Part-owner Ged Mason feels Clan Des Obeaux is a progressive chaser worthy of his place on the bill for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
The Paul Nicholls-trained runner put in the best effort of his career to date in the King George at Kempton last month, travelling powerfully for Harry Cobden before picking off former winner Thistlecrack to win the Boxing Day Grade One.
In Mason’s eyes, it was the performance of a horse still improving at his trade and he has every faith that 10-time champion trainer Nicholls will have him primed for the grandest stage of all come mid-March.
“The [Gold Cup] can be a bit like the FA Cup final, sometimes it throws out a different result, but he’s run well there in the past,” said Mason.
“He’s just out on the journey at the top and Paul says he’s come out of the King George well and in good order. Paul has been in this situation plenty of times and knows how to get the best out of his horses and to get them to peak on big days.”
Clan Des Obeaux has finished second in three of his four previous runs at Cheltenham and while under no illusions about the test that awaits in the Gold Cup – and the calibre of opposition – Mason is content that his charge deserves his place in the line-up for the blue riband.
“Cheltenham is a totally different type of track [to Kempton] and he’ll have to cope with a likely fierce gallop, but Clan Des Obeaux is a class horse and only just turned seven so he’s improving all the time,” he added.
Clan Des Obeaux is 9.00 to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 15, with King George second Thistlecrack 13.00 and last year’s winner Native River (third at Kempton) now 6.00.