Don Cossack out to deliver on biggest stage for Gordon Elliott
Gordon Elliott feels "lucky" to be training a horse as good as Don Cossack for a race as mouthwatering as the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton on Saturday.
The highest rated staying chaser in training, Don Cossack has been almost imperious for the last 18 months, with his only defeat coming in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham in March.
He has won eight of his last nine races, with four of those at Grade One level, and in any other year he would probably be an odds-on shot - but the strength in depth of this year's race means he can still be backed at bigger than 2-1.
The fact there are so many dangers abound is not lost on Elliott, who in some ways wishes Don Cossack was able to race in a different generation.
"I got excited talking about him as a younger horse, and Michael (O'Leary, owner) gave me a bit of a telling-off," said Elliott.
"He won a Grade One as a novice, but he is the finished article now.
"It's a very strong division at the moment. There's no hiding place.
"It's great for the game, but unfortunate for me I've got such a good horse in this day and age. I would love to have had him three years ago.
"I'm very lucky to have him. The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the ultimate plan."