Note
14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
Nag Me about
To add a NagMe alert you must sign in.
Forgot password?
Not a member yet?

Search: Horse Jockey Trainer Owner All

Sir Des sees off StarHeadlines
Sir Des Champs gallops on strongly to the line

Sir Des Champs became Ireland's main contender for the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup when outstaying Flemenstar in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown.

The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old, ridden by Davy Russell, outstayed Peter Casey's stable star, who seemingly failed to last out the three miles despite being held up for most of the journey.

Quel Esprit set the pace in a four-horse affair, but the race developed into a duel between the big two over the last two fences. Andrew Lynch hung on to Flemenstar until after the last, but he could not quicken to go past Sir Des Champs (11-8), who prevailed by a length and three-quarters.

Sir Des Champs is two from two at the Cheltenham Festival and was cut to 9-2 second-favourite with Stan James to make it a hat-trick in the Gold Cup, for which the Nicky Henderson-trained Bobs Worth is 3-1 favourite.

Mullins said: "He jumped well, did it well and it looks like there's more improvement. Every year he improves in the spring. He's been to Cheltenham twice and he loves the place. He loves that hill, so I'm hoping he can show what he did the last two years, that he can keep improving coming into March.

"We were hoping he would do that at Christmas (in the Lexus Chase), but his jumping errors left him too far out of the race at the second-last. He got his jumping right today and probably the drier ground helped, plus there were only four runners and the one ahead of him (Quel Esprit) gave him a good lead.

"He got low at the early fences and I thought he would have to improve, which he did. Davy (Russell) was very good on him - he inserted pace four out when he looked around and saw Flemenstar was going so well. He had to do that to make a staying race of it. The further he was going, the better."

Of Flemenstar, Francis Casey, assistant to his father, told At The Races: "We were delighted with the way he settled. It could be a blessing in disguise, but I haven't a say (in what race he runs in at Cheltenham). It will be the owner and my father. I imagine he'd be going back in trip, but what race?

"I know father was always aiming at the Queen Mother, and I have a slight preference for that myself. Today everything went right except for a few fences. He has a lot of speed and has a high cruising speed and jumping ability. Trying to extend it in longer races, he is not using his jumping ability.

"He was just popping his fences and everything was going to plan. We were hoping he'd get there, but it didn't work out. It proved conclusively he is not a three-mile horse. It's an extra two and a half furlongs in the Gold Cup and to me, he'd struggle to get over the last."

31 October 2014

Osborne ready to 'roll the dice'
Dank bids to sign off on a high
Turf glory in sight for Telescope
Red Ed upbeat about Cadeaux
Aktabantay out of Breeders' Cup
Tearless secures Good Friday ticket
Overnight stay for Johnson
Crawford banks on Izzini progress
Toast could make Spencer think
Road charts route to Royal riches
Grece excels at Saint-Cloud
Hawk given Greatwood option
Hannon: Early speed key for Osaila

30 October 2014

Tearless takes Lingfield honours
Johnson taken to hospital
Royal summons for Apache
Bowe takes aim at WKD bullseye
Hootenanny 'smoking' for BC mission
Avenue roads lead to Newmarket
Shu to be kept busy
Scu sweet on Sensation Ascot raid
Murtagh succumbs to Cup charms
Dandino to stay in Australia
Glance denied Mackinnon defence
Bailey ace rules Supreme at Taunton
O'Brien hit by Magician blow
Diablo in big-race picture
Buckley raises Toast to Osborne
Pastille seeking four-timer
Conti all set for Charlie Hall
Barnes out to storm Saint-Cloud
Williams issues Buywise warning
Lynam reveals Slade stalls fears

29 October 2014

Lame Magician out of Breeders' Cup
Diablo in big-race picture
Mullins enters strong Hennessy team
Damaged hock behind Estid reverse
Eckhart team rocked by injury blow
Hunt Ball makes Power play
Morgiana a T bone of contention
Kirby ponders Buttons French raid
Glance camp turn to Williams
Wohler trusts 'professional' Moore
Red alert to Cup challenge
Head targets more Mile glory
Mile hope Toronado in 'great form'
Telescope camp banking on Moore
Twiston-Davies link excites Moore
Flying third to Bob on hurdling bow
Harden to test top staying waters
Godolphin take share in Belardo
Mullins has big guns at Down Royal
Annacotty set for Kempton return
Powell and Bradley cleared

28 October 2014

Fingal camp on weather watch
More injury woe for Popham
Dickin unveils Thomas gameplan
Power stalls in Flemington spin
Toast drawn nine in BC Classic
My Ambivalent passed fit by vets
Harry out to bring House down
Three and easy for ton-up Hanagan
Wood carves out Galway verdict
More Of That in Wetherby frame
Big guns confirmed for Charlie Hall
Byron pencilled in for Far East
Newbury reverts to original title
Magician to stay in the US
Henderson considers hurdles for Bob

About | Terms | Privacy | Manage Alerts | Manage Account | © 2014