Galopin Des Champs tops the field for Friday's Cheltenham Gold Cup

Galopin Des Champs. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Ante-post favourite Galopin Des Champs heads 13 declarations for Friday's Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Willie Mullins' charge famously came down at the final fence with the race at his mercy in last year's Turners Novices' Chase, but he has not looked back since, winning each of his three subsequent starts at Grade One level.

He has been skinny odds for the blue riband for much of the season and he will be joined by stablemate Stattler, who was eight lengths behind him in the Irish Gold Cup last time.

Paul Nicholls' Bravemansgame arrives unbeaten in two runs this term, following up an impressive Charlie Hall return with a 14-length verdict in the King George VI Chase and he is the next best in the market.

Last year's victor A Plus Tard has had just one start since his history-making win under Rachael Blackmore, being pulled up in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November.

He is one of two runners for Henry De Bromhead along with Minella Indo, winner of the race in 2021 but a distant second to his stablemate 12 months ago.

Ahoy Senor represents Lucinda Russell having bounced back from some early-season disappointments by winning the Cotswold Chase at Prestbury Park in January.

The Ruth Jefferson-trained Sounds Russian was second that day and he tries his luck again along with third-placed Noble Yeats, winner of the 2022 Grand National for Emmet Mullins, and Dan Skelton's Betfair Chase hero Protektorat, who was fourth in the Cotswold.

Conflated represents Gordon Elliott having won the Savills Chase at Leopardstown in December while Hewick bids to complete a remarkable rise through the ranks for Shark Hanlon, having landed the bet365 Gold Cup, Galway Plate and American Grand National in the last year.

King George second Royal Pagaille lines up for Venetia Williams with Joe Tizzard's Eldorado Allen completing the field.

The Real Whacker was the only horse not declared as he contests Wednesday's Brown Advisory Novices' Chase instead.