Ruby Walsh believes the demanding distance of the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup could be the making of the Willie Mullins-trained Sir Des Champs.
The leading rider is set to partner recent Denman Chase winner Silviniaco Conti for Paul Nicholls in the Festival's main event next month, but was particularly impressed by Sir Des Champs' Hennessy Gold Cup defeat of Flemenstar over three miles.
He told the Irish Examiner: "I watched the Hennessy at Leopardstown from Newbury and formed the impression that the extra two furlongs of the Gold Cup are made for Sir Des Champs.
"Silviniaco Conti jumped and travelled great at Newbury, but did get tired. Paul assures me there will be buckets of improvement to come."