Paul Nicholls has compared Clan Des Obeaux to Kauto Star and demanded his up-and-coming star be given more respect going into the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Clan Des Obeaux was an emphatic winner of Saturday’s rearranged Denman Chase at Ascot on a stunning afternoon for the Ditcheat handler.
Nicholls fired a fabulous eight winners across Britain, including an Ascot five-timer, and few were more impressive than Clan Des Obeaux.
Harry Cobden’s mount travelled powerfully in the Grade Two heat and he was slip-streaming the Nicky Henderson-trained Terrefort as they approached the final fence, seemingly with plenty running left to give.
Clan Des Obeaux showed a nimble turn of foot on the flat as he quickly put nine-lengths between himself and Terrefort on the run from the last to the line.
Having won the King George at Christmas, taking the measure of former winner Thistlecrack, Clan Des Obeaux is the rising star amongst Britain’s staying chasers and his trainer felt he didn’t get the accolades he deserved following that Boxing Day win.
“To be fair, he never got any credit for winning the King George,” said. “Before the race, it was best King George for years – with Gold Cup winners and everything else – and afterwards it was a bit of a fluke!
“Like a lot of horses, it has taken him a while to get to that mature stage – to become a proper racehorse – but he is there now.”
Clan Des Obeaux is now the 5/1 second-favourite with Betfred to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup next month and his trainer says there are comparisons with Kauto Star, two-time winner of the Blue Riband.
“Kauto Star was seven when he won his first Gold Cup, and this horse is the same age, so we are very much where we want to be,” Nicholls added.
“I’m dead happy, and we can go to Cheltenham full of confidence.”
Last season’s RSA Chase winner Presenting Percy remains favourite at 3/1 to win the Gold Cup, despite missing out on a planned run in the Redmills Chase at Gowran Park on Saturday afternoon.
Odds subject to change