.The Denman Cheltenham Gold Cup is next on the agenda for the Paul Nicholls trained horse who beat off his rivals in the Lexus Chase. Denman is a worthy second-favourite for the Gold Cup at odds of 2/1 for the Cheltenham Festival feature on the fourth day of the festival. The Lexus was run at a steady pace which was pretty sensible and Ruby Walsh decided to take it up as early as the third fence. As usual Denman attacked his fences with some relish and even reached for a couple but as usual travelled and galloped like a good horse but was made to work by some decent horses and this was the sort of test to more realistically gauge his Cheltenham aspirations rather than the romp he enjoyed in a handicap a month ago.
He responded well as both Mossbank and The Listener both attempted to throw down challenges after the second last, and it was workmanlike performance rather than a routing of his opposition as he did in the Hennessey. He will relish ground conditions if they come up soft in the Gold Cup in March, but he will still find it tough to beat off Kautoe Star who is a real super star.