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WORTH WATCHING; But Sir Des could have the edge.

Byline: Dale Tempest sport@examiner.co.uk

THE Irish could be smiling after today's Gold Cup at Cheltenham if Sir Des Champs can upset the favourite Bobs Worth.

It is getting more hectic as the week goes on at the festival, but the sun is shining now, the fears of the course freezing are behind us and we can expect some great racing today.

Nicky Henderson's Bobs Worth is the favourite and ever since he won the Hennessy Gold Cup in December the horse has been expected to shine in the Gold Cup.

Bobs Worth has won at Cheltenham and it is very much a case of horses for courses and those who have done well at the festival before tend to prosper again.

Bobs Worth is unbeaten at the festival and he is the one that everyone else is going to have to beat.

The Irish challenge will be led by Sir Des Champs who also has won at Cheltenham before and has a great record.

His trainer Willie Mullins has been enjoying a great week with three winners on the opening day followed by two on Wednesday, and the Gold Cup has long been one of his targets.

There are only 11 runners this year, but it is very much a quality field and while Paul Nicholls has not had the best of fortune this week he can look to Silviniaco Conti who should also be right in the mix.

However, while the horse has been unbeaten this year, Silviniaco Conti has not won at Cheltenham before.

Long Run was a Gold Cup winner two years ago and again provides a challenge.

However, he is ridden by amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen at the insistence of the owner, his dad, Robert Waley-Cohen - if Ruby Walsh was on board, the horse would probably be favourite.

On the each-way front Captain Chris, who ran well at Ascot, could be a pick along with The Giant Bolster.

However, it probably comes down to three in Bobs Worth, Long Run and Sir Des Champs and my tip would be Sir Des Champs.

BOBS WORTH 11-4 SIR DES CHAMPS 7-2 SILVINIACO CONTI 7-1 LONG RUN 11-2 CAPTAIN CHRIS 12-1 THE GIANT BOLSTER 14-1 CAPE TRIBULATION 14-1 SUNNYHILLBOY 25-1 BOG WARRIOR 40-1 MONBEG DUDE 50-1 WAYWARD PRINCE 66-1

CAPTION(S):

| TEMPEST'S TIP: Sir Des Champs

| CUP FAVOURITE: Bobs Worth pictured being ridden by Barry Geraghty winning the Hennessy Gold Cup
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Mar 15, 2013
Words:405
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