It was the third day of the prestigious Leopardstown Christmas fixture and Galvin was given a superb ride by Davy Russell as he edged out A Plus Tard close home in the Savills Chase. Last season's National Hunt Chase winner looked tailormade for the Grand National but those thoughts have been put on the backburner following his Grade 1 victory at the Dublin track. Beaten three parts of a length by Frodon in the Grade 1 chase at Down Royal in October, he was ridden closer to the pace here and reeled in the Betfair Chase winner in the shadows of the post. The Gold Well gelding was winning his seventh race over fences and his first at the highest level. The Cheltenham Gold Cup will be his next target according to Gordon Elliott with his course form figures being 6211. While it could be argued that Henry De Bromhead's runner-up hit the front soon enough, he hit the front even earlier at Haydock last time. At this stage, steeplechasing's blue riband looks up for grabs, especially after Minella Indo's dismal display on Sunday.
Klassical Dream won the other Grade 1 on the card as he beat last year's victor Flooring Porter by a couple of lengths in the Christmas Hurdle. Making all, Willie Mullins' former Supreme NH winner stayed on strongly to beat Gavin Cromwell's charge with something in hand. Unexposed over three miles, it was his fifth Grade 1 victory and with the best of the British taking it in turns to beat each other, the seven year old looks the one to beat in the staying division. Aintree Hurdle winner Abacadabras was attempting three miles for the first time but, having made headway after the third last, faded thereafter and will be back in trip next time.
The star of the show though on Tuesday was Galopin Des Champs who produced a spectacular performance on his chasing debut in the two miles beginners' chase. Former stablemate and dual Gold Cup runner-up Djakadam won the same event in 2013 (plus Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere in 2012) and the five year old looked every inch a Gold Cup horse in the making himself with a tremendous round of fencing. Paul Townend sent to his mount to the front early on and the result never looked in any danger thereafter. Spot on at every obstacle, the Timos gelding has terrific scope and, even when Ain't That A Shame closed up after the second last, he pulled away again to win eased down by 22 lengths. In terms of chasing bows, it doesn't get much better than that. Presumably, the Grade 1 Flogas Novices' Chase over the same C&D at the Dublin Racing Festival in early February will be his next target en route to a trip to Cheltenham for the three miles Festival Novices' Chase. If that performance didn't set your pulse racing, you are in the wrong game. The sport isn't all about betting.
Bravemansgame, Galopin Des Champs and Shishkin have provided National Hunt fans with a treat over the last few days.
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