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  • 17:30 Bet Online With TheTote.com Punchestown Gold Cup 3m 1f

  • (Grade 1) €150,000 added 5yo+ 8 ran
  • Winner €90,000 2nd €28,500 3rd €13,500 4th €4,501
  • Going: Soft, Heavy in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 52.80s
  • Off time: 17:31:27
  • Stewards Inquiry - Result Stands

Sir Des Champs game winner of Punchestown Gold Cup from Long Run

Last Updated: 24/04/13 6:28pm

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Sir Des Champs leads Long Run over the final fence

Sir Des Champs leads Long Run over the final fence

2/1 favourite Sir Des Champs came out on top in a thrilling finish to the Be Online with the tote.com Punchestown Gold Cup.

Willie Mullins' charge finished second to Bobs Worth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month and looked to have this prize in safe keeping when going two lengths clear going to the second last.

However long-time leader Long Run (11/4) refused to go away under Sam Waley-Cohen and Davy Russell had to be at his strongest to fend him off on the run to the line.

First Lieutenant (6/1), like the winner owned by Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud, was close-up in third.

Russell, who missed most of Cheltenham and all of Aintree, said: "I've missed enough Grade One winners and that's important to Gigginstown and for myself.

"You always want to ride in big races and I wasn't disappointed in him at Cheltenham, it was a great run until the last 100 yards and I was very impressed by the winner.

"I was impressed when I rode him in the week, he's tough physically but he's proved he's mentally tough. I was tipping him along and I was worried that Cheltenham might have taken its toll.

"I was struggling to move him up on the back straight but he completely filled up again and I had loads left over the last two."

Mullins added: "That was a great performance. I thought he looked big in the parade ring before the race and I thought we might have let him down too much after Cheltenham."

He added: "I thought at the stone wall we were beat, but Davy got a breather into him and he was a different horse. Davy was very positive and he went for the race at the third-last. We'll be back to Cheltenham I hope, we might adjust a few little things next year.

"It was disappointing that the ground changed at Cheltenham but that's racing, he's won the two biggest races in Ireland and has had a good season."

Long Run's owner Robert Waley-Cohen said: "He was beaten by a better horse on the day and that's the second time he's beaten us, but I think that's the best race he's run for a long time and he showed a lot of determination.

"We'll prepare for the King George again and make a plan for the second half of the season. He won't run in France."

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