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Sir Des Champs - Cheltenham - 15/03/2011

Sir Des Champs (near side) was unbeaten in five starts as a novice

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

Sir Des Champs to face Flemenstar in the Lexus

SIR DES CHAMPS will miss the William Hill King George VI Chase on Wednesday and will instead reoppose John Durkan Chase conqueror Flemenstar in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on Friday.

Unbeaten on his first seven starts for Mullins, including back-to-back successes at the Cheltenham Festival, Sir Des Champs tasted defeat for the first time at the hands of Peter Casey's star in emphatic fashion earlier this month.

However the two most exciting young staying chasers in Ireland will renew their rivalry over half a mile further and with a run under his belt, Sir Des Champs could pose a bigger threat on this occasion.

Trainer Willie Mullins said on Saturday: "Having talked things over with the Gigginstown House team we've decided that Sir Des Champs will stay at home rather than go to Kempton and the plan is to run him in the Lexus Chase on December 28."

With Flemenstar the 6-1 second favourite for Gold Cup glory and Mullins' six-year-old joint third in the betting at 7-1, not to mention former Champion Chaser Sizing Europe and the exciting First Lieutenant also possible runners, the Lexus could now provide as many clues for the Gold Cup as the King George at Kempton.

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