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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Sir Des has Durkan optionHeadlines
Sir Des Champs

Willie Mullins is considering next month's John Durkan Memorial Chase as a starting point for his exciting prospect Sir Des Champs.

The Gigginstown House Stud-owned six-year-old is ante-post favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup after going through his novice season unbeaten, winning at the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals in the spring.

However, his Gold Cup credentials would be given an early test if Mullins opted to go to Punchestown on December 9 as the hugely talented Flemenstar is heading in that direction too, after making a winning return in Sunday's Fortria Chase.

"I imagine we are gearing this year towards the Gold Cup. He'll probably start off in the John Durkan and he's entered in the King George, but he'll be entered in Leopardstown (the Lexus Chase) at Christmas, too," said Mullins.

The champion trainer believes Sir Des Champs' biggest asset heading into this season is that he is so settled, something that can prove crucial in long-distance chases.

"He's a lovely big horse, he's built to carry 12 stones over three miles, which is ideally what you want in a chaser," Mullins told At The Races.

"I think the key to him is that he's so relaxed. I've never seen him at full strength or full speed, he just does what he has to do. That's just the way he is I think.

"We'll just plot a course as it comes between now and March. There are various races we can go for, but we'll see how he gets through his first race and then plan the second one.

"I don't like having a map the whole way out, we'll take each day as it comes, because you don't know what's going to happen from one day to the next.

"You might have to change plans, the horse might get sick, he might get lame, all sorts of things can happen, which is why I prefer to take it one race at a time."

20 December 2014

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Broadway proves a show-stopper
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Queen wears Listed crown
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Sceaux puts in impressive show
Silvi the star turn in King George
Sceaux puts in impressive show
Geraghty enthused by Bobs work
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Billy puffing his chest out again
Master back in the spotlight
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Serge states Supreme case
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19 December 2014

Martin readying big guns
Hobbs on Garde at Ascot
Fry excited by Activial chance
The New One in Haydock return
Reve camp not expecting a hat-trick
King issues Chatez Triumph warning
Bolger searching for Mossey key
King weighs up Karezak options
Henderson hoping Bobs makes Lexus
Simonsig camp play the long game
In-form Mole buries Exeter rivals
Sedgefield hit with heavy fine
Star names check in for Ryanair
Bobs revved up for Lexus repeat
Knott disqualified for three years
Geraghty braced for power Serge
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Activial stars in Ladbroke field

18 December 2014

Alvarado back for National service
Winner given Lexus go-ahead
Cheltenham dreams for King's Zero
Sivola bids for Long Walk hat-trick
Power plan uncertain for Westener
Kauto pleases in Olympia display
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Value oozes class in Newbury romp
Annie Power on road to recovery
Spencer strikes after U-turn
Vautour ready for next jumps test
Mullins banks on Faugheen progress
Victory set to skip Ladbroke
Mullins: Fever can go the distance

17 December 2014

Sidelined Brian misses Whittle
Sceaux to sidestep Haydock raid
Square season derailed by injury
Lexus a non-starter for Clouds
Europe return hinges on ground
Injury woe for Cookson
Plans on hold for Topper
Appeal success for Russell/Enright
Mulholland makes Master plan
Cango makes Catterick impression
Field sizes under BHA microscope
Quinn outlines Aurore options
Legal laying down the law at Ludlow
Ground dictates Attaglance plans
King heartened by Walkon return
Cross set Christmas conundrum

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