Sir Des Champs wins the Punchestown Gold Cup
SIR Des Champs, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Davy Russell, won the Bet Online With TheTote.com Punchestown Gold Cup
Sir Des Champs hung on grimly in a thrilling finish to the Bet Online With TheTote.com Punchestown Gold Cup as Long Run and First Lieutenant came storming home.
Davy Russell made a positive move down the back straight, taking up the running off Long Run at the third-last and going two lengths clear .
There was not much between Sir Des Champs and Long Run at Cheltenham and yet again the pair proved they were closely matched, because as Sir Des Champs began to tire Long Run was coming hard at him after the last.
Over on the far side Mouse Morris' consistent First Lieutenant, a winner at Aintree, also had a chance but Sir Des Champs, the 2-1 favourite, held on by three-quarters of a length from Long Run with First Lieutenant just behind in third.
Willie Mullins was winning the race for the first time in 11 years since Florida Pearl took the spoils.