Bobs Worth: the Gold Cup winner finished sixth in the Betfair ChasePICTURE: Getty Images
Bobs Worth 9-4 to bounce back in Lexus
GOLD CUP winner Bobs Worth is 9-4 favourite with Paddy Power to defeat Sir Des Champs, who finished second to him at Cheltenham in March, when they meet in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on December 28.
Bobs Worth had seven lengths on Sir Des Champs at Prestbury Park but must dramatically improve on his season's debut, beaten 40 lengths by Cue Card in the Betfair Chase, if he is to win at Leopardstown.
Sir Des Champs delivered an equally dismal first run of the season at Punchestown earlier this month, falling heavily at the third fence, and is 5-2 second favourite ahead of compatriot First Lieutenant.
Six of the last seven runnings of the Lexus have gone to British raiders and the raiding force led by Bobs Worth could be bolstered by Paul Nicholls' Unioniste (6-1).
Paddy Power also make the Willie Mullins-trained Ballycasey 6-4 favourite to win the Topaz Novice Chase the following day. Grade 2 winner Morning Assembly is next best at 5-2, followed by 4-1 Bright New Dawn.
The going at Leopardstown was on Thursday revised to good to yielding on the chase course, while the hurdle track was yielding, good to yielding in places. The forecast is for unsettled weather.
"Our ground held up really well," said racing and operations manager Nessa Joyce. "There will be some more bad weather but nothing we're scared off.
"It has had such a long break without rain, there's plenty of scope for it to soak through. There is rain due but I don't think we'll get any dramatic change. Yielding is probably a word that will be used plenty over the four days."
Paddy Power: 9-4 Bobs Worth, 5-2 Sir Des Champs, 5 First Lieutenant, 6 Unioniste, 10 Lord Windermere, 14 Roi Du Mee, Rubi Ball, 16 Benefficient, Lyreen Legend, 20 Prince De Beauchene, 25 bar
Topaz Novice Chase
Paddy Power: 6-4 Ballycasey, 5-2 Morning Assembly, 4 Bright New Dawn, 6 Black Thunder, 8 Carlingford Lough, 12 Foxrock, Sizing Rio, 14 Mad Brian, 20 My Murphy, 25 bar