They’re just three of the many Cheltenham heroes to have called the boxes at Paul Nicholls’ Manor Stables home.
But there’s been a lack of genuine Gold Cup contenders since Kauto Star lifted the prized pot a second time ten years ago.
It makes one of the latest residents very welcome. Clan Des Obeaux started the season with three wins from ten chase starts.
The raw potential was there but only the most vivid imagination could have seen what was coming.
A stylish victory in the King George on Boxing Day, along with a perfect prep at Ascot last month proved Nicholls (right) had found another live Gold Cup contender.
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He said: “It’s great to have a live Gold Cup hope. The race has been kind to us in the past.
“From the first day Clan Des Obeaux won over hurdles we knew he was going to be a proper three-mile chaser.
“He had been a bit babyish and last year we couldn’t train him as we wanted. Now we are where we want to be. Out of all the horses in the Gold Cup he is the improving youngster.
“Kauto Star won his first Gold Cup when he was seven so Clan Des Obeaux is the right age for the race.
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“It’s hard to compare him with Denman or Kauto Star. He’s probably a cross between the two but he’s doing what they did — he keeps winning.”
Nicholls sends his strongest squad for some time to the Cotswolds. He added: “We have a lovely team. Everything has gone so well this season and the horses have been running brilliantly.
“I still get very nervous about Cheltenham. You never stop thinking about it. I’ve got a lot of nice horses this year.”
The ten-times champion hasn’t drawn a Cheltenham blank since 2002. That sequence is likely to be extended. Those who make plaques in Somerset to mark big wins might just be a bit busier next week.
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