Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Galopin impresses once again

06-February-2022 18:46
in General
by Admin

The second day of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown was dominated by short price favourites with the first six races won by the market leader. Honeysuckle won the Irish Champion Hurdle for the third consecutive year with another scintillating performance, while Chacun Pour Soi proved he is almost unbeatable on homesoil with his third victory in the Grade 1 Dublin Chase. Sir Gerhard was forced to work harder than many expected in the Grade 1 novice hurdle with Three Stripe Life providing last year's Festival bumper winner with a proper test. The Jeremy gelding didn't jump as fluently as had been the case of his hurdles bow at Christmas and it will be interesting to see which direction he takes at Cheltenham - he isn't short of speed and I suspect he will continue down the two mile route. On the other hand, the runner-up jumped much better than over the Festive period but lacked the finishing kick of the winner. I maintain he will come into his own over further and it is hoped Gordon Elliott switches him to the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle. He is a smart horse but doesn't have the speed to win a Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

From a personal point of view, the highlight of day two was Galopin Des Champs nine lengths win in the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Novice Chase. Spectacular on his fencing bow over the same C&D in late Christmas, he faced much sterner opposition here and passed the test with flying colours. Admittedly, his task was eased by the fact Beacons Edge and Capodanno departed early on and Fury Road didn't jump well enough, but he was still in a different league to his rivals. Interestingly, trainer Willie Mullins felt the Timos gelding was out of his comfort zone on occasions down the backstraight and I don't think it is a given he will line up in the Turners Novices' Chase over two and a half miles at the Festival. If he sticks to the shorter trip, he will take on Bob Olinger and L'Homme Presse. If going for the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase, both Bravemansgame and possibly Ahoy Senor will be lying in wait, although I think there is every chance the latter will take his chance in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Either way, I don't think we will find out until a few days before the meeting gets underway. 


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