Mullins eyes Cheltenham chance

Trainer Willie Mullins believes conditions at the Cheltenham Festival this year should suit his runner Sir Des Champs (4/1 2013 Betfred Gold Cup outright), following a fine win in the Hennessy Gold Cup on Saturday.

The race, in difficult conditions at Leopardstown, saw Sir Des Champs get the better of rival Flemenstar (12/1 2013 Betfred Gold Cup outright), with a superb performance on the soft ground.

Mullins’ charge has not been renowned for enjoying the softer turf and with conditions expected to be better for the Cheltenham Festival next month, the runner’s preparations for the Betfred Gold Cup are continuing to go well.

The experienced trainer was delighted with jockey Davy Russell on Saturday and believes the signs are looking good for Sir Des Champs, with the Festival edging ever closer.

Mullins told the Racing Post: “Davy did the right thing injecting pace when going to join Quel Esprit four out. He knew Flemenstar was going well behind him and wanted to make it a real staying test.

“The ground wasn’t as bad as it was for the Lexus and because of that Sir Des Champs jumped a lot better. Even better ground again at Cheltenham would suit him well.”

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