Ruby Walsh Waxes Lyrical over the Future of Galopin Des Champs

galopin de champs - image of a sign saying I love cheltenham - source Richard Bell maplerockdesign

Galopin Des Champs has the potential to become one of the all-time greats in National Hunt racing. That’s the view of retired Irish jockey, Ruby Walsh, who is the third most prolific jockey in National Hunt history. 

The horse, trained by Willie Mullins, has bagged both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Irish Gold Cup so far in 2023 and Walsh believes there is no limit to what this horse can achieve. Walsh says Galopin Des Champs is “as good a horse as [he’s] seen in a long time”.

Galopin Des Champs was the long-time favourite for the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup. In fact, he was as low as 6/4 in the Gold Cup betting for ante-post punters since the turn of the New Year. His performance in the John Durkan Memorial was enough for the betting ring to consider him as too good for the rest of the field – and so it proved.

Galopin Des Champs ran almost the perfect race in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, while Conflated justified our each-way selection ahead of the event. Jockey Paul Townend was happy to allow front-runner Ahoy Senor to set the pace during the first circuit. However, Galopin’s unrivalled stamina told, emerging unflustered by the melee resulting from Ahoy Senor’s fall which also saw Sounds Russian fall and A Plus Tard held up. Galopin Des Champs then motored up the famous Cheltenham hill to overtake Bravemansgame and seal a wonderful win.

Galopin’s Gold Cup triumph was just reward for his team

It was a fitting result considering his disaster at the 2022 festival, falling at the final fence when well clear in the Turners Novice Chase. Galopin remains undefeated over fences in all completed races. Even stablemate Hewick, an American Grand National winner, couldn’t last the pace, underlining Galopin’s undisputed durability.

In his interview after the Cheltenham Gold Cup triumph, Galopin’s trainer, Mullins, revealed he altered his training schedule due to his fall in the Turners Novice Chase in 2022. Mullins was full of praise for Galopin’s groom and work rider, Adam Connolly, who has played an integral role in encouraging the seven-year-old to “switch off”, while honing his stamina.

As for Mullins himself, this is a trainer that is now in a league of his own in terms of Cheltenham Festival winners, with 94 to his name. With Galopin Des Champs an 11/8 favourite to retain his Gold Cup crown in 2024, Mullins could have broken the three-figure mark by the final day of next year’s festival.

Feature image: Source, Richard Bell – maplerockdesign

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