Victories strengthen position of pair in Gold Cup market.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup betting market was shaken up after two of the leading protagonists were victorious on Saturday – Silviniaco Conti landing the Denman Chase at Newbury and Sir Des Champs taking the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown on their final starts before next month’s Cheltenham Festival.
Already second and third in the betting for the showpiece race of the Festival, they remain just behind favourite Bobs Worth in the ante-post but were shortened a point each after their respective successes.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Silviniaco Conti ground out victory in tough conditions at Newbury to maintain his unbeaten record this season and has been made a 5/1 shot for Cheltenham glory having previously been 6/1.
Sir Des Champs, trained in Ireland by Willie Mullins, is now the 4/1 second favourite behind Bobs Worth after staying on to defeat old rival Flemenstar in the Grade 1 feature of the day at Leopardstown.
The two market leaders are both unbeaten at Cheltenham in their careers, so something will have to give in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.