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Galopin des Champs Odds-On for Cheltenham Gold Cup
In a stunning display of back-to-back victories in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown, Galopin des Champs has emerged as the clear favorite for the upcoming Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Ridden by jockey Paul Townend and trained by Willie Mullins, Galopin des Champs took an early lead and set a controlled pace throughout the race. Despite his rival Fastorslow’s efforts to keep up, Galopin des Champs never let him get too close.
This was not their first encounter on the racetrack. Prior to this race, Martin Brassil’s chaser had won twice against Galopin des Champs’ one victory. Team Closutton was determined to level the scores before heading to Cheltenham, and with Townend in control from start to finish, they achieved just that.
J J Slevin made a move after the second-last fence but failed to secure an advantageous position on the rail as Townend cleverly blocked his path. Meanwhile, Conflated remained in contention despite unseating Jack Kennedy earlier in the race.
As they approached the final hurdle, Galopin Des Champ slightly veered left which momentarily threw off Fastorslow’s rhythm while Conflated lost its rider. However, it was once again during those final 100 yards that Gallopin Des Champ displayed impressive speed and pulled away from the competition, winning by a margin of four and a half lengths.
Following this victory, Galopin des Champs’ odds for winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March have been slashed to 4-6 (from evens) by bookmakers Betfair and Coral.
Mullins Praises Galopin des Champs
Trainer Willie Mullins expressed his delight with Galopin Des Champ’s performance, describing it as “terrific.” He commended the horse’s ability to lead from the front and jump flawlessly over each fence. Mullins also praised jockey Paul Townend for setting a strong pace on soft ground, ensuring that Gallopin Des Champ’s rivals were left struggling to keep up.
Mullins emphasized that although some consider this race as merely a trial for Cheltenham, he sees it as an important event in its own right. He brings his best horses to Leopardstown with respect and dedicates himself to racing competitively. Winning another Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup is significant for both him and owners Greg and Audrey Turley.
Townend Delighted With Victory
Jockey Paul Townend was thrilled with Galopin Des Champ’s triumph following earlier disappointments in other races. He acknowledged that choosing the right horse can be challenging but expressed his confidence in Gallipon Des Champ being their “big bullet” who hit the bullseye perfectly during this race. Despite admitting they could have maintained a faster pace suited for Gold Cup contenders, Townend was satisfied with their overall performance.