Sir Des Champs heads Irish Cheltenham Gold Cup challenge

Sir Des Champs is among 24 horses remaining in the Betfred Gold Cup at Cheltenham on March 15.

Sir Des Champs is 4/1 with to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup

In the latest stage of the Betfred Gold Cup entries notable withdraws include Flemenstar , Bold Sir Brian, Grands Crus, Hunt Ball and Sizing Europe.

With the absence of Flemenstar the Irish now rely on Sir Des Champs to give Willie Mullins a first win in the race, while Grand National favourite Prince De Beauchene is still in.

First Lieutenant and China Rock are Mouse Morris’ options, while Jessies Dream and Bog Warrior are also still in the mix to give the Irish their first win in the prestigious race since 2006 hero War of Attrition took the spoils.

Paul Nicholls enjoyed great dominance in the race of late with Kauto Star and Denman. He is now without those two his hopes rely on Silviniaco Conti and What A Friend. As expected, Lexus winner Tidal Bay has been taken out.

Nicky Henderson runs the 2011 winner Long Run, who regained his King George crown on St Stephen’s Day, while Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Finian’s Rainbow also remains in the line up.

Another former winner, Imperial Commander, is also heading back with the aim of emulating Kauto Star by winning the most prestigious race in the game for a second time after losing the title.

The Giant Bolster is still in the line up as he looks to go one place better than last year, when he finished second to Synchronised in the 2012 renewal.


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