JOCKEY Danny Cook is "desperate" for a Grade 1 success aboard Definitly Red - as excitement grows for the star Ryedale chaser's assault on the Cheltenham Gold Cup next month.

Trained by Brian Ellison, Definitly Red impressed connections with a racecourse gallop at Doncaster last weekend, being joined by a bumper horse from the yard in galloping over a mile and a half on the Town Moor turf at the end of a race meeting.

The 10-year-old is twice unbeaten in Grade 2 company this season but will not run again before the Gold Cup.

His regular jockey, Cook, said: “I’ve won eight from 15 rides on him, obviously a lot of Grade 2s, so I’m desperate to win a Grade 1 on him.

"I know it’s difficult - they are tough races to win - but I think he’s earned his right to try to win one. We are going to give him every chance this year. We have saved him for a spring campaign."

Definitly Red is a general 20-1 shot for the Gold Cup but connections feel those odds are too long, and Cook believes the horse is in far better form this year compared to last.

“He was very flat in the race last year; he wasn’t the same horse," he said. "He had a hard race in the Cotswold at Cheltenham and we all assumed that knocked the edge off him. So we have missed that race this year with the intention of getting him fresh and well. I think he is going to be a better horse this year."

Cook was in action at Cheltenham last weekend so Definitly Red was ridden at Doncaster by Brian Hughes - who reported the chaser to be in good nick.

Norton-based trainer Ellison said: “Brian rode him about two years ago and said this time he was a different horse. He pulled all the way round."