Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs both carry the weight of mighty reputations to their battle in the John Durkan at Punchestown this afternoon

With punters having been treated to what was touted to be a match of greats in the Tingle Creek yesterday, this afternoon two of the leading Cheltenham Gold Cup fancies will clash at Punchestown. Peter Casey’s Flemenstar is quoted as the 11/10 favourite for the race having bolted up in his seasonal reappearance but Sir Des Champs is not short of supporters of his own. Both Casey and Mullins have been cautious to not be too over confident, with Casey citing the ground conditions and Mullins hoping for improvement from the run for his horse. However, Crockford is certain about one thing, whoever wins the duel will have their price tumble for glory in March. In current reckonings the bookies make Mullin’s charge the more favoured at 5/1 with Flemenstar at 8/1 for the Gold Cup.  An impressive win for either may see them replace Bob’s Worth as the favourite.

The connections of another of today’s runners Rubi Light will have no concerns about the conditions and he is sure to make the race a true test with his gallant front running style. The remaining competitor Bog Warrior is by no means a slouch and will be sharper after his win over the smaller obstacles last week. Crockford does not think it is beyond the realms of possibility that both horses’ massive reputations may be bruised this afternoon by a surprise win for either of the other two.


(Featured Photograph – Cheltenham by Stuart Rice)