No laughing matter for Cooper

By Simon Clifford.

On the day Bryan Cooper was announced as retained rider by the Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud, it was also revealed that Sir Des Champs, Cooper’s new employer’s shortest-priced runner for the Cheltenham ante-post markets, was declared a non-runner.

The Willie Mullins’ trained eight-year-old, who finished second in last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, will miss the race and the rest of the season due to a tendon injury.

It will be good news those who took the advice of the Irish World and backed Bobs Worth ante-post for the race at 6-1. He is now as short as 9-4 fav from 5-2, with the King George winner Silviniaco Conti in from 7-2 to 3-1, also following the withdrawal of Sir Des Champs.

Sir Des Champs was a dual Cheltenham winner, having won the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap in 2011 and the Jewson Novices Chase the following year. He will be sadly missed by Irish followers at the big Festival in March, being the highest rated chaser in Ireland.

For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World.

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