading fancies for Gold Cup glory after seeing off Flemenstar in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown earlier this month.
“He worked on Saturday and worked well. Emmet Mullins rode him. He normally rides him in all his fast work,” Mullins told At The Races.
“The one good thing about Sir Des Champs is that he’s going back to a track that he loves – horses and courses and all that sort of thing.”
Bobs Worth from the Nicky Henderson stable currently heads the market for the Blue Riband of chasing, but the Irish runner is a close second in the betting and may well go off as jolly on the afternoon.