Challenger for Cheltenham

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The Independent Online
Challenger Du Luc booked his place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup with a neat change of gear to land the Racing In Wessex Chase at Wincanton yesterday.

The 1-3 favourite crept into the action in the straight before settling the issue in a matter of strides after the final fence, with his jockey, Chris Maude, sitting motionless.

"He did that easily but he had to win didn't he?" Martin Pipe, his trainer, said. Pipe remains puzzled as to why the gelding put up such a lacklustre display at Prestbury Park last time.

"He ran way below par there and I've not been able to work out why. I'm just delighted that his confidence has been restored," he said of the seven-year-old who gave One Man's Ascot conqueror, Strong Promise, weight and a beating in the Murphy's Gold Cup last November.